Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ages & Stages Blogger: Keeping Kids Occupied on the Go

Ages & Stages Blogger for Gummy Lump Toys
Written by Megan from NEPAMom.com for GummyLump.com

With five kids, and a husband who often works out of town, it can get a little crazy trying to juggle all of the sports schedules, appointments and extracurricular activities my kids are involved in.  Having a busy schedule, however, can be made more manageable when you have planned ways to keep your kids happy and occupied while on the go.

In the opinion of my kids, when faced with a boring waiting room or sitting on the sidelines at a siblings sporting event, nothing is better than a set of crayons and a coloring book or plain paper.  Hours upon hours can be spent coloring, drawing or writing their own stories

My older kids also love to use write on placemats to learn on the go.  As a homeschooling mother I love any product that sneaks in learning while under the guise of fun, so learning mats are a favorite of mine.  Usable with crayons or washable markers, they are a great option in the car during trips. Just wipe off and start over!
Advanced Subject Skills Learning Mats Set by Melissa & Doug
Another great boredom buster is to play games. Long time favorites include I Spy, License Plate Games, Old Maid or a simple deck of cards.  A deck of playing cards is small and compact, doesn’t take up much room in your glove box or purse and can keep kids happy for hours.  Teach your kids how to play Solitaire or War and you are good to go.

Allow kids some control over what they bring with them when on the go.  Depending on the length of the trip, my kids like to bring a favorite stuffed animal, reading materials, or their favorite audio books/downloadable games on the iPad or Leapster.  There are thousands of educational games available to download so they will never run out of options.  Do yourself a favor though and invest in a good pair of headphones!

Finally, nothing causes meltdowns faster than a hungry kid.  A hungry kid (or mom!) is a problem waiting to happen. I like to keep water bottles and granola bars in the car so if we get held up at an event longer than planned we have a healthy snack available.

Taking a few minutes to plan ahead before you walk out the door really helps keep your kids happy and occupied when on the go.  It is well worth the time!

NEPAMom is an Ages & Stages Blogger for GummyLump.comMegan Wolff Galko, is the founder and owner NEPAMom.com.  Megan is a graduate of the University of Scranton and North Pocono HS. Megan has served as Deputy Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). She is also a former reporter for The Scranton Times and The Moscow Villager. She and her husband, Vince have five children.  They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

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