if you know us, you know how much we love to travel! and we feel really fortunate that we’ve been able to experience a lot of new places and adventures even with the kiddos in tow these past few years. i also feel really fortunate that our kids are great little travelers who adapt well and love to explore. some of my most frequently asked questions revolve around traveling with kids, and i’ve written before about what we’ve learned through the years as well as our tips and tricks HERE and HERE, and traveling abroad with kids HERE.
i wanted to chat a little bit more about how josh and i are working hard to establish a sense of confidence in our kids and helping them to be independent. we love trying to teach them that they can take care of themselves and make choices on their own. like a lot of parents, we look for opportunities to encourage that confidence and independence at different times in their early years. at home, it might be getting their own snacks or prepping for bed. at the playground, we encourage them to climb on their own before they can even walk. we’ve found that one of the best and most fun times to do it is while we are traveling. we’ve partnered with band-aid brand and neosporin to talk more about ways we’re helping the kiddos do just that when we are on the go!
when we get ready for a trip, our kids love packing their own backpacks, which they are in charge of throughout the car ride or airport or wherever we may be going. we help to oversee their packing, but eleanor and samson are pretty great at filling their backpacks all on their own with some toys and snacks and other things they might need while we’re on a trip. (they also help me pack conrad’s, too.)
each of the kids’ bags has everything from some favorite old toys or stuffed animal to a water bottle and snacks. we also keep a handy kit in each backpack with chapstick, band-aid brand bandages and neosporin, hand sanitizer and all their other tiny knickknacks so they don’t get lost at the bottom of the bag. this way, they know exactly where to find things! knowing where things are really helps them feel independent because they don’t have to ask us for something. each bag also has a little zippered pouch for a few coins or a few dollars (samson loves buying strawberry gum all by himself right now, it’s kind of his thing!), colored pencils and notebooks, and some surprises, especially for a long trip.
we usually make a stop by a toy store before a big trip to get a new puzzle or toy or game. we try hard to balance things that are fun with things that are also educational and good for their brain development. obviously a tablet device fully charged with a few carefully curated shows and movies is a saving grace on a long flight, but we try to save it as a last resort since there are so many other great things to do on an airplane first at their age.
it seems like at least once a day someone in our family will get a cut, scrape or boo-boo. there is almost always some kind of minor injury that needs attention. somewhere along the way, we started making sure we always carried a couple of band-aid brand bandages in our wallets or handy in my bag when we’re out. it’s been a couple of years now that we have been carrying them around. our kids tend to really focus on their cut or scrape until it’s bandaged up properly with some neosporin and a hug and kiss, so we had to have a whole little system down. they have the system down now as well, and they love to help! (if you can believe it, we haven’t lost one piece of that doctor kit eleanor asked for for her second christmas! playing doctor at our house is such a big important part of our day, so naturally, the kids are professionals at this sort of thing!)
also, how absolutely adorable are the new band-aid brand bandages by oh joy?! joy cho, who designed them, is actually a dear friend of ours and we couldn’t be more proud every time we use one!
i love how she often will randomly say, “hey mom, check this face out!” and do something silly like this! she has such personality and this age is so much fun.
as a parent, it makes me so proud to see eleanor and samson being so comfortable and confident when we head out to the airport. they insist on going through security all by themselves, and even little conrad anxiously follows their lead and tries to do everything they do in the security line as well, like putting his backpack or sweatshirt in the bin before it goes through screening, as he sees his big brother and sister do!
watching for planes is fun, but we usually like watching for airport workers instead and wave like mad at them (they don’t ever see us) trying to get their attention!
see what i mean? he doesn’t let anyone else carry it, so i usually have to empty his backpack while he’s not looking, so it’s light enough for him without all the stuff inside!
i’ve written about this before in my other travel posts, but trying to find a flight during nap time if at all possible (when you have a kiddo that still naps like conrad does) is GOLD. on this last trip to california, he slept for over half of the six hour flight, and i’m pretty sure that made everyone on the flight extra happy. ;)
here’s a close up of the little organizational kit we keep inside their backpacks. like i mentioned above, having a proper place for everything really helps them to feel confident about being in charge when they know where their things are and where everything goes. (we have found that the same goes for at home! although a bit harder to stay on top of, as my organizational skills aren’t necessarily my strong suit, but we’re getting there!)
we always have a pair of old airplane wings in our backpack, too. thanks to papa for being so good at holding onto those!
our family feels so big these days! we try to get two seats in front of the row of three behind, so we can still somewhat be clustered and close together!
so proud of these kiddos and the confident and loving and good people are they becoming!!! thank you to band-aid brand and neosporin for partnering with us on this post, and for helping take care of boo-boo’s at home and also on the go! i find comfort knowing that their skin is protected and scars are minimized which is why we always have the band-aid and neosporin + pain, itch, scar close by. you can find the darling new band-aid brand bandages by oh joy! online HERE and and neosporin + pain, itch, scar HERE.