Traveling is one of the best forms of education a child can get. With countless enriching and fulfilling experiences, any trip away is sure to provide valuable life lessons that can’t be matched from a textbook or in front of a television.
However, although in theory it all sounds like sunshine and daisies, the practicalities of the situation can be very different. Keeping kids quiet and occupied during long journeys can be a nightmare and avoiding temper tantrums is a tactical operation for all parents.
Luckily, the invention of the tablet has become a lifesaver in this situation! Stocking up your device with a wide range of activities can keep the kids occupied for hours and allow parents to negotiate the linguistics of any trip in peace.
How to Stock Your Tablet For a Trip With Children
There are countless great games to play on tablets regardless of what make or model you have. However, the thing that parents perhaps don’t consider, in regard to this, when taking a trip with their children is that the lack of internet access will make a lot of these games unusable.
Because of this, it’s essential you fill up your tablet with games that have an offline mode before you set off. Some of the best include Cars: Fast as Lightning, which is a highly customized racing game that fits in perfectly with the traveling theme! It’s available for free download on Android, and although it includes in-app purchases, they can’t be bought when offline so the little ones can’t rack up a major bill without you noticing!
For those using iPads, Hunter Island: Monsters & Dragons is a great game, inspired by the famed world of Pokémon, that can be enjoyed without internet connection. Kids can embark on a quest to catch over 350 characters in this spin off of one of their favourite brand’s games.
These are just two great examples of online games but there are many more out there! Make sure you stock up with a wide variety as kids can get bored quickly!
Creating a vast library of their favorite TV shows and movies is also a great way to ensure hours of piece of quiet. Whether you’re on a train, plane or in a car, hooking them up, plugging headphones in and leaving them to enjoy a movie marathon not only keeps them happy, but also saves everyone around them from the wrath of angry children!
There are tons of websites where you can download videos for free, or for a small fee, or you can rip them directly off your DVD’s at home. By creating a library long enough to last the trip, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll have no problems and the kids will be content and occupied till they arrive at their destination.
You can also stock up on snacks and mimic a portable cinema trip. There’s even an extremely handy item you can buy that attaches the tablet to the headrest of the seat in front to avoid sticky finger marks all over the screen!
Tablets have become an exciting and interactive way for kids the learn, which they will happily partake in and enjoy because it doesn’t feel like education. There are many games and apps that can help with basic literacy, numeracy and life skills alongside many other topics.
For iOS, Agricola is a great multiplayer game that is accessible even when offline. It teaches players to build a farm, grow crops and even raise animals, and it helps develop organization, time management and logistics skills while still being a load of fun! Alongside this, classic apps such as Sudoku and Crossword puzzles are widely available over all operating systems.
Apps such as these are a great way to keep the kids minds active when on the road while simultaneously building cognition skills. They come as a welcome break from the many mindless games and provide an additional benefit alongside keeping the kids quiet and occupied. There are many apps of this type available but, as previously mentioned, be sure to look for ones that offer an offline game play mode.
E-books are a great source of entertainment for kids on long journeys as, once downloaded, they don’t require any internet connection to enjoy. Plus, reading on a backlighted tablet means you don’t have to worry about losing the light and not being able to see as you do with actual books.
There are many different sources that offer book downloads no matter which type of tablet you are running. Kindle is an obvious first choice as, alongside being compatible with the Kindle tablets themselves, there is also an app available to download for Android that gives you access to the full Kindle library. iPad users have the option of Apple books, which also carries a wide range of titles and can be downloaded and stored straight onto the iPad.
Reading is a great activity to pass time and proven to increase and support intelligence far better than watching films so it’s an excellent activity for kids on any long journey. Encouraging children to read stories to each other is also brilliant to help create bonds and nurture relationships.
Finally, no matter how prepared you’ve been, there’s always the potential for the kids to want something else—a different movie that’s not in the library or a game that requires online access. Although there might not be much you can do about this when on the road, plenty of gas stations, airports and train stations offer free public WiFi. By pulling over for a quick rest break you can download more movies, allow them to play online games or even watch a bit of Netflix! This can also work as a great reward tactic: tell them that if they’re good, they’ll be allowed to pull over and have a certain amount of time connected to the internet.
However, to make sure this back-up plan goes ahead with no glitches, it’s important to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) installed. This app has many benefits: it allows you to access otherwise blocked content on sites such as Netflix when overseas; it protects and encrypts your data when you’re attached to insecure public networks; and it also helps prevent your device contracted malware. For all these reasons, it’s essential to download when traveling with kids!
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially with technology to help you out! By utilizing your tablet in the right way, it’s easy to make your trip an enjoyable and enriching experience from start to end. If you have any other suggestions of things to put on your tablet or examples of individual apps, then be sure to leave a comment below!
Thanks to Jess with Tripelio.com for sharing this article!