Are We There Yet?
Travelling with children can be stressful because they tend to get bored easily. Picture the scene, you have made it out of the house, car packed full, all strapped in and off you go!!! Then comes the most dreaded question asked by children "Are we there yet?"
Since little things easily amuse children, there are lots of ways to keep them entertained while travelling. You just have to be organised and have a few tricks up your sleeve.
Search games can be done while inside the car during road trips. When children start getting restless, you may ask them to start counting number of red cars, vans or lorries you pass by. Not only will you keep them busy but can practice their counting skills.
You can also make a bingo card, by putting a picture/description of various objects they are likely to pass ie. Letterbox, school, bank and so on. This might be a good activity to keep them occupied early on and avoid that dreaded question.
There are also great websites that you can print off age-related activities for the children whilst travelling. Try visiting www.activityvillage.co.uk for some ideas and print outs, they even have a Dora Car Bingo sheet for her little fans!
Take along their favourite books and CD's. A trip to your local library could be a great way for them to have new books to take without it costing anything. Also sticker books are a great way to keep them amused, there is always a good choice for most age groups.
Taking a packed lunch for each of them will pass some time. You may not want them to eat it in the car so take a picnic blanket and stop half way, weather permitting!!
Why not engage them with a bit of map reading. They could follow your route with a bright crayon, tell you which town is coming next or when you might be approaching a motorway or they could guess how long it takes to get to the next town. Even if they don't completely understand it they might have fun just trying to work it all out! No matter the age difference between your children just involving them with the same activity often works.
Ever played the 'I went shopping' game?
Someone starts with;
'I went shopping and bought some strawberries'
Next person 'I went shopping and bought some strawberries and baked beans'
Next person 'I went shopping and bought some strawberries, baked beans and a cake..'
And so on. As you go round each person adds another item and the list gets longer and longer and you really have to concentrate to keep up! It is a great way to engage everyone that's playing and exercise your memory cells.
Other games ….
- . The Alphabet Game' where you start with 'A' and have to find a sign or number plate with each letter of the alphabet.
- . Play 20 questions, you start by one person thinking of something and the others ask whether it is 'a person, place or thing' and then everyone has to ask that person questions, but the answer can only be 'yes' or 'no'. If it is not guessed after 20 questions then the winner is the person being asked.
- . Ask each person in the car, 'What is your favourite.....?' it could be colour, film, food. Be creative in your ideas!
It's probably a good idea to plan ahead when you are going to stop for toilet breaks and petrol. Produce an itinerary for them to follow and they can tell you when to stop!
Yes, good old pipe cleaners. Purchase some before you go and ask the children to make something out of them… an animal, a vehicle, anything really to pass the time!
Longer term solutions
Obviously the journey is only the beginning of the trip so you may want to have some longer term solutions. How about having some printed phrases such as 'I'm bored' or 'It's not fair!' or 'Someone raising their voice' (of course you will know the common phrases for your own family) and then every time someone utters those words they are given the phrase on a piece of paper and the one with the most phrases at the end of the trip is the looser!!
Or how about reward phrases such as making their bed, being the first one ready or in bed!
Tailor to YOUR family
The most important thing is to choose what is right for your family. Not everyone is competitive so some things won't work as well.
The key is to have lots of different ideas and activities up your sleeve before you go.
If all else fails…
I SPY is a great gap filler while you frantically think of more ideas!!!
Think of a great game to play early on to distract them.
Buy/borrow some new books/CDs for the journey
Print outs from websites Activity Village
Prepare a map of your route for them to follow
Play the 'Shopping Game'
Pack a lunch
Take a sheet containing numerous common family phrases
Have fun and enjoy it… !
Please share with us any other ideas/activities that have worked for you… the more variety the better!! Please comment below.
Are We There Yet?
Brilliant article.. although why can't they just sit and read a book for 7 hours!!
Posted: 16/Jan/11 at 20:32:54
Yes, it is great to go with your family on holidays, but you should choose the most convenient mean of transportation, which is the car. And you won't have to pay too much for a vehicle, because, these days, even pre-owned vehicles are well maintained. For example, you will find used cars online, at an auto dealer and you should choose the one which fits your family needs.
Posted: 09/Jun/15 at 11:14:27
What do you think?
Login or Register to add a comment or ask a question.