Keeping children occupied on long distance car journeys???

(13 Posts)
Littlepickle101 Thu 23-Jun-16 10:43:28

Will roughly be a 5 hour drive according to sat nav (Buckinghamshire to St Ives Cornwall) in the school holidays.
Just looking for ideas to keep DD entertained.
So far we have a sticker book, colouring book and new pens, DVD player and will have a music album on the iPod too.
Anything else you recommend for boredom in the car?

noramum Thu 23-Jun-16 12:21:16

How old is your DD?

DD loves audio books or story tapes. Otherwise I spy and Guess the Person games are good for us.

We normally plan a decent break, could you check for a NT or EH property with a nice ground for her to run around, picnic lunch and then carry on?

We also allow DD to take 2-3 teddies into the car, she plays with them and tells them stories. She gets car sick very fast so everything related to reading or doing on paper is a no-go for us

Millionprammiles Thu 23-Jun-16 13:11:01

We use sticker books, audio books, ispy, colouring books etc. All of which cover about 45mins of a 5 hour journey to Yorkshire if I'm honest. None keep dd interested for long.

The ipad covers the rest. Dd watched Mary Poppins back to back multiple times on a recent 10 hour round trip. Get headphones if you don't want the songs driving you insane.

Or drive at night if you can. No traffic, no stops, no whinging.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Thu 23-Jun-16 13:25:56

We don't use tablets or books as they make my lot travel sick. DVD players on the back of head rests seem to be OK though. Tbh the DVDs are hands down the most effective way of filling big chunks of time.

How old is your DD? In car cricket is a good game if she can count. You score runs by spotting eg red cars for 1 run, lorry for a 4, tractor for a 6. Pick something like motorbikes or caravans for wickets. 2 teams who take it in turns to "bat".

When they were small I found a couple of toy cars or trains quite useful. We also had a set of lacing cards which seemed to avoid the travel sickness issue and toy cameras and phones as well as teddies.

Play or skip is a popular option here - we stick the ipod on shuffle and then have a family vote or play or skip at the beginning of each track. Holds their interest for much longer than just playing music. We also do in seat dancing competitions grin

Oh and I also used to bribe them with being allowed to stay up late if they had a nap grin

juneau Thu 23-Jun-16 13:38:11

Audio books
DVD player with films
iPad with games
Sticker books
We also play car games like:
- I-Spy
- Think of animals or vegetables or dinosaurs or whatever for every letter of the alphabet
- Spot e.g. a green car + a red lorry + a yellow motorbike - the winner gets a sweet.

Does she get car sick? I would keep screen-based activities to a minimum, if so. Also, if you don't want to listen to her stuff on the car radio dig out an old CD player and get a set of child headphones (adult ones are too big and fall out/off).

LeMesmer Thu 23-Jun-16 23:51:36

From the days before IPad (and a DS who won't watch DVDs in the car)........and depending on her age and whether you sit in the back of the car with her -
A lego kit to put together , with a tray on her knee and you pick the pieces out for her. We spent hours in the car building lego, it was the best thing we had on many long car journeys, and she can play with it when she gets there,.
Playdoh/plasticine - you can spend hours making things on the all purpose tray
Lots of books, sticker books are great but also a stack of her favourites
Mini travel games - we had monopoly, ludo and guess who
A small wrapped up present , e.g. sticker book, to open every half hour or when you reach certain towns
Traditional pen and paper games like hangman - if DD can spell, unlike DS who had me puzzled for half an hour with 'karpit'
Taking things in and out of the toiletries bag once lasted about 8 hours
Stop and let her have a run around but have an exciting 'picnic' in the car when you set off, eating can usually pass on half an hour
OK the last two are a bit pathetic but sometimes you never know what will amuse themgrin

Littlepickle101 Fri 24-Jun-16 07:21:59

Thanks for more suggestions. She is almost 4. Can count very well and spell some 3 letter words (not sure how well she would understand the concept of hangman though, think she might be a bit too little yet)
'karpit' though made me chuckle, I bet you were hmm
She always sleeps in the car, so combined with a late bed time and very early start, we will get a few hours sleep in there!!
We have looked at the travel lap trays on eBay, however they are shipped from China so no garauntee on quality or option to return. Lego is a brilliant idea, I hadn't thought of that, they do the mini sets don't they!!

poocatcherchampion Fri 24-Jun-16 07:33:14

I'm sorry to be a kill joy but I've been reading in the road safety mags about children and accidents again.

The advice is not to give a child anything in the car that you would not be happy to through hard at their face. Given that we have been involved in a serious accident we no longer let them have water bottles or basically anything else when ee are travelling at more than about 40mph.

Music and books on CD are our go to.

AliceMum09 Sun 26-Jun-16 08:46:32

Also on a safety note, if your children are in rear facing seats you need to get DVD players or tablet/iPad holders that have been crash tested and are not going to fly off the headrest (either the entire thing fly off or the tablet/iPad fly out of the holder) if you crash.

It's only the Nextbase brand that have been crash tested.

poocatcherchampion Sun 26-Jun-16 09:44:43

Does that not happen ff Alice mum? I've always wondered

DelphiniumBlue Sun 26-Jun-16 09:52:27

My kids are grown now, but for car sickness reasons never had books/DVDs/ pens etc on journeys. Just chatted, or sung ( 10 green bottles etc) or played games - spotting caravans, campetvans, yellow cars, anything really. Sometimes audio books, but young children's books can be a bit dull for adults. Mostly radio/iPod music.

RedCrimson Sun 26-Jun-16 09:56:27

Cheese on wheels!
When you spot a yellow car/truck etc, you shout "CHEESE ON WHEELS!" Keeps our car amused for hours!

AliceMum09 Sun 26-Jun-16 10:09:17

I'm not sure poocatcherchampion I guess it would just be in the 'rebound' phase after the initial impact that anything would come detached from the driver/passenger headrest?

I must admit I don't have crash-tested holders for my forward facing 10 and 7 year olds. The tablet holders we have for them bolt onto the headrests (no Velcro) so I'm pretty sure the holders themselves aren't going anywhere. The tablets are just held in by 4 small plastic tabs, they are quite thick plastic but still I imagine they might break. But then the 'rebound' forces aren't going to be as great as the initial impact are they?

Probably going OTT, but I just didn't want to take the chance of my 4 year old having a tablet thrown into her face with great force! The Nextbase tablet holder I bought for her was £50 though! shock

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