VTech Survey Reveals Parents’ Summer Travel Fear, the Family Road Trip: 97% of Parents Dread Long Car Rides with Their Kids
Chicago – With the summer travel season in full swing, families will be spending more time together in the car as they embark on vacations, beach adventures and exploring the great outdoors. However, traveling together with young children is never easy and the time between when families leave the house and when they arrive at their destination can be stressful. In fact, according to the results of a new survey conducted on behalf of VTech (www.vtechkids.com), a world leader in electronic learning products for children, by BabyCenter.com, the #1 pregnancy and parenting destination worldwide, 97 percent of parents dread spending more than an hour in the car with their kids.
"The majority of the problems parents face while traveling with their kids stem from boredom," said Dr. Helen Boehm, psychologist and VTech consultant. "Kids have been in school all year where their minds are constantly active and soaking up knowledge. Just because it's summer, that doesn't mean the learning has to stop. The trick to keeping kids engaged while on the road is offering them fun experiences that also have an educational component."
Here are some fun ways to keep kids entertained during summer road trips and make traveling together as a family more enjoyable:
- Incorporate learning toys – Learning toys are a great way to help children stay mentally sharp during vacations, while also allowing them to explore and have fun. VTech's InnoTab 3S Learning Tablet opens up a world of interactive game play and learning fun with 20 free apps, highlighting subjects such as reading, math, social studies, science and more, to keep kids engaged. With Wi-Fi, children can explore approved websites on the kid-safe web browser and use the VTech Kid Connect app to stay connected to their parents and friends through tablet-to-mobile and tablet-to-tablet communication. Additional downloadable content can be found on the Learning Lodge™, VTech's app store, featuring hundreds of educational titles to choose from. The entire InnoTab range of products offers age-appropriate educational content across the widest variety of curriculums, from downloads to software cartridges, combining innovative technology with a developmental learning tool that grows with a child and makes learning fun.
- Teach by observation – Looking for landmarks during the drive is a great way to open a discussion about history and each landmark's significance. If the car trip doesn't pass any notable attractions, look for license plates and talk about what each person knows about that state. Make a list of all the license plates that are spotted and continue to research once back at home. If the trip allows, stop at any historic sites, museums or aquariums along the way for a more hands-on experience.
- Pack a boredom bag – Parents can keep kids engaged with a fully stocked "boredom bag," including a variety of travel-sized items and snacks. Books that feature their favorite topics can keep them absorbed for hours in the car. VTech's Touch & Teach Word Book helps children learn letters, music, sounds and more than 100 words with interactive touch pages. Also, don't be afraid to go back to the basics. Items such as a small notebook and pencil or no-mess crafts like pipe cleaners let kids explore their creative sides while their imaginations soar. In addition, flashcards can introduce them to a variety of new topics – letters, numbers, colors, animals and more.
- Take time for rest stops – Just a quick break that lets everyone get out of the car and stretch their legs can go a long way to alleviate the choruses of, "Are we there yet?" but also allows for teachable moments. If possible, let kids run around a bit to release some of that pent up energy – even a few laps around the car (in a safe and supervised area) or a quick game of tag can help. If there are parks or nature walks along the way, kids can look for animals, collect interesting plants, leaves and stones and try to identify them.
With some simple planning and preparation, parents don't have to dread summer road trips and can enjoy not just the destination, but the journey as well.
For more information about InnoTab 3S and the complete VTech product range, please visit www.vtechkids.com.
 The survey was conducted among 1,946 moms recruited from the BabyCenter 21st Century Mom® Panel managed by Socratic Technologies, Inc.
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VTech is a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children. As a pioneer in the learning toy category, VTech develops high-quality, innovative educational products that enrich children's development and make learning fun. With a rich, almost 35 year history, VTech has not only established itself as a learning authority but also consistently remains at the forefront of innovation with award-winning products such as the InnoTab® 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet, one of the first children's learning-based tablets with Wi-Fi, MobiGo®, V.Reader® and V.Smile®. The Learning Lodge™, VTech's comprehensive app store, features a robust library of more than 350 educational and entertaining games, e-books, music and videos with engaging age-appropriate content across the widest variety of curricula, with content expanding to offer more than 600 titles by the end of 2013. The company also has a broad range of award-winning infant and preschool products available in 24 different languages worldwide, with more than 100 new products introduced every year. In order to further strengthen VTech's position as a learning authority, the company's Advisory Council, with esteemed experts in reading, language arts, science, math, and child development, consult on new product introductions and Learning Lodge content.
VTech Electronics North America, LLC is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. VTech Electronics Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with distribution globally. VTech is the largest supplier of ELPs from infancy to preschool in the US and Western Europe.