Keep Kids Busy on Their Next Trip With Backpack Time

I think it’s fair to say that kids these days have a lot more opportunities to have fun in the car while on the road. What did we have? Books. Pen and paper. Walkman if you’re lucky. And in the end, a boredom that got so deep that playing with an alphabetical number plate seemed like a good idea.

Our kids now have tablets, portable DVD players and game devices to pass the time. But there are many reasons why screens are still not a universal saver on the road. Young kids won’t be as passionate about electronics as older kids. The screens in the car can make your child feel nauseous (if so, I can feel your pain). Or maybe you just don’t want to start your journey with seven hours of screen time in a row.

Even so, none of the parents eagerly awaits the answer “How many more minutes?” when you’re just 17 minutes on a 400-mile journey. Rachel Garlinghouse writes for Scary Mommy that she allows her four children (two teens, a first grader and a preschooler) to have electronics in the car when traveling, but not all the time. She also wants them to alternate between screen time and off screen time.

So Garlinghouse came up with a new plan: there will be “screen time” and “backpack time”. She chose an old backpack for each of her children (these were old school backpacks that changed over the years) and filled them with many different activities. For starters: coloring books, spiral notepads, stickers and a set of markers, crayons and pencils.

Next – books. I searched every child’s room. I took the old favorites as well as the ones that fell off the shelves that they forgot about. I also found several magazines. Extra tip: The toy catalogs that come in the mail at this time of year keep kids busy.

She also added some road games, fidget toys, action figures and other car toys. She finished off the backpacks with a couple of new surprises that can be wrapped to make it look extra special. To keep young children happy, pin up a pack of $ 1 holiday window chains to decorate their car windows (over and over) while driving.

Garlinghouse has become a pro at this; most of what she packs are items the kids already have – they are simply forgotten or overlooked long enough to feel fresh again in the context of a travel backpack. And while some kids may think they’d rather pack their own bag – usually with the most random selection of items or whatever happens to be nearby when it’s time to pack – you know what is most likely to grab their attention in the car. to get more than a few minutes. And children like to be surprised.

My kids are waiting for them – every trip. It’s like Christmas morning, in the car, with your (forgotten) things. And they demand little from me. Yes, from time to time I clean them out, maybe add something new or remove something that they are no longer interested in.

In addition, everyone who is involved in this, it is more pleasant to replace “Okay, turn off these screens!” with “Hey, it’s backpack time!” “


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