Kids get super excited about going on vacation, especially when they are going somewhere that involves their favorite things or characters. I’ve seen tons of post on amping up for Disney so why not for other trips too! One of the neatest things about family vacations are the lasting memories you make; why not start those memories before the trip even starts? Not only is preparing your children for a trip fun but it is also a great way to learn through play and even offers transitions to leaving for children who don’t adjust well to change.
- For toddlers and preschoolers start talking about the trip a few days to a week before you embark on your journey. You want to tell them exactly what you will be doing. For example: “We will drive to Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Saturday, it will be a long trip like the time we want to Aunt Margarets. We will stay there for three days and have fun at Cherry Hill Farm and at Strasburg Railroad. We’re staying at your favorite hotel, the one with the spray ground.”
- Most children are hands-on or visual learners so reading books with illustrations about your destinations or even using a felt board to tell stories will be well received.
- Use manipulatives, kids love using their imaginations. Have them act out packing for the trip, driving in the car, arriving at the hotel or having fun at the amusement park.
- Get creative, from coloring pages to sticker books and DIY crafts to pinterest activities there a lot of ideas out there. If you’re not into crafting or are in a time crunch buy some coloring books or print pages to color. If you do enjoy crafting and have a creative side, try making something based on the destination you are going to. For an example, if you are going to Thomas Land use train shaped cookie cutters with play dough or if you are going on a plane; make a model plane out of clothes pins and popsicle sticks.
- Let your kids help pack and prepare for the trip; just keep what’s age appropriate in mind. There are things even tiny hands can asissy with. They can help write a packing list; ask your little one what needs to go in their suitcase. If they have a favorite shirt they can get it from the dresser and put in the packing pile.
- Count down to the big day. We made a chain with seven links and took one chain off each day until we got to the day of the trip.