5 Ways to Keep Kids Occupied on Long Journeys

5 Ways to Keep Kids Occupied on Long Journeys
Journeys. There have been a few this summer.  It is safe to say that my kids are not best suited to being cooped up in small confined spaces and at times, there has been a tempatation to stop the car and get out and walk.
I think this is normal behaviour but it can be the challenge to end all challenges with repeated demands for food, music, attention and the “are we nearly there yet?” on repeat.  It can be enough to bring the most patient of parents to the end of their tether.
Before you consider the journey itself, make sure that you eliminate anything that might get in the way of getting to your destination.  Make sure your car is ready for the journey, check things like tyres, is the MOT up to date?  Visit kwik-fit.com to make sure that your car won’t let you down. Include those all essential snacks and drinks, don’t make the mistake I did this summer and rely on service stations as the prices can be ridiculously high.
So over a few years of travelling, I have added a few coping mechanisms to my arsenal and I am going to share them with you and I hope that they help you survive the longest of journeys

One

Have some simple games at your disposal

Games have been a lifesaver over the years.  Simple favourites such as I spy and twenty questions are always a winner. The Alphabet game where we pick a category and try and think of something within that category for every letter of the alphabet has been used on many a journey.

We also play number games such as Fizz Buzz or 11s where you start at 1 and you all count up to 11 using one to three numbers and whoever ends up saying 11 is out.  You can also do this with 22 or 33 if you have more people.

My husband is the king of quizzes and if I am driving, he will often do quizzes with the children and he chooses questions for each child based on their interests.  The kids love it and it keeps them happy for ages.

Two

Do some spotting

This can be as simple as ‘who will be the first person to spot ten red cars’ to more of a bingo type game where everyone has a list of things to spot.  My kids have always loved spotting minis and there is a great game where you get one point for every mini you spot with two points for a yellow one.  We have played this game for years and the kids all love it.

If you have time, why not print off some pictures of things that they are likely to see or write a list and they can tick things off as they spot them with a small reward or prize for the first one to spot everything. By adding a points sytem, e.g. 1 point for a red car, 2 points for a caravan, 3 points for a bus, the person with the most points is the winner.

Three

Make a boredom busting box

Take a plastic box (around the size of a shoe box) with a lid and put in a few boredom busters for the journey.  Colouring books, sticker books, paper, pens, pencils, LEGO, anything goes really and kids will love to delve in and see what there is to do.  If you have time and feel creative, you could glue a LEGO base board inside the lid so that they can use the lid as a play board too.  When you get to your destination, pop the lid back on and it is ready for next time.

Have a busy box in the car and include some LEGO to keep kids occupied during long journeys
Copyright: kozzi / 123RF Stock Photo

Four

Turn the music up

Stick on a selection of songs that everyone will enjoy and you can all sing along and enjoy a bit of car karaoke.  We use Spotify as a family and I often make up playlists of a range of songs so that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Five

If all else fails, dig out the devices

Devices are not ideal but they can be for times like these. Whether they are playing on their favourite game, listening to music or watching a film, they can pop on their headphones and find some space of their own.  Just watch out for those data charges if your kids are on their phones as a YouTube addiction can prove expensive if they are watching endless videos on the move.  Why not download a film for them to watch before you leave?

If all else fails, dig out the devices to keep kids happy on long journeys

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2 Comments

  1. September 8, 2017 / 8:42 am

    Aaagh! Journeys with kids are such hard work! We’ve done the games and the spotting quite a bit over the years, but there will always be someone who starts saying silly things and it will all unravel pretty quickly. They also argue about music because they hate the sound of each other singing!

  2. September 12, 2017 / 7:04 am

    Our favourite is playing ‘Who am I?’ with Disney characters or animals. Amy is quite literally obsessed with it x

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