Keep Your Active Child Moving While Traveling

Angie McDonald
April 7, 2009

With spring and summer breaks coming up, many of you are likely planning to travel. And a part of you is probably wondering how you're going to entertain your energetic preschooler while on the road or in the air.

Believe me when I say I've been there! And I have a few tips for how to keep your little one active while getting from point A to point B.

1. If possible, make the trip as much about the journey as arriving at the destination. Zen out a little and try not to calculate how much time you're "wasting" while making stops. A relaxed attitude will make the trip more pleasant for everyone.

2. When driving, stop every two or so hours to stretch restless muscles.

3. Before you leave, locate parks and schools with playgrounds in towns you'll be passing through. Letting your child climb and run around for 15 minutes can do wonders for their small bodies.

4. In a pinch, or during bad weather, look for fast food playrooms. Not only do my kids consider it a privilege to frequent these plastic towers, they are sated and tired afterward.

5. Pack CDs or load the MP3 player with music your kids can jam to. Even moving arms, legs and heads in circles while buckled up will help expend some energy.

6. When flying, look for open areas and play structures in airports for your kids to explore before boarding or during layovers.

7. Do not board until the last possible minute. Don't worry too much about installing the car seat if you're traveling with one. You'll have time, even if you're one of the final passengers on the aircraft. And the extra run-around time is so much better than sitting on the plane longer than you have to.

8. If you have time, try to let your child walk through airports rather than riding in strollers all the way.

9. Look for every possible opportunity to get your tot moving en route. The more they move, the easier the sitting-still time will be!


Angie is the Seattle City Editor for The Savvy Source. You can read more of her work every day at Being Savvy Seattle.  


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