Cars are more and more comfortable these days and journeys that used to take 5 hours now take less time, but even so a long journey with children can be a nightmare for parents. What can we do to stop them getting bored?
The first thing to be clear about when starting a long car journey with children is that it doesn’t matter if they get bored a little. It is true that we have to try to make the journey pleasant for everyone, especially young children, so as to ensure that they don’t get nervous or start to cry, but it is not a case of having to keep them amused every second of the way. Nowadays parents are afraid of their children getting bored, but a small dose of boredom stimulates their imagination and makes them seek their own amusement.
It is nevertheless true that if we are going on a very long journey with our children we must be prepared so as to prevent it turning into a nightmare, especially for the poor driver.
Here are some ideas to make journeys more fun:
- Make use of new technologies. Tablets and televisions that plug into the car or the mobile can be good entertainment for a couple of hours, but it’s not a good idea to spend the whole of the journey watching television.
- Take a break every two hours. You can’t expect to make a very long journey with children in one go. Stop more or less every two hours to stretch your legs, go to the toilet, or have a drink.
- Take the opportunity to have a conversation. During our daily life we often hardly find the time to talk with our children; you can use these hours to chat and find out more about their worries, how they are doing at school, etc.
- Tell stories. You can tell the traditional stories that the children like or play the game of inventing one as a group activity.
- Music has charms to soothe the savage breast. There is nothing better than singing in the car. You can draw up a list of special music for the journey or simply sing your favorite songs.
- Revive old travel games. Do you remember all those games you played in the car when you travelled with your family as a kid? They never go out of fashion: looking for makes of car, I-Spy, etc.
- Encourage their creativity and imagination. Let them use these hours to create their own game and amuse themselves in their own way. You can also take games that they can play while sitting in their seats, coloring books, etc.