Tips to Keep Kids Occupied in the Auto Shop
There will come a time for most parents when you need to bring your kids along for a vehicle inspection. There’s a good chance that you’re due for one soon, or maybe your check engine light just came on. On those occasions when no one is available to watch your kiddos, and they’ll be with you at the auto shop, a little preparation will go a long way toward keeping them busy and while maintaining your sanity. Choose distractions that will help them stay entertained and won’t stress you out or bother others in the lobby. We’ve all been an unfortunate witness to a child meltdown and an unprepared or too exhausted parent. These tips will help make your routine visit to the auto repair shop an enjoyable event for all.
1. Invest in Headphones
It’s hard to understate the value of electronic devices when it comes to keeping kids quiet and happy. While we’re all for limiting screen time, this is a case when you can make an exception. That said, headphones for electronic devices are a great idea both for you, and the other people in the lobby. Not everyone at the shop wants to be treated to “Doc McStuffins” at full volume. Some headphones even come with “buddy” features so two people can listen together and avoid potential fights. Make sure devices are fully charged before your appointment to avoid a meltdown over dead batteries.
2. Traditional Toys
An Etch-A-Sketch or Magna Doodle will keep your little one’s artwork on the canvas rather than a wall. There are also magnetic board games like checkers that are easy to play and cut down on the possibility of lost pieces. And don’t forget about a simple set of toy cars. There’s a saying about when in Rome, and nothing fits an auto shop quite like a Hot Wheels car.
3. Books & Magazines
The idea of a book sounds downright quaint these days, but it doesn’t make it any less of a good idea. Books are always a tried and true choice. Try saving a few out of the rotation so they’re more engaging when you need fresh entertainment for situations like your your car inspection.
4. Healthy & Mess-Free Snacks
Snacks can also be a good distraction while helping to pass the time. Crackers are a classic go-to option and string cheese is a healthy and mess-free choice. Action Gator Tire has mentioned some great options for kid-friendly car snacks on its blog. Celery and peanut butter won’t make crumbs while halved grapes and pretzels strung on some dental floss are all quick options that will be easy to clean up afterward. Being able to enjoy a clean auto shop like the lobby found at Action Gator Tire can go a long way to making your stay more pleasant. Friendly and patient employees that understand your situation are also always a plus.
5. Good Behavior Deserves a Treat
If your children are able to understand the concept of actions and rewards, let them earn a trip to their favorite lunch spot or an item they’ve been asking for at the store. Explain that if their behavior matches your expectations, they might get something in return. Make sure you’re clear about how you would like them to behave. If you have several children, you can plan different rewards for each of them so their reward doesn’t depend on a younger, less patient child. Keep in mind that this tactic works differently for every child, so use your best judgment.
We all know how it can be when you have to spend more time than expected at the auto shop. We also get how tough it can be when kids are involved. Hopefully, these tips will help make your stay a little easier. Thankfully, with the experienced auto techs at Action Gator Tire, you can bet that you’ll be back on the road before you know it.