So I think we are headed for another little heatwave and I am about to set off in the car for a couple of days at the seaside with the kids! It got me thinking about travelling with kids and so I thought I'd compile a little list of my top tips for keeping the kids entertained on long car journeys! So without further ado, let's get into it...
I know that some people very firmly do not allow eating in their car but I'm afraid I do like to ply them with lots of snacks on long journeys to avoid those inevitable "I'm hungry" cries! I like to get the kids to pack these themselves so I give them a lunch bag and some pots and let them choose their own items - ensuring that they pack at least one piece of fruit!
On hot days like these, our cooler bags are perfect for keeping snacks cool in the car. Simply pop-in a cool pack for added cooling! Made from recycled plastic and wipe-clean for any little spills! We have plenty of different designs available here.
2. Activity books
I love books that keep the kids entertained with lots of activities and Usbourne Books do fantastic ones - sticker books, wipe clean activities, magic water painting, puzzle books, you name it! Also, sometimes just a simple notebook and pen can keep them entertained from basic mark-making for little ones right up to writing their own adventure stories or keeping a diary of their holidays.
3. I Spy tick sheets/books!
I don't care how old the kids are, in my experience all kids love a challenge and having to tick things off! You can buy fabulous Eye-Spy books which have a whole book-full of things that they need to find and tick off, more rare items awarding them more points. But one of tjhe simplest and most successful activity I ever created when my daughter was about two was to draw different coloured cars on a piece of paper, stick it on a clipboard and let her stick a tally everytime she saw one of the colours. I kid you not, this literally kept her entertained for an entire 3 hour journey to Wales once!!
4. Electronic Devices
Love them or hate them, I have to admit that these are absolute life-savers in our car on long journeys! Let the kids spend some time watching a film or playing a game and it gives everyone else a little quiet time and allows the adults some time to chat or listen to audiobooks, podcaasts or simply their own choice of music! Win-win in my book!!
5. Travel Games
I really like little toys and games that can be played in the car without pieces getting lost everywhere and I always try to buy a new little toy before a big journey so that the novelty of a new toy will keep them entertained for a little longer! I especially like the magnetic jigsaw puzzles that mean they can happily while away some time completing a puzzle but all the pieces clever stay stuck to the magnetic backboard!
And finally, here's a little bonus tip - take regular breaks in your journey! When you really want to get to your destination as quickly as possible it can be tempting to just try to plough on through the journey and get there but when you've got bored, restless kids in the car it's amazing what a difference a little break can make! Let everyone get some fresh air and stretch their legs for even just a few minutes and it really will make the next part of the journey more fun for everyone!!