If you’re a parent then chances are you’ll be familiar with the challenge of trying to keep kids entertained during car journeys. Thankfully the good people at Salisbury’s have done the hard work for you in today’s guest post and have given me their top tips for a stress free family outing.
One of the challenges of a long family car journey is trying to prevent a riot breaking out on the back seat! Negotiating unfamiliar roads and traffic systems is hard enough, so you could do with out distractions from the kids behind you. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for keeping the little ones quiet and content during your journey.
Take plenty of breaks
Children have short attention spans at the best of times, so it will benefit everyone if they can get out and stretch their legs once in a while. Every time you stop it gives your children something different to do, and breaks up the journey. A break every hour is ideal, but try and stop every two hours at least, in a safe, suitable location.
Keep them entertained
This gets easier by the year thanks to new technology. These days, it is not unusual to see children watching DVDs on screens attached to the back of the head rests of the front seats. That’s something that can work for kids of all ages, including teenagers.
Everyone loves games
There are many great games that your children can play in the car, and a lot of well known board games are available in travel versions, with features designed specifically for moving vehicles.
Of course, with just one child in the back it can be harder to keep them entertained, but there are plenty of games that require nothing more than a little imagination – the old favourite ‘I spy’, for instance.
You could also try ‘red car blue car’. All you have to do is choose a colour of car to watch out for. Whoever sees the most cars of a particular colour in the allotted time wins.
And how about some colouring pencils and paper in the back to bring out the little one’s creative side?
Feed them up
A surefire way to keep kids happy and occupied is giving them something to eat and drink (it will keep them quiet, too!). Of course, common sense is required – the more liquid they take in, the more toilet stops you’ll have to make!
Have some music handy
Most children respond very well to music, and while your three-year-old might like nursery rhymes a bit more than you do, anything is preferable to a high-pitched whine from the back seat! Be warned, though – you might have to join in.
Prepare for your journey in every way
There are many things to think about if you have to plan a long journey, and keeping the children entertained is just one of them. Make sure you have adequate car insurance for the journey before you set off. Little extras like roadside assistance and courtesy car availability can make all the difference if you run into problems with the whole family on board.