Long car journeys can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when you have to try and keep the kids entertained at the same time. If you’re going away soon, fear not, because this handy guide to keeping your over-excited little ones happy on the way will give you loads of ideas for keeping smiles on those little faces.
Let the Kids Pack a Bag
Deciding what to take with you can be tricky when you’re trying to preserve trunk space. Why not give the kids a bag each to fill with their favorite books and toys? This way you’re teaching them how to prioritize, you know they’ve got their favorites and – an added bonus – you don’t have to pack!
In-car entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive. A good old-fashioned game of I spy is not only free but it’ll keep the kids occupied for ages. We can’t guarantee that they’ll get many right though, as, unless you’re stuck in traffic, you’ll be long past what they’ve spied with their little eyes!
A Portable DVD Player
Get a bit of peace and quiet by letting the kids watch their favorite film or TV show on a portable DVD player. When the show’s finished, stop off for a rest so the kids can stretch their legs and you can all have a bite to eat.
iPhone or iPad Apps
If you or your partner have an iPhone or iPad, there are loads of child-friendly apps out there. If your child can use one, and lets face it, they’re better on them than us, you can download cheap, age-appropriate games for them to tap away on in the back. From educational maths games, to flying animals, there are plenty to choose from.
Play the License Plate Game
This is another old travel classic which, not only helps the kids with their alphabet, but also gives their eyes a break if they’ve been looking at a screen for too long. Try and think of words from letters spotted in number plates. Start with kinds of animals, then foods and maybe even countries or states, depending on how old they are.
This is something that both the kids and the adults can play. Well, all except the driver! Create a bingo sheet for everyone with pictures of things that you might see along your way. As you spot something that’s on your sheet, cross it out. The first one to spot them all wins!
Let Them Ride Up Front
Kids love to get in the front seat, so, if they’re old enough, why not let them take it in turns to ride in the grown up’s seat (passenger side, of course) while the driver explains how the car works? They’ll get their first driving lessons whilst you get to lounge in the back with all their snacks!
Finally – Take Pajamas and a Couple of Blankets
Make sure you’ve got a pair of pajamas and some bedding in case the kids get tired out and need a nap. A set of spare clothes will also come in handy if there’s any accidents or spillages!
Long car trips with the kids don’t have be dreaded. As long as you find the perfect balance between interactive games and technology based in-car entertainment, the little ones will stay out of mischief. Before you know it, you’ll be there!