If this sounds like the usual dreaded school holiday road trip in your car, never fear you’re not alone.
I remember many a trip when I was younger, spending time in the back seat with my older brother doing his best to get me in trouble.
Thankfully my mum thought of a few ways to try and keep us entertained and of course, to stop my dad losing his cool from the driver’s seat!
Reading was one of my all time favourite things to do, along with colouring in and who could resist eating?!
But there are so many fun and entertaining ways you can keep the kids from getting bored in the backseat these school holidays.
And they don’t have to be a strain on the hip pocket or your sanity either!
One of the easiest ways to start your road trip in a good fashion is to get away before the sun comes up. This may not work if you have teenagers but in most cases younger children will likely go back to sleep if it’s still dark (unless they’re super excited of course!).
Pack lots of food
There’s nothing worse than a grumbling tummy. If it’s easier pack each child’s food in their own individual containers so you don’t spend your time grabbing food every time someone says they’re hungry.
So make sure you pack lots of snacks both healthy and treats too of course, which leads to the next fun idea…..
Fantales wrappers will keep everyone in the car guessing with their Who Am I? questions while you enjoy a tasty gooey caramel treat. And hand the kids a few Minties wrappers to see if they can turn it into a twirling long string without it ever ripping!
Books, books and more books
An oldie but a goodie for all ages is books for reading. And if all else fails you might even be able to track down your child’s favourite book in an audio version.
But the fun of books doesn’t stop there.
From colouring in to stickers and puzzles, there are many varieties of books that could keep your offspring entertained for hours.
And if you’re looking for something a little different, why not get them to create their own masterpiece about their travelling adventure. Whether it be in drawing form or even a working diary for the slightly older kids, it will create a nice keepsake to look back on for years to come.
No this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a whole bunch of new stuff (although you can if you like). Find some toys/objects that your kids haven’t used in a little while, wrap them up and once in a while let them have a treat along the way.
The list of potential car games is endless and can be as creative as you wish. It can be as simple as I spy, looking for different car colours and counting how many you see or spotting unusual licence plates, the list goes on.
You could also put a little planning into action before your trip and create a scavenger hunt for the kids to locate items along the way.
Not BORED games if you can wrangle up some interest. Try to find mini travel versions (magnetic are even better) of your kids favourite games and see if it provides some peace and quite for five minutes.
Track your journey
Make it more of an adventure for the little ones by letting them keep track of where you’re going and where you’ve been. Give them a book to record distances, special landmarks and whatever else they want to include to keep a record of their travels.
Portable DVD player
We may only have a toddler but we have just purchased a portable DVD player for the car.
While not ideal to have your kids staring at a mini TV screen for hours, it may just save some of your sanity to get you to your holiday destination.
Keeps older kids occupied for hours on a long trip, so make sure the iPad, iPod, laptop, PSP or whichever device they love is fully charged before you go!
Buy a package of pipe cleaners in assorted colours from any craft store. Kids love to create with pipe cleaners—making necklaces, swords, bracelets, towers—anything their little minds can think up.
Foil is another crafty tool for the back seat where kids can come up with all kinds of creations.
For older kids put together a little bag of craft pieces that won’t get lost in the car.
Plan creative stops along the way
If you’re going on a long trip chances are you’ll be making regular stops for fuel, toilet breaks or just to stretch the legs. Why not team these stops up with a place of interest for the kids. On our road trip we often like to stop at The Dish in Parkes NSW, for example.
AND above all else, have fun, don’t stress and enjoy the journey as a family.