Wednesday

Keeping the kiddos happy.

While this is a ongoing task for all parents, it seems a bit more daunting when camping and traveling. Here are a few things that help when we are away from home.
  • Baby Walker (I talked about this here.) 
  • Crayons and Post-It Notes - Not only can the kids draw but the can "decorate" with the Post-It Notes. We keep ours in a plastic bag but I thought the picture below was a good ideas as well. 
    Source
  • Large Tent - it provides a lot of safe running around space if the husband and I need to work with out having the chase the kids. It is also a great hangout place at night because our daughter can crawl around. Con - takes up a little more space in our vehicle and a little more time to set up. 
  • Magnets on a cookie sheet.
  • Garden Shovel - this provided entertainment for both kids on our road trip this summer and doesn't take up much room. Con - I had to go back and smooth out any holes the kids dug. 
  • Butterfly Search Hike - We hiked a trail in the morning with the a lot of wildflowers and let our son help us take pictures. He was not happy that morning, but having the camera really cheered him up. 
  • Give them boundaries - We visited the Garden of the Gods in Illinois this summer. It was beautiful but there were a lot of cliffs. In stead of holding our 4 year olds hand the entire time, tying him to us or just not going, we found areas were we asked him to stay "inside". We actually didn't ask, we gave him two options: he could stay in "inside" or hold our hand. In this case, he stayed in the naturally formed circles. They were small but he still liked it better than holding our hands the entire time. Hopefully the pictures will help explain. Giving our son options and specific things he can do has worked wonders in many circumstances.

Here are a couple other great ideas for keeping kids happy while camping and traveling. Please share any of your tips and tricks in the comments.

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