Repeated questions such as “are we there yet” or “how long is left” can certainly get on your nerves during long drives. However, keeping your kids entertained in the car is relatively straightforward with a bit of planning and below are some of our recommendations to keep any age children entertained.
1. Movies via a DVD Player or Tablet
Whether you use a tablet or a dedicated car DVD player, putting your kids favourite films on is a great way to pass the time. If this is something that you plan to do, we would highly advise that you download the movie before setting off. We recommend this because if you intend to stream the film, your child may suffer from the dreaded buffering whilst driving.
Another word of advice is to remember a car USB charger because if the tablet or DVD player loses charge, you may have an angry child in the back of the car.
2. Good Playlists or Audiobooks
Preparing a playlist prior to the long journey and having a singalong to your kids favourite songs or nursery rhymes is a great way to keep them entertained. Even if you don’t singalong, simply playing music they enjoy listening to rather than your own music is something they’ll much prefer. You could even play an audiobook and listen to a new book together to make the journey go by much faster.
3. Planned Pit Stops
In the UK, we are lucky enough to have plenty of areas for your kids to play at service stations and planning these pit stops into your journey is highly recommended. Not only does it give yourself a break and a chance to get to get a coffee but it also allows your kids to burn off some energy. Another benefit of planned pit stops is that it sounds better to your kids that you are stopping in 30 minutes to a play area as opposed to 3 hours to the final destination.
4. Play Games
Playing games that involves no electronics is another great way to keep your kids entertained. Getting involved in the car games yourself can also help pass the time for you as the driver too. By far the most popular game is of course “I Spy” but if you are struggling for ideas, the RAC have a great list of games that are suitable for all ages.
5. Colouring Books
Colouring in drawings is a great way to pass the time for all age children and adults. Whether you want simple drawings for toddlers or a book full of dogs to colour in, there is a huge variety available. However, to avoid disappointment, don’t forget to bring plenty of different coloured pencils or pens!
6. Plenty of Snacks
Snacking is a great way to pass the time as well as fill the hunger. However, we would recommend that you begin snacking on healthy snacks because too many sugary snacks may cause your children to become very energetic. Of course, you should also pack some chocolate and sweets to be on the safe side too!
7. Surprise Bag of Toys
If you are coming to the end of your journey and your kids start becoming bored, a surprise bag of toys is a great way to entertain them until the end. Whether the surprise bag includes a sticker book or toy cars, it’s worth packing just in case.
Trying to keep your kids entertained in the car is a difficult task as you don’t want to distract yourself from the road. Hopefully our above tips give you some ideas but we would love to hear from other parents on what they have tried!