Occupying Your Child While Traveling

Are you dreading that 10-hour car ride or 8-hour plane ride? Not to worry. Here a few tips to keep your child(ren) busy!

  • Make customized activity bags for each child. If the trip will be really long, give your child only one item at a time so the novelty of the items does not wear off shortly after the trip begins. Have some old toys as well as new toys and activities in each bag. Examples include: a new coloring book, hand-held games like ball mazes or Rubix cubes, interactive books (with flaps, hidden pictures, or stickers), Legos, or a soft squeeze ball.
  • Bring along headphones with a variety of music to include calm instrumental songs for relaxation, kid-friendly tunes, and any other favorites.
  • Bring along a DVD player with headphones and some old favorite movies, shows, and cartoons, along with one or two new videos your child has never seen.
  • Sensory toys may be helpful at certain times during your trip. The following items are helpful in calming and relaxation:
    • Vibrating massagers
    • Weighted lap pad
    • Weighted vest or pressure vest
    • Hard candy (if this does not pose as a safety hazard for your child)
    • Vibrating bean bags or teethers if your child needs additional oral input
    • *Consult with your child's Occupational Therapist for more specific sensory strategies to use
  • Other items to have handy just in case:
    • Flushable wipes
    • An extra set of batteries for a DVD or music player
    • 2 changes of clothing in the case of an accident (this is likely due to the anxiety and transitions associated with moving)
    • A few plastic bags
    • Medicine for nausea or other illness