Tuesday 23 May 2017

On the road - tips for travelling with kids

If you’re planning on taking a trip with the kids – whether it’s just a short break or the annual family holiday – there are plenty of gadgets, toys and accessories and on the market to keep them (and you) happy. Bernice Mulligan reports

<p><strong>Readybeds </strong></p><p>Little ones will love the ReadyBeds, especially with designs such as Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty, Disney Princess (Junior range) and the new Liverpool and Manchester United Tween Ready- Beds. An award-winning product, ReadyBeds has many great designs to choose from, and the built-in cover can be easily removed for washing. The bed also comes with an easy-to-use pump so it can be infl ated in minutes. Prices start from €34.99. Stockists include Smyths, Argos and various independents, or see www.worldsapart.co.uk </p>

Readybeds

Little ones will love the ReadyBeds, especially with designs such as Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty, Disney Princess (Junior range) and the new Liverpool and Manchester United Tween Ready- Beds. An award-winning product, ReadyBeds has many great designs to choose from, and the built-in cover can be easily removed for washing. The bed also comes with an easy-to-use pump so it can be infl ated in minutes. Prices start from €34.99. Stockists include Smyths, Argos and various independents, or see www.worldsapart.co.uk

Swivel screen dvd player

One way to keep children happy when they're travelling is to bring their favourite movies along. This seven-inch widescreen TFT LCD colour display player has a swivel screen with 180° rotation and a headphone jack for private listening. Includes full function remote control, AC adaptor, DC Car adaptor and built-in rechargeable battery. Available in pink or red. €84.99 from Smyths Toys. See www.toys.ie

,strong>Traykit

A recent hit on the British version of Dragons' Den, this is an all-in-one kids' carry-on backpack and play-tray solution and is ideal when travelling with children on trains, planes or in the car. Children pack their favourite books, toys, games and have easy access to them when travelling. The TrayKit can strap to the tray table or hang from the seat in front in a car (car hanging strap included). There is also an extendable raised sides play surface, so more toys rolling on the floor! €29 from www.babytravelshop.ie

LIMITED-EDITION TRUNKI

To celebrate its fifth birthday, popular kids' luggage range Trunki has launched 'Quinn', a limited-edition version of this cute ride-on luggage. The name is taken from the Latin for 'five' and it’s the fi' rst-ever translucent Trunki. Bright green with orange and white detail, Quinn also comes with its own birthday badge printed onto the saddle. Only 5,000 have been produced and each one will be uniquely numbered 1 to 5,000. Available from www.babytravelshop.ie and www.babame.com

FISHER-PRICE LAUGH N LEARN LAPTOP

The interactive LED screen brings this laptop to life with fun images and light patterns, and is easy to transport on holidays. When baby pushes any of the nine buttons or rolls the mouse they are rewarded with words, songs and sound effects while the screen displays corresponding images. With three modes of play: Learning, Music and Bilingual and 12 sung songs, baby learns all about colours, shapes, ABCs, counting, opposites, objects and more. Suitable for six months plus. €24.99 from Smyths Toys. See www.toys.ie

TOTSEAT WASHABLE SQUASHABLE HIGHCHAIR

Highchairs are great. Except when you don't have one. That’s where the award-winning Totseat comes in. It safely anchors a child between eight and 30 months in almost any adult chair. The Totseat chair harness is your perfect travel high chair - it adapts to fit chairs of various shapes and sizes, squashes into its own tiny travel pouch and is completely machine washable. Totseat's design and safety credentials have won a host of awards and it proudly carries the logo of the Child Accident Prevention Trust. €31 from www.babytravelshop.ie

OIOI GIRAFFE CHANGE MAT

This useful and cute change mat by OiOi comes with space enough inside for two nappies and a transparent zipped compartment for baby wipes. It is extra padded for maximum comfort and made from easy-to-wipe, water-resistant fabrics. Includes Velcro fasteners. Perfect for parents taking to the road! €28.95 from www.onceborn.com

FISHER-PRICE OCEAN WONDERS SOOTHER

Soothes baby with classical music, sweet lullabies or soft nature sounds while offering a scenic light show. Slide a new card in to switch to more colourful, complex scenes as baby's visual skills improve. Can be taken along wherever baby goes. Requires 4 x AA batteries. €24.99 from Smyths Toys. See www.toys.ie

ALOE UP LIL’ KIDS SPF 45+

Sunscreen is one of the first things you pack when going on holiday, but for children it needs to be particularly high spectrum. We like this one: it provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and uses a combined formula of high SPF and titanium (zinc) oxide that is ideal for kids' sensitive skin. Suitable for all age groups above six months, it is also hypo-allergenic with a high level of water resistance. €14.99 from Snow+Rock, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin. See www.snowandrock.com

KID'SLEEP GLOBETROTTER TRAVEL CLOCK

With this portable battery-operated clock, there'll be no more rude awakenings for mum and dad as this product clearly tells children when the approved wake-up time has been reached. Based on the original version, the Kid'Sleep Classic, the split screen shows two cute characters – one 'sleeping' and one 'wake'. When the sleeping character is illuminated, the child knows they have to sleep a while longer but at a time set by the parents the awake character becomes softly lit, indicating that it's now okay to get up! £26.56 (sterling) from www.bibsandstuff.com

Tips on what to take to entertain the kids

? Do not bother taking too many bulky toys and books as these can be heavy and cumbersome.

? Older children will probably want to pick their own toys to travel with and while this is a nice idea, you should give them some direction as to what is appropriate.

? Make sure that everything you take is replaceable as if children are particularly attached to something and you cannot fi nd it while you are en route this can be a huge disruption.

? Toys also get very dirty when travelling and the easier they are to clean the better.

? It is also best to avoid anything that may melt in the heat such as wax crayons or Play-Doh, which can dry up and stain.

? Toys that have lots of small parts which can get easily lost are also a bad idea. When travelling, children love to play with others and it may be good idea to bring toys that can be shared.

? Toys that stimulate exercise including footballs, small beanbags and frisbees are also a good idea particularly if they can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

? There are lots of other options for entertaining your children, including card games, charades, i-spy, hangman, spot the difference and storytelling – travel is an ideal time to spend quality time with your children just chatting, reading, and playing together.

Courtesy of www.stickyfingerstravel.com

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