Ah, summer vacation. Sunny beaches, room service, peace and quiet.
Well, maybe not so much “peace and quiet” if you’re traveling with the kids.
Traveling can be stressful enough – packing, layovers, hiring a dog sitter. Add young children to the mix and you may find yourself wondering, “why bother?!”
Traveling with kids can be stressful, yes, but it can also be a beautiful experience full of memories that you and and your kids will look back on fondly for many years.
So, how to bring a little sanity (and more joy) to your travels? Music to the rescue!
Being stuck in the car, plane, or airport will wear thin on anyone, especially young ones with lots of energy and zero concept of time (“are we there yet?”). Keeping them busy and engaged in something that uses their brains and bodies will help them pass the time (and hopefully nap a little, too). And music is the perfect way to do this.
Listen to favorite tunes in the car. Bring along your Kindermusik CDs or stream music directly from your online resources. And bring along some favorite instruments so the whole family can jam along! If you’re on an airplane, other passengers will be appreciate silent music toys, like scarves.
Bring along paper and crayons so the kids can color as they listen to music. They may draw scenes of what they think a song is about, or make more “abstract” art that depicts the tempo or mood of a piece by coloring fast to fast music and using long slow crayon strokes to slow music.
If you’re traveling out of the country or somewhere with a distinctive musical style, listen to music from your travel destination. This is a great way for the kids to learn about and experience different cultures. If possible, seek out live music once you’re there!
Throughout your travels, engage the kids in making up a family song about the trip, and be sure to share it with any family or friends you’re visiting. Make a music video by filming everyone having a blast at each place you visit!
If little bodies feel the need to move while in the car seat, engage them with finger plays, by dancing with arms and legs, or by making a favorite stuffed animals dance. Out of the car, get out the stiffness with a quick hokey-pokey, bounce on your knee, and back massage – especially for babies.
And, don’t forget that your online Kindermusik resources are chock-full of on- and off-screen activities, streaming music, videos, e-books, new fingerplays and dances, and more. Accessible to you anywhere that you can type in my.kindermusik.com!
Finally, remember that young children thrive on routine. As fun as vacation is, being away from home and their own bed and toys can be upsetting. Be sure to bring along a favorite toy, plushie, or book to help maintain that comfort of home. And, just as we do at the end of Kindermusik class, be sure to have a little Quiet Time during your busy days of travel – necessary time for those little noggins to relax, take in all of the new sights and sounds, and gear up for another day of excitement!