These handy car trip tips are brought to you by our guest writer and special needs consultant Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D.
For many of us, the summer is the time for long car trips to the beach, visiting relatives and traveling for a relaxing vacation. However, these car rides with children, especially children with special needs can be a real challenge. Children often get bored, irritable, and restless which can mean a stressful start to your outing. Here are some tips to make your trip more successful!
1. Get Comfy!
Melissa & Doug has a great line of products called Beeposh. Beeposh items are made of ultra-soft fleece (comfy and cozy), and are available in super stylish patterns for both boys and girls of all ages. This creative collection includes stuffed animals, clothing, pillows and more! Allow your children to select a pair of luxurious lounge pants, fluffy pillow or cuddly stuffed animal for your trip. The super-soft fabric is soothing and relaxing for those with sensory needs and for those who just want to get cozy.
2. Get Dark
Another important tip for sun sensitive children is making the back seat free of sun glare. Especially in the summer months, the strong sun can make for a long, hot, uncomfortable trip. Darkening the car with a car window shade naturally allows for children to take a rest, and an added bonus might just be a nap while on the way to see Grandma!
3. Get Busy
Keeping children busy on a long trip is also helpful. Car trips are a great time for children to get crafty. For example, children can draw, color, or enjoy an activity book. Have their supplies packed ahead of time and allow them to explore all of their options during your ride. Some children may enjoy listening to soft music, using headphones that can block out road noise or mom and dad’s oldies on the radio! Don’t forget that long rides are also a great opportunity to play 20 questions, enjoy a travel-friendly family game or record license plates from other states.
4. Get out for a break
Lastly, don’t forget to take a break and stretch your legs. Often a small 20 minute break from the car can rejuvenate kids and help settle them down. Stopping for frequent bathroom and snack breaks can make all the difference in a successful car trip!
Wishing you happy and safe travels this summer!!
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About Dr. Melissa Liguori, Ed. D:
After studying early childhood education at the American University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Liguori began her career as a classroom teacher in one of the nation’s top school districts, Montgomery County, Maryland. There she fostered an environment where play and learning were synonymous, and her reputation for thinking outside the box when it comes to toys began. Dr. Liguori completed her doctorate in Developmental and Learning Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and worked at prestigious private schools in New York, New Jersey, and the surrounding suburbs before settling her family and practice in Westport, CT.