12 ways to keep the kids entertained in the carBack
It’s almost half-term and many families will be thinking about taking a road trip with the kids, but it’s a well-known fact that car journeys and small children rarely brings the peace and harmony you’d like. In fact, stuck in the car for long periods of time with restless kids can be a nightmare, so it’s best to be prepared.
If you’re thinking about embarking on a journey, be it long or short, with the kids, take a look below at Trusted Dealers’ top 12 ways to keep the kids entertained this half-term.
Tablets – and we don’t mean drugs! You may feel like you need some, but the tablets we’re talking about are the hand-held devices. Okay, we all know that it’s not a good idea to plug children into iPads and other tablets for hours on end, but let’s face it – they’re ideal for a car journey – and thanks to the amount of apps available, you can download educational games as well as recreational – everyone’s a winner!
Traditional games – when in doubt, eye spy still goes down a treat with my kids, and now there’s plenty of other imaginary games you can pull out the bag in a traffic jam. The car counting game can while away the minutes, or the alphabet game – starting with A name a fruit beginning with that letter – surf the web for tonnes of games ideas and inspiration.
Board games – forget the tablets, and lets revert back to some of the best travel games there are. Travel scrabble is a great game for the older ones, or for younger children there’s Connect 4, Guess Who, Uno – the list is endless. In fact, there’s so many travel board games out there, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Buy a couple and you’ll soon reap the benefits.
Story books – there is nothing better than a simple book to keep even the smallest children entertained. You may need to stock an entire library in the back of the car, but if it’s going to keep them quiet it will be worth it.
In-car DVD players – are an excellent way to keep the children quiet – you can buy handheld DVD players or there are plenty of in-car systems whereby you attach the DVD player to the back of the front seat. You can even invest in a double set which allows each child to watch a different film simultaneously – just don’t forget to pack the headphones!
Hand-held consoles – okay we’re back onto the tablets again, but there are some excellent hand held consoles out there, many of which are reasonable to buy and all of which are guaranteed to entertain your kids for marginally longer than you can.
Are we there yet? Why not turn around this unbearably annoying question into something positive. Print out a map from sites such as Google Maps or MapQuest and encourage your kids to mark off the various cities you pass and fill in the route with coloured pencils or crayons as you continue your drive.
Animal spotting – okay this might not be possible on the M25, but if you’re travelling through more rural areas, it can be a good option. See who can locate the most animals throughout an entire trip – that means anything that moves be it dead or alive.
Food – make sure you stock up well on your food supplies for long trips on the road. Children get bored, and when they get bored,
they get hungry. Avoid bringing too many sugary snacks and drinks though – hyper children in the back will be worse than hungry children, so make sure the snacks healthy but filling.
Bribery – when in doubt, bribery may work. If things are getting too much, offer an incentive for good behaviour in the back. Maybe it’s the promise of a treat from the next service station – although take note of point 9 when you decide what that treat might be. Or perhaps, you can offer a reward on arrival at your destination – you make the choice.
Sing-a-longs – when in doubt, a good sing-a-long can uplift even the most stressful of cars. Make sure your iPod is well stocked with age appropriate tunes for all the family and get stuck in!
Take breaks – make sure you take regular breaks to keep everyone feeling well in the back. Everyone can do with a bit of fresh air during a long car journey to avoid the inevitable car sickness or weak bladder syndrome. Better still, plan your journey and choose a service station with a playground or good facilities for children where possible. It will only make your life easier but you can use it as an added incentive too.