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no more being ‘driven around the bend’ on long car journeys!
Half term is nearly upon us, and you might be planning a break somewhere with the family. You may already be dreading the cries of “are we nearly there yet?” from the back seat. But with a little preparation, a well-stocked arsenal of activities and a few other tricks to keep your little ones entertained could help mute the moans and banish those back seat blues!
Preparation is key for long journeys. Plan ahead and pack the car with everything you need. A good rule of thumb is to set out to coincide with your child's nap time. With a little luck, they’ll sleep through a decent chunk of the journey!
Put them in comfortable clothes or pyjamas to travel in and make sure they are warm but not overloaded with layers. If your child suffers from car sickness, remember to pack plenty of sick bags, baby wipes and a spare change of clothes.
Love them or loathe them, they have become a car journey staple for many families. If you are planning a road trip, pre-load your tablet with some of your child’s favourite movies or TV shows. You can also find plenty of free educational apps and fun games online.
Audio books or nursery rhymes are great for younger children. Pop into your local library as they should have a good selection of audio books to rent. Remember to pack your child's headphones if you can’t bring yourself to listen to The Gruffalo’s Child for the seventeenth time!
pack some books
Before your road trip, stock up on children’s books from the library or a second-hand bookstore. For babies, pack some touchy-feely books. They will love exploring the different textures.
create a craft box
Put together a box of bits and bobs for your children to play with during your journey. Taking care to avoid the likes of Play-Doh, glue or anything sticky that you may find wedged between the car seats in years to come! I usually fill a small plastic play box with pipe cleaners, stickers, buttons, a whiteboard and wipeable markers, crayons, a clipboard with paper and some fuzzy felt.
IMPORTANT NOTICE - Make sure you don’t give anything to younger children that may be a choking hazard
If you have a cheap digital camera, give it to your children to use during the car journey and put together a list of objects and places that they have to try and take a photo of before the end of the trip. For younger children, a list of things to spot or a good old game of eye spy works a treat!
stock up on snacks
Pack plenty of snacks such as bananas and raisins to prevent you having to stop at the service station every half an hour! Try to avoid too much sugar as hyperactive children and long car journeys do not mix! Make sure you have plenty of water packed too.
Head to your nearest pound shop and purchase a selection of cheap toys, pens, pencils, stickers and other small items that can be wrapped up. Allow your children to choose a prize every hour as a reward for good behaviour.
Car games are an excellent way to pass the time on long journeys. The Alphabet Game is great fun. Challenge your little ones to spot something beginning with A, then the next person B and so on. Or name an animal or food beginning with A, B, C, etc. Start with three lives, take it in turns, last man still in wins. For younger children, try eye spy with colours, for instance, “I spy something blue…”
Make sure you take regular stops to break up the journey and keep boredom at bay as well as having a well-earned rest yourself!
Hopefully, plenty to keep your children (and you) entertained and have a little fun along the way. Tell us some of your in-car entertainment tricks in our comments section below.