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How to Keep the Kids Entertained on a Long Car Journey

We all know the holiday doesn’t truly start until you’re checked in and the long journey can be put behind you but imagine if you could call even the long car ride fun! Here are our top tips to keep the kids entertained and avoid those dreaded ‘are we nearly there yet’ moans...

  • Prep the kids by talking their language - Children need clarity. It’s hard for them to grasp how long a journey is going to take if you talk in hours so speak in terms, they’ll understand so they can get clear on how long their expected to sit in the car. Perhaps they’ll be there in 2 DVDs time? Or when the ‘big hand gets to the top’ of the clock?
  • Plan your stops - Give the whole family something to look forward to by planning fun stops at approximate times. Be specific about what they can expect. Maybe you’ll be stopping at a service station and they’ll be allowed to pick some sweets, or you will be stopping for a picnic and play... Again, be specific in terms they can understand so they’re not whining about when they’ll be at the next stop!
  • Make sure they’re comfy - Before you leave, don’t forget to make sure you’ve got everything you need to make them comfy. Check they’re safely buckled in and have a pillow and blanket to hand. Fun accessories to boost their comfort include:  
Orange Yondi Monkey neck pillow for children whilst travelling

    Yondi Monkey Neck Cushion

    Snoozihedz dinosaur green seatbelt pad for kids whilst travelling

    SnooziHedz Dino Seatbelt Pad

    • Let them take it in turns as DJ - Avoid any tantrums over your music choice and play family DJs instead so everyone gets to listen to their favourite tunes.
    • Take plenty of snacks - No holiday parent bag would be complete without LOTS of snacks!! Make sure you stock up on both healthy goodies and sweet treats they will be excited about, to buy you some joy when tensions are running high.
    • Let them pack a goodie box or gift wrap special travel goodies and open at designated checkpoints. Depending on how your child does with travel sickness, these could include: a magazine, stickers and mini craft bits, snacks, mini figures, a special new pen/pencil and notebook.

    Mulberry Bush kids car travel games tin

    • Road trip bingo - Help your children engage with the scenery on your next long journey with a game of family road trip bingo! This car journey games kit from Mulberry Bush looks fab for older children.
    • Give them a camera each - Keep little minds busy by lending them a camera and letting them take pictures of anything and everything that interests them on their car ride. Maybe it will be photos of landmarks and beautiful skies or maybe they’ll be more interested in the details on their shoes?! If they’re having fun, it doesn’t matter. You can look through the results together each time you stop for a break.
    • Get chatting! - Sometimes keeping them occupied can be as easy as engaging them in conversation about the journey. What can you see outside? What would you most like to see? What are you looking forward to about your destination? Where do you think the other travelers on the road are heading? Which is your favourite car?

    If you run out of topics, try storytelling instead. Take it in turns to tell stories about what might happen on holiday (being as imagination and bizarre as possible) or tell them stories from your own childhood adventures. 

    Child holding PlayHooray kids journey PlayPrompt cards

    • PlayHooray cards - For more pre-prepared fun we highly recommend Claire of PlayHooray’s amazing journey PlayPrompts designed to make travelling with kids fun whether you’re going by car/plane/boat or bus. 
    • Don’t feel bad about using tech - Yes there are other fun ways to keep them entertained, but don’t be afraid to use tech as part of your travel plans if you know that will get you some peace! Long car journeys can be stressful enough as a driver without distracting kids, so let the iPad or DVD player be your friend.

    Kids iPad holder for car travels by Koo-di Argos

    Turn your iPad into a backseat screen for their favourite movie with this Koo-di Kids iPad Holder.

    • Download new apps - If you are going to use tech, give your kids a treat by downloading some new apps for their device (or finally upgrading their favourite free version) to keep them engrossed in something new for a while!

    Planning for a holiday abroad? You may also like our blog: How to Keep Your Children Happy when Flying.

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