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Entertaining 2 DC's on 8 hour train journey. Is it possible without Nintendo DS or DVD's

(18 Posts)
ringing Wed 23-Jan-13 22:33:33

I'm travelling with DC aged 4 and 6. I've resisted buying a DS or similar and would rather not crack now. What do you do to keep kids entertained on a very very long journey. Eldest can read but youngest learning. Obviously we can have stories, I-spy colouring, dot-to-dots, take a few small toys, but I think we will have exhausted all ideas within the first hour. What do you do with your DC that won't drive other passengers mad?

cassell Wed 23-Jan-13 22:39:04

Travel games like ludo, snakes & ladders, plenty of food/drink, new things in my bag (eg a magazine with plastic tat) that I can produce when boredom sets in. Yours are older than mine so might like the '50 things to do on a journey' type books/cards - I think usborne do some.

Although I must admit I use my old iPhone loaded with songs & suitable apps for really difficult points - sorry grin

steppemum Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:01

we have done a few long journeys. i would rather do a train than plane any time.

you will find that there is a fair amount of entertainment out of the window. You can have some ongoing spotting games, points for spotting various things on a list, and bonus for extra interesting ones. Some things can be train related and some other.

plan food and snack times and break the journey into spaces between. So eat food stop becomes an occasion.

Sit the 4 year old on a window seat with you on the outside so he can't run down th etrain without getting past you.

I think though I would take a dvd player. I would prefer that to ds, especially as younger one will struggle to play ds if new.

dvds can be spaced out, and they can both watch and take turns choosing.

defineme Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:48

Have done longer with 3 sim aged kids. Still haven't got ds or anything as would make my dd travel sick.
We ate a lot. Made trips to snack shop on train and ate our own food. Talked to other kids/people on train. . Kids liked play doh the best (we'd booked a table seat),animal snap/top trumps, have you an mp3 player? mine will listen to mine for ages and it's small to carry. If you do something like all 3 of you making a picture of a mad machine or the best house ever on a shared piece of paper it takes longer than just giving them separate colouring books.
Don't think about other passengers-I'll sing if necessary-you have to be in 'whatever gets you through' mode. If ds wants to sit under the table for a bit does it matter?
I tried to make it a bit special eg food they're not usually allowed-lunchables and smarties. New cards and pens.

ringing Thu 24-Jan-13 16:25:29

Thanks, I like those ideas. I'm trying to travel very lightly but could squeeze in some playdoh, and a couple of travel games. I like the idea of making joint pictures, they love making those funny people where one person does the head, one the torso, the next the legs and finally the feet, so I think they'd enjoy that. MP3 player good idea too if I can transfer some of the kids CD's and lots of food obviously. Any more suggestions let me know.....

flubba Thu 24-Jan-13 16:32:33

We do similar length car journeys, although it's easier for them to fall asleep as we set off more towards bedtime, but we give them each a little bag/rucksack which they're allowed to cram with crap to entertain themselves and they're normally good at picking things like playing cards, sticker/activity books, pens galore and crafting things (flat ones!) etc. Most things don't end up getting played with to be honest, but having them to do is a bit like a security blanket.

Other than i-spy etc, we also play a game called "black, white, yes or no" which entertains them for a lonnnnnnnng time - and all ages can play - basically they can't use those four words in answering questions.

Rooble Thu 24-Jan-13 16:35:09

We play lots of Uno, Usborne sticker book for the younger one, Usborne puzzle book for the older one, magazines, a chapter book that you could read them (eg Danny the Champion of the World), plain paper snd some pencils, play Hangman, noughts and crosses, joinplenty of food and drinks....

fedupwithdeployment Thu 24-Jan-13 16:35:12

I am not a huge fan of electronic games etc, but the only time we have done a long train journey (London to Glasgow via Edinburgh, with a delay and a tube journey and an hour drive at the other end), I did take DVDs and the computer. They didn't spend all journey on it, but it did take a couple of hours which was great.

When DS2 was 3 we went to Dubai on the plane, and he watched Toy Story 3, 3x....would NEVER be allowed at home, but it did make the trip go smoothly!

Rooble Thu 24-Jan-13 16:36:59

Ooh sorry posted by accident so it's a bit incoherent. We don't have a DS or a portable DVD player, but I do think the journey is totally do-able!

ringing Thu 24-Jan-13 17:04:58

Thanks! sometimes I feel like I'm the only one saying no to the allure of a DS (nothing like peer pressure to make it really desirable) and if the eldest gets one then the youngest will end up playing with it just as much. Feeling quite Victorian but I'm much happier staying away from electronic games until they're a couple of years older. Have just discovered UNO and it's great for everyone. Any other similar card games out there?

RillaBlythe Thu 24-Jan-13 17:09:25

are you changing trains? That breaks up the journey & gives you a bit of variation!

I did 8 hours by myself with a 3 year old & 8 month old, I did take a DVD player though. She only watched it for about 2 hours total but it gave me back up for when my attention needed to be on getting the baby to nap.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Thu 24-Jan-13 17:11:04

Comics are good to pull out as a new treat.

I can see why you don't want to give in and buy DSs, but I think as a one off then if you can borrow a portable DVD player or netbook and watch a couple of good movies then that would be very handy, and not a "slippery slope".

FireOverBabylon Thu 24-Jan-13 17:12:16

Not a card game but we have The Orchard, which was DS's (3) Christmas present. We've commented on how useful it'd be in a caravan etc as you always know where the pieces are and Ds loves it. It's for age 3 to 6.

They do a travel version as well, if you didn't want to haul the big version along.

FireOverBabylon Thu 24-Jan-13 17:16:50

Also, are there any games that you could get in travel version - guess who etc.

Or sometihng like a magnetic fishing game which folds flat but where they could sit on opposite sides of the table.

RillaBlythe Thu 24-Jan-13 18:40:55

great travel game

Mandy21 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:42:48

We've done quite a few long train journies with 3 young children - agree with travel games - we have a board that is snakes & ladders on one side and ludo on the other side - folds down flat and ludo especially keeps them entertained for hours! We also have travel guess who, travel connect 4, travel hangman which are all tiny and go in a rucksack (each child allowed their own rucksack with their own toys etc but the rule is they have to carry it so can't be too heavy). Uno is good (we have the Harry Potter version) and normal cards. We also have a Hello Kitty set of pairs (memory game) - if you book a table seat you can spread all the cards out on the table.

We also have "100 things to do on a journey" - size of a large pack of cards - wipeable and comes with a pen - this is especially good for the little one - things like dot to dot and spot the difference. Usborne sticker books (Appletree Farm etc) and I picked up some "Draw your own story" books last time where the story was printed at the bottom of the page and they had to draw an associated picture in the top half of the page. Mine also quite like "school" type books - the basic maths / english / practising letter formation.

My eldest are 7 now and the little one is 3 and we caved a while ago with DVD players for the car when we drove to France, so we'd take these now too. Still holding out with our refusal to buy DS' though smile

ringing Fri 25-Jan-13 20:23:57

With all these ideas I'm now looking forward to a small pre-holiday shop. Could be even more satisfying than the obligatory one to Boots for pre-holiday toiletries. Mandy21 I give the DC their own bags to fill with toys when travelling by car but they never choose wisely IMO. Either hundred's of tiny fiddly things that explode all over the car in the first 5 mins or stuffed full with the biggest cuddly toy possible leaving no room for anything else!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Fri 25-Jan-13 20:33:13

Trump cards are another good one, you can get them in anything from Harry Potter to trains, planes etc.
Good luck!

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