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Keeping children entertained on long car journeys isn’t always easy, but being prepared can help. Sticking a movie on for kids is the easy option for keep them entertained but it’s not always an option if yours are prone to car sickness. So for some families a no screen rule in the car is necessary. Here are some top tips for car journeys with kids.
When travelling with younger children it can be easier to do so during their sleep time, either during their daytime nap or at bedtime. However, as they get older this obviously changes and its best to come armed with activities to keep them amused, to prevent the “are we nearly there yet?” question being asked on repeated.
If possible pack up whilst the kids are not around (i.e. when they are in school/childcare). If that’s not possible pack up before you get the kids in the car to limit their time sat in the car and try and give them as much room as possible.
If you want them to sleep recline their seats
Take some toys – ideally not noisy ones which will distract the driver
A drink that won’t spill if held upside down
Snacks but be careful of what you give them because of choking
5. Dummy/snuggie blanket if needed
Prepare them for the length of drive: When explaining how far the journey is – relate it to “the length of a film” (or a programme they enjoy watching)
At the start of the journey play what time will we arrive
Ask about things they would like to do when they get there and give them some details about the place you are going.
Prepare a snack box for them – nothing too messy or anything that will make them feel sick
Drinks – that won’t spill
Homework – Spellings, times tables etc- Get them while you can!!
Books/magazines – if they don’t get car sick
Prepare a Quiz, with differing difficulty of questions to sort all the ages
Ipod with fave music and ear phones – but this does mean you have to put up with them singing!
Travelling at bedtime – recline their seats and get cozy
Get them to pack their own bag of fun for the car
List of things they have to spot on journey
Where’s my shoe – see video for the rules
The key to surviving a long car journey is making sure you’re prepared for the kids saying “I’m bored… I’m Hungry”. Try and use it as a time to catch up as a family on what’s been happening, a bit of quiet down time is no bad thing. Wet wipes are essential as well as a rubbish bag at the ready, so the car doesn’t end up looking like a dustbin but can also be useful if needed for a sick bag!