As a family we do a lot of travelling around in the car whether it is to drive to our holiday destination, to visit family or just for a day out. We go on at least 5 journeys a year, where we can all be sitting in the car for a total of 8 hours, getting sore bottoms and numb legs. I think now after 9 years of car trips with my children, I have cracked the secret to keeping them occupied.
Embarking on a long car journey can be a stressful time in itself but when you are travelling with young children it can be even more irritating to your nerves. You have to deal with the boredom, the arguments, the “I’m hungry!” and “Are we there yet?” It can be a very emotional demanding time so the first thing i do when i know that we will be spending some time in the car is to make up a plan of which i would like to share with you.
Here are my top tips
- Plan the journey first, don’t just rely on the SatNav because as we all know, them weird technical devices can sometimes send us down silly little roads that normal cars can not withstand the bumps and inclination of the vertical slope that 4×4’s can easily tackle. Knowing the route will help you to travel stress and argument free with your partner resulting in the atmosphere in the car being calm. Try and involve the children in the planning too, they will enjoy this and also teaches them navigation.
- Make a pack lunch up for your children, I have bought my boys their very own little wicker basket lunch boxes that i place a carton of drink (not fizzy, as this can make a bit of a mess if shaken up), piece of fruit, a box or raisins, a packet of crisps and a sandwich in.
- Take extra juice along with you in a drink bottle, the motorway stop overs can charge the earth for a small drink and driving can be thirsty work especially if the weather is hot.
- Let the children pack up a bag of their own with their favourite things in it, like colouring books, pencils, story books, comics and small toys.
- Investing in small pocket travelling games is a good idea too. We have a game of chess which is small enough to place into your pocket.
- Allow the children to bring along one of their favourite teddy bears, it helps them to become comfortable especially if they like to cuddle up to it when they are falling asleep.
- I Pads are ideal for travelling with, just remember the car charger because you don’t want it to run out of battery half way to your destination. We download their favourite music, games, learning apps and videos onto it prior to leaving. Make sure they have a pair of headphones otherwise it could get quite loud.
- Take a long a small travelling cushion for when they forget about the excitement of travelling and fall asleep, this will protect their little necks especially if you have to brake sharply, it also stops them from getting aching little pains in the neck and back.
- If you are on a long journey stop every 2-3 hours so you can stretch yours and their little legs and also for a little pitstop.
- Keep the children occupied with playing games with them, like Eye Spy, The Alphabet Game, The shopping List Game and The Car Registration Game.
Eye Spy – Play it with items inside the car or out, great for any age.
The Alphabet Game – Choose a topic and go from A-Z listing names within the chose subject.
The Shopping List Game – Start with “I went to the shops and i bought a ______” Go through the alphabet starting with the letter A, then each person adds a new item to the list in alphabetical order for example ” I went to the shops and i bought an Apple” second person ” I went to the shops and bought an Apple and a Bouncing Ball” etc. This game is great for the memory and fun too.
Car Registration Game – Try and make up names from the registrations on the cars that are whizzing past you, see who can make up the funniest.
- Make sure there is spare clothing to hand just in case of little mishaps happening. we occasionally have to deal with bouts of car sickness especially when the little one was suffering from reflux.
- Always keep a pack of baby wipes in the glove compartment to wipe away any spills or messy hands
- Discuss about where your going and what you will be getting up to, this can get them excited and will help them look forward to where they are visiting.
I hope my tips have helped you, if not and your journey is still a nightmare you can always just stick in some cotton wool in your ears and try to forget they are in the back 🙂
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Thank you for reading my post and If you have any tips to share with me, I would love to read them just comment below.