We are always looking for tips to entertain kids on a road trip. We never think twice about jumping in the campervan and heading off on a three hour journey for a weekend of camping, fresh air, and outdoor fun. We are very lucky that our kids travel pretty well, and rarely do we have the repeated sounds of ‘ are we nearly there yet ?’ echoing throughout the journey. I think a huge part of this is the fact that we have always travelled from when our little ones were just weeks old. We do follow our own tips for travelling by road, and try to keep travel times to a minimum and travel around nap times, which all help to make the journey peaceful and less stressful.
Before a road trip I always pack the children a travel bag. I don’t involve them in the packing process, partly because I find the surprise of what’s in their bag helps to entertain them alone.
I have put together a few ideas to entertain kids on a road trip. Our children are three, six, and nine months old.
I always put in a book or two and find it keeps the kids entertained no matter what their age. They are also well used during the camping trip as all my children still love their bed time stories before they close their eyes and enter the land of nod.
2)Arts and Crafts – Travel Mosaics
We came across these wonderful mosaics by Brainstorm Ltd, and they are a great size for travelling. My girls LOVE them. The smaller size easily packs into a kid’s rucksack or travel bag, and I find that they not only keep the girls entertained for a good part of a journey, they also entertain them during our camping trips.
I know camping is all about the fresh air, beautiful scenery, great outdoors and time with the family away from screens, but I also know that adding a movie into a road trip can definitely pass an hour or two. We really try to limit the screens to just the car journeys, but we have found them invaluable on those long journeys where we have been stuck on a gridlocked motorway. We love this tablet holder by Koo-di to keep the little ones entertained whilst travelling.
*image courtesy of Koo-di
There are so many free printables on the internet nowadays, and they are a great and cost efficient way for entertaining kids during mealtimes in restaurants or on a car journey. I print out a few colouring pages and travel games such as dot to dot, word searches and spot the difference. It always helps to entertain the older children both on the road and once you get to your destination.
The classic travel games of ‘i-spy’…. Count the coloured cars…making shapes out of the clouds….you name it we have done it. It always helps to pass a precious fifteen minutes or even longer during the car journey.
I never go anywhere without a few snacks in the rucksack. Stopping off for many drinks, toilets and food stops can add hours on to a journey, which is soul destroying..particularly if traffic is bad. I always pack a little selection of healthy snacks and fruit, and milk and water. Hungry little ones does not make for a pleasant ride.
We have started a travel journal, and I actively try to involve the girls. My little man is a bit too young, but we try to add photographs and anything that we collect along the way. My eldest loves scrapbooks, so she really enjoys this ongoing project. We take the scrapbook on our car journeys and the girls take it in turns to draw pictures, write lists, note the road signs..anything that reminds them of their travels.
Music can be a great distraction for kids (and adults!). Mr S usually downloads a fab playlist prior to a journey, with a few of the kids favourite tunes thrown in to the mix.
If I am feeling generous I add a couple of magazines into the girls’ bags. I find the magazines entertain them during the car journey, and the freebies that come with a magazine entertains them throughout the holiday.
I always pack a selection of toys to entertain our little man. He is still at the age where he sleeps for much of a journey but I try to have an emergency supply to keep him busy in between his naps.
We are lucky that our children are good travellers but it is always good to have a few things up your sleeve to entertain them for those long unexpected traffic jams.
What do you do to make for a pleasant car journey with the kids? Have you any more ideas to add to this list?
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*Disclosure – We were gifted some of these items for a mention on the blog. All opinions and thoughts are my own *
Featured image and pin for later image – pixabay