Family road trips can be fun, surely? With school holidays fast ending, lots of people take to the road for a family holiday. We’ve pulled together some different ideas to entertain a car full of kids during the school holidays.
Make the most of it. Ready made and/or DIY solutions:
- Singing Bee - play snippets of songs and the kids have to sing the next line of the song to win points.
- Name that song - play snippets of a song and guess what song that is, again to win points.
- iPods, Nintendo DS, DVDs etc.
- Video recorders - let the kids document the journey!
- If you’ve got a DVD player, watch old family movies. Kids love seeing themselves on screen and it should generate lots of nice discussion, also.
2. Board games
There are plenty of games that can pass the time. If you can buy magnetic ones such as chess, drafts, checkers, scrabble.
A bit of a no-brainer, but be sure to pick food that won’t leave you with a shocking sugar low in the back seat. For toddlers, choose interesting little things they can play with. Food mess is a worry, so use Snack Traps or easy to open/close containers.
4. Mind games
These can be played at anytime and don’t require you to pack anything!
- I-spy - if you don’t know this one you’re really on the back foot. On the flipside, you’ll love this story!
- Memory - I’m going to a picnic and I’m taking… each person has to repeat the whole list of things to take as it grows with each turn. The more people in the car the better for this one.
- The ‘Quiet’ game - who can be quiet for the longest period. A god send, if they fall for it. And well worth a try on every road trip.
- Funny faces - for multiple kids, see who can keep a straight face while the other pulls stupid ones.
Counting/observation activities, for which you’ll need a pen and paper.
- You name it, and you can count it - number of coloured cars, road signs, etc.
- Letter list - pick a letter and for the next 30 minutes list how many things you see that start with that letter. ‘P’ for policecar!
- Make words out of number plates.
Who doesn’t love unwrapping stuff? Buy some cheap things that you can wrap up as presents and distribute them along the way. They don’t need to be expensive, go to the $2 shop.
6. Car Decoration
Buy plastic stickers that go anywhere and unstick [fairly] easily. Buy some decorations (stickers, streamers, balloons) and let the kids decorate the back of the car! If it feels naughty, we guarantee they’ll love it.
If they’re into reading, books and magazines are great, so stock up on their favourites - as long as your child doesn’t get sick from reading in the car.
8. For the very organised/well planned…
If you know the route you’re taking, and some of the attractions along the way, make a travel book for the kids. Buy a scrap book and get to work. Include questions based on what they will see along the way. For example, town populations, freeway numbers, number of animals seen, names of animals, town names etc.
General tips for road trips:
- Plan ahead. Know the route, the roads and where your next stop is, check this out before you set off. Plan for regular stops - fresh air, food, toilet, playing, sanity breaks.
- Take: pillows, blankets, wet ones/wipes, vomit bags, water.
- Treat time in the car as good quality family time. Remember that kids will most likely respond to your mood in the car.
- Don’t try to travel too far in one go. It’s not safe, as well as boring.
- If you travel during the kids sleep time, you will enjoy some quiet time too!
For more family car tips and advice including reviews click here (www.familycar.com.au)