The sun is shining, you’ve packed up the car for a well-deserved family break and the kids are…well, let’s be honest, the kids are rapidly becoming bored in the back seat and you’ve only been on the road half an hour. Time for some urgent damage control to keep your little darlings entertained and your trip as stress-free as possible. We’ve compiled some tips from top parenting blogs around the web to help you keep the kids happy on those long car journeys.
- Blogger Eileen Teo writes about lifestyle, parenting, gadgets, food and travel on her blog ET speaks from home. Eileen likes to keep the kids (and adults!) happy on their holidays with a few treats such as chocolate, crisps or sweets. A rendition of Gangnam style will also keep them happy and entertained on the long journey, but what about songs that will put them to sleep? Lucky for Eileen, her answer is simply, “My singing!”
- Pippa Ainsworth, aka Red Rose Mummy, blogs about life with her two children. She plays games like I Spy, looking for objects of a certain colour, to keep her young son entertained. Pippa’s kids are already cool dudes who love their music, with current favourites for the road being, “The Vaccines and Mumford and Sons”. And what does Pippa do to distract the kids from that back-seat boredom? “A good round of Old MacDonald always gets my little boy singing along!”
- Mum of two Helen Neale, who offers advice to parents of young children through her blog Kiddy Charts, manages to get a bit of health food into a long car journey, offering “dried fruit, in many, many different guises!” Helen also offered a top tip for getting younger kids to take a nap during the journey – “We would sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Hush Little Baby – both part of their bedtime routines at home, so why not in the car?”
- Erica Price, who writes blog Nine to Three Thirty for parents of school age children, keeps things clean in the car with, “Non-messy snacks – fruit, cereal bars and grapes”. For getting the kids off to sleep, ballads and slow songs are the order of the day. And for taking away the boredom? “David Bowie’s Major Tom and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen!” Cool kids…
- Blogger Becky from Baby Budgeting, also keeps snacks healthy and simple with rice cakes being her essential food for a long car journey with the kids. Audio books get them off to sleep and for a song to distract the kids from the boredom? An old classic, “She’ll be coming round the mountains!”
- Amanda, writer of the Ana Mum Diary, gave us a great tip for distracting the kids on boring journeys: “We sometimes have an A4 sheet with things they need to look out for on the journey. You can do this separately so each sheet is designed for the child’s age, making it trickier as they get older. You can include anything – such as spotting a windmill, 10 red cars, 3 birds, a stop sign, etc. This has been a life saver for us on long journeys.”
- Penny, who blogs about family life, parenting, travel and adventure in the The Alexander Residence Blog, gave us some inventive tips for distracting the kids on a boring journey: “Don’t underestimate the novelty of everyday items when you get desperate on long journeys. As I speak, I am on route from Nottingham to Cornwall – my son is currently occupied with a packet of pegs from our camping gear and my daughter is constructing something out of string and sellotape!”
- Mum Jen Stanbrook, who writes a family home and interior design blog Love Chic Living, also gave us some great tips for keeping the kids entertained on a long journey. “It was a revelation a few years meant hours of whingeing and whining over time spent in the car. But, once they had their own individual DVD players and a full set of kids’ films, it was almost like we’d left the children back at home! Happy, cheerful children mean happy, cheerful parents!”
- Blogger Pauly writes an online diary called Gifts from the Pirates. Pauly’s kids have quite an eclectic taste in music , including “The Snacktime! album” by Bare Naked Ladies and the boys love Dr. Seuss audio books and anything they can sing along to.” And to distract them from the boredom? “Our eldest loves Coffee and TV by Blur, Dancing on my Own by Robyn and Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys (the radio edit of course!)”
- We’ve also some top tips from Netbuddy, a blog focusing on helping the parents of children with learning disabilities, autism and special needs with tips submitted from parents and carers. One of our favourite tips is – “Magnetic white boards are great for long car journeys. You can pick up small ones from supermarkets and stationers- without all the mess of felt tips and crayons!”
Thanks to all our bloggers for the great tips – and happy travels!
What do you do to keep the kids entertained on a long journey?