According to recent research, the most stressful minute when travelling with children on a family holiday is 1 hour and 16 minutes into the car journey! I can well believe this! If you’re looking to make travelling with kids stress-free and to start the beginning of your long-awaited holiday on a more positive note, then take a look at some boredom busting travel ideas I’ve been using to keep my kids entertained on a family car journey.
This morning, we set off for our annual 13 hour drive to my parent’s house in Ireland! This is the first time we’ve driven with all 4 children and as I’ve been nervous about how they’ll all cope with the long drive, I’ve spent the past week getting lots of things ready to keep them busy!
A Good Story CD for stress free family car journeys!
Preferably one that lasts over an hour. I’d highly recommended Roald Dahl’s Complete Collection (a perfect Christmas Present idea!) or David Walliams Complete Collection and Winnie the Pooh! (Eeyore really is one of the funniest storybook characters in my opinion and I share his cynicism on long journeys!)
Foam maps and puzzles
We love foam puzzles for in the car or on a plane – somehow the pieces don’t become lost because they’re foam, they don’t break apart like conventional puzzles and they’re light to pack. See the above link for an example but they’re are so many to choose from. These cube puzzles are brilliant! No small pieces to lose!
Eye Spy Cards
You can make these really easily. Essentially, this is a card where you list all the things they might be able to spot on a journey. This is what my one looked like for a 3 year old……simple but keeps them quiet! To save time – download a copy of our Eye Spy Card for FREE!Click here for 5 amazing, FREE Busy Bag activities that you can print for your journey TODAY! Save time…just download, print, and play!
Obviously, snacks are a must! We find these snack pots are ingenious to stem the mess! And to save your car try our no mess snack suggestions…..-Raisins-Pretzels-Hula Hoops (the least messy crisps around!)-Marshmallows-Mini Breadsticks-Ice Gems-Mini rice cakes
6. Colouring BooksThese are a must when travelling with kids. To save little lids being lost, we love these pens which keep the lids together. Wrap-around Pens. There is so much choice in colouring books, these are our favourites: Scribbles and Nibbles/ Holiday Books
7. And….while we’re talking about colouring.… A Mini padded tray is super useful for little ones to colour on.
8. Music is essential!Sometimes the radio just doesn’t cut it. You can try a Children’s Music CD – ‘Little Boppers‘ is our favourite! Or try making your own playlist of all your family’s favourite tunes!
9. Sewing Cards and Cross Stitch kitsYou can buy these suitable for a variety of age groups. I often pick these up in the Pound Shop or you can buy these ones.
10. AquadoodleAquadoodle is a brilliant mess-free travel activity! You can use it with only water which means it can travel pretty much anywhere! Cars, buses, planes………… The makers of Aquadoodle have even created special travel size packs.
11. Bring a Calculator!I’ve no idea why but my kiddos love a calculator! It can keep them busy for hours! And……if you’re really at a loss and want to avoid eye-spy, these games are a better option!!
- Shopping Memory Game: Each person starts with “I went to the shop and I bought…” they have to say an item in alphabetical order (first person A, second person B etc…) and then add each person’s item to the list as they go.
- Geography game: Start with the name of a place; the next player has to think of a name beginning with the last letter of the first name, and so on.
- If you’re looking for more games and activities for the car – check out this post!