Have you ever dreaded going out of the house with your kids? Maybe it’s just a day of running to the grocery store and the bank or maybe it’s so you can finally make it to that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off for 6 months. Either way, you know your little one will be less than thrilled with the less than “kid friendly” activities.
To survive this sort of adventure you’ll need to pack the essentials. Of course, each child is different and there’s a very good chance that there will be some trial and error before you figure out what will keep your kids happy. For my “Toddzilla”, there are 5 ways I tend to keep him reined in during these outings.
ALWAYS have emergency snacks! Keep them in your purse, in your diaper bag, and in your car. There is nothing more traumatizing than a hangry toddler. Keep things like granola bars, apples, and rice cakes; things that wont melt or spill. My son is a snacking machine. An apple recently got us through an entire lease agreement and signing. He was so content that he even followed along as the lady went through it with us.
2. COMPACT Activities
From books to toy cars, when they’re bored kids will use their imaginations. A toy car could turn into an hour of fun. Just remember to keep the activity small so you can fit it into your purse or diaper bag. You also don’t want to have to clean a mess up while you’re out and about (you do enough of that at home).
Whatever errand you may be running, chances are you won’t be making just one stop. The kids will quickly become annoyed each time they have to get strapped back into that seat. Be ready with some dance worthy music. Lately my toddler has been jamming to Bohemien Raphsody (the boy has good taste)!
4. Ask Them To Help
My little one is at the stage where he wants to do EVERYTHING himself. You can use this to your advantage by keeping them distracted with small tasks. Maybe you need them to pick out a box of cereal or push the kid cart at the grocery store. Or maybe they can take the money from the bank teller at the bank. Asking for their help will make them feel important AND keep them busy while you get things done.
5. Your Phone
Use in case of EMERGENCY! Yes, I’m a millennial mom, no I don’t believe in using screen time as a default. I try to avoid using the phone to distract and subdue my toddler. However, there are times when we are both at the end of our ropes. You know the times I’m talking about…
Temper tantrums in the checkout line.
Running away in the middle of your tooth cleaning.
Accidentally missing nap time.
There are instances where you don’t have the time or energy to entertain or fight with your little minions. At times like these, I choose to utilize technology. It could be the life raft you need to keep from drowning in the meltdown that’s about to happen.
Kids will be kids! They’re going to try to jump on the couches at the doctors office and they’re going to fuss when you put them in the car seat for the 3rd time in a row. Be patient with them and do your best to make it as enjoyable as you can for both you AND them. (Or you could always wait until your husband gets home and ditch him and the kids for a peaceful outing ALONE 😉