Plug-in On The Road & Learn

{Plug-in on the Road & Learn} *Tips for keeping your sanity on the roadYou’re cruising down the highway and your children are grinning from ear to ear with excitement. Three-hours later there’s crying, yelling, and suddenly you hear a scream from the back seat, “She won’t stop looking at me!”

Your children may be well-behaved, but even an everyday sweetie can turn sour on a long road trip.

As Modern Parents, we are constantly trying to balance screen-time. On a recent adventure, my husband Shad and I decided we weren’t going to bring our iPad. We stocked the car with books, markers, paper, and more. Our girls did just fine.

We on the other hand, were frazzled by the time we arrived at our destination. We usually use the “quiet time” the iPad creates between interactive projects for a casual impromptu coffee date.

We realized that the iPad is just as much for US as it is for THEM.

Bring activities & games on your trip, but if your drive is *really* long, don’t be ashamed of letting your children plug-in.

Below are three ways to keep your tech time educational:

1. Allow ONLY educational videos. If you make this a strict rule when your children are young, it is easy to accomplish without any hassles. If your children are older and this simply won’t fly, go with an every-other-video alternative. Additional tips:

  • Reduce temptation. Remove shows that will distract your child from being happy with this rule.
  • headphonesKeep it fresh. Stock iTunes or your DVD case with high-quality educational options. Stop by the library for a plethora of good titles.
  • Let your child feel in control of the situation. Let them make choices. Only offer options that are acceptable, “Would you rather watch Electric Company or Wild Kratts?”
  • Pick a standard statement and stick to it. If your child asks to watch something different continue to calmly use that statement over and over again, “Your welcome to watch educational shows on the iPad.”
  • Bring head phones! Sometimes children need their own mental space. Be sure to bring some comfortable headphones for your children. We have this pair and our girls love them.

2. Get a well-done audio book from the library. Pick something you can enjoy as a family. You’d be surprised how many wonderful children’s novels you can get as audio files. If your children are old enough, I highly recommend Harry Potter. We have Mary Poppins on CD for our trip. If you are checking out discs from the library, be sure to make your reservation in advance to ensure you get your title on time.

3. Stock the iPad with educational apps. Banish Angry Birds. YES, sure… it helps children understand trigonometry. Take it off anyhow. Get some fresh kid-approved games. Check out these 9 awesome educational apps.

If you start to feel guilty about your little couch potato in the back seat. Keep this quote in mind:

“The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness.”
― Esther Hicks { Tweet This }

Don’t be afraid to mix in a bit of technology on long trips. It will keep your little ones entertained and you sane. You’ll both be “Happy Campers” when you arrive at your vacation destination.

Happy Trails,

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