We know how stressful it can be to travel with kids
If you're one of the 14.6 million Americans that plan to travel abroad this year, you know that Spring Break is a great time to take that trip. You can finally crawl out of hibernation and soak up some sun to thaw off that winter chill.
We're long past Spring Break being just a wild college holiday. Instead, hundreds of thousands of families choose this time of year to take their gang on the road and plan a getaway full of fun activities.
But even the most well-organized families need to have a backup just in case things don't go as planned. Sudden downpours canceled the zoo? Stuck in miles and miles of traffic? Another annoying flight delay?
Consider this list of backup time-killers your insurance against screaming kids and a repeating chorus of "I'm bored!"
Yo Gabba Gabba - link
Before ending in 2015, Yo Gabba Gabba was in the kid's content game for years and now offers a free library with hundreds of engaging videos to keep kids occupied and entertained. Their videos mix live-action and animation to create magical musical videos. They even have a complimentary website that comes with activity sheets you can download and print out.
Why we love it: Musical fun with the best celebrity cameos, like Jack Black and Erykah Badu!
One of our favorites: "I Like to Dance" Video
Caspar Baby Pants - link
There's no shortage of cute song videos out there for kids, but it's not often that you run across ones that even adults can enjoy. Caspar Baby Pants pairs well-written songs with creative visual music videos, all thanks to the musical talents of the former singer in the band, The Presidents of the United States of America.
Why we love it: No brain-numbing tunes like Baby Shark here! We've had a few songs on repeat here in our office.
One of our favorites: Baby Cloud (incredible for a lullaby)
Under the Sea Video Loops
This may seem like a cop-out (really, a three-hour underwater footage loop?), but it's kindergarten teacher-approved. Unlike most kid's videos, this form of entertainment doesn't rely on over-the-top production value and in-your-face sound effects. Instead, it's just nature in its purest form, along with a soothing acoustic soundtrack.
Why we love it: Calms the mind instead of overstimulating it. And turtles are so cute!
Stop, Breathe, Think - link
This app helps kids discover their superpowers of quiet, focus, and peaceful sleep through mindfulness games. Kids can check into their feelings using fun emojis and try recommended mindful missions and meditations tuned to those emotions. Stickers reward their progress and keep the activities engaging.
We love it: Grown-ups can create a positive daily routine with their kids and teach tricky life lessons like dealing with disappointment or resolving conflict.
Download the app:
Khan Academy Kids - link
This is the most explicitly educational suggestion on our list. Originally an online academy for adults, they now have a vast catalog of videos for kids that combine tasks like math and reading with activities like art and drawing. In addition, they use fun, friendly characters and make a point to promote socio-emotional development topics like empathy and sharing.
Why we love it: It's free! And even aligns with Common Core curriculum other learning frameworks.
Download the app:
We know some parents will cringe at the thought of using a screen to entertain kids. But devices aren't the enemy. Parents should take the lead in introducing their kids to technology safely and healthily. Online videos or streaming sites can be a great resource to enhance and supplement learning. And a tablet or smartphone can save your butt in a pinch! Just remember to limit the time they can watch and the volume- more than 50% of parents completely forget to keep the volume down for their kids! A great way to protect kids' hearing without constantly monitoring them is to use volume-limiting kids' headphones. You're on holiday, after all!