Even short trips in the car can seem immense for children who are normally running around all the time. And when the kids say ‘Are we soon there?’ for the third time, it is good to be prepared. With a little bit of preparation can the drive be much more comfortable both for kids and adults. To give your kids an image of how far there is to your destination use the parking disc to part the trip up. Move it each time you have driven 1/12 of the way. Or use a map where the kids can draw the route and keep and eye on where you are. If the kids are a little younger, it is a good idea to plan the drive so you drive when it’s nap time. That is a smart and easy way to win some hours.
1. Car cinema on the backseat
If you have downloaded some movies to the Ipad before the trip, it is easy for the kids to use a couple of hours watching movies on the backseat. Another great idea is to rent audiobooks, you can listen to them together in the car, or the kids can listen to them individual on the Ipad.
2. Advent calendar
Prepare a little advent calendar for the kids, so they have something to look forward to on the ride. Give it to them when an hour has passed or you have driven an agreed amount of kilometres. Kill two birds with one stone by giving them something they can use in the car to make the time pass.
3. Toy box
Before you leave for the trip get the kids to pack a box with their favourite toys. If the kids are feeling restless then look in the box and see what you can find.
4. The alphabet game
Start with the letter A and then try to find the letter on signs, license plates or other creative places. Keep going till you finish the alphabet; you’ll soon see that some letters are almost impossible. You can keep score to see who wins, or you can play it together.
There’s almost nothing worse than sitting in a car where everyone is feeling hungry and thirsty. It is a sure mood killer. Water is the safe choice – it quenches the thirst, and it doesn’t matter if the kids spill some. Pack a little bag with some fruit, raisins, crackers or other popular snacks. Don’t fill the kids with loads of candy and sugar, when you have so much time sitting still.
6. Take active breaks
Breaks are very important. Find good rest areas/pull-ups where you have some room to move around. Try to take a break every other hour, so the kids can burn off some energy. Be prepared if there’s no playground. Bring a Frisbee, a ball, jump rope or other fun outdoor activities, because there is usually a lawn.
Take advantage of the technology by downloading some popular games from home. The time will certainly pass a little faster.
8. Count animals, cars or …
If the eyes are tired from playing intensely on the Ipad or watching one movie after the other, this is a fun way to make a game out of looking out of the window. A game that will get the fighting spirit on in the car. Part the car up in two sides. You look out of a window on each side of the car. Then you start counting animals or cars with a specific colour. Lay down the ground rules before you start – do birds count?
9. Remember game
This game challenges the memory. Choose a topic for example fruit. The first person to start says a fruit ‘banana’, the next person, says that fruit ‘banana’ and a new one ‘apple’. The next person then says ‘banana, apple’ and a new one ‘watermelon’. You keep going on until someone forgets. It’s funny to see how fast you forget even what the one before you just said.
10. Break roulette
Everyone in the family places a piece of sticky tape on the hubcap. On the front wing on the car you put a mark to measure after. The person whose piece of tape is closest to the mark wins, when you take a break. The winner can for example choose which game you are playing at the next stop.
Remember also to make room for boredom. You don’t have to keep the kids entertained every minute, as long as the mood is good.
It is also a good idea to have the garbage under control by having a little bag for garbage in the car. And instead of using time to collect it from all kinds of places in the car, it is much easier to throw away the bag, when you are having a break. Also wet wipes can prevent potential crisis’. And works like a charm on sticky fingers.