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Share the ways you keep your children entertained on long journeys with Vodafone - £300 voucher to be won!

(304 Posts)
AbbiCMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Aug-19 09:27:42

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Every parent has their own special way of keeping long journeys fun – whether it’s through using devices to watch videos, or involving the whole family through songs and games. As the summer holiday season is in full swing, Vodafone want to know how you keep your children occupied on long trips.

Here’s what Vodafone has to say:
“It’s a glorious summer’s day. You’re stuck in the car and there’s 100 miles still to go. The kids are getting restless. But you know the perfect way to keep them entertained. A sure-fire way to keep them distracted just a little bit longer. That back-pocket ace card that you can play during times like these.

We want to know your secret!”

What’s your trick to keeping your children entertained for most of the journey? Are you a key part of the entertainment (think a family game of ‘I Spy’), or do you let them get on with it and hope for the best? Are there any particularly memorable journeys you’d like to share?

From young children to teens, what are your tips and tricks in keeping them entertained? Share on the thread below and everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where 1 MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


Standard Insight Terms and Conditions apply

JC4PMPLZ Mon 12-Aug-19 12:13:55

We take cards, short story books, the Beano, drawing pads, in short a whole lot of clobber so we can do things communally. If all else fails, we hope there is train wifi.

AuntieMaggie Mon 12-Aug-19 12:15:58

As well as the usual films/games on a tablet, books, plenty of snacks, and car games a large pile of paper and some coloured pencils/crayons for when they get bored with everything else. They can make a list of or draw the things they see/have seen/want to see, draw maps, write letters... Keeps my DC entertained for ages.

sharond101 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:27:50

Our portable DVD players are a lifesaver. Try to plan journeys around lunchtime as eating keeps them occupied too.

RomaineCalm Mon 12-Aug-19 12:35:47

We quite like having a family quiz. Either get a book or print off questions from the internet beforehand.

I'm generally the 'quizmaster' (because I'm bossy) and it also means that DH can join in whilst driving.

We also have a long-running game of car registrations going on. You have to start spotting a registration plate with a single '1' e.g. "ABC 1" and then a '2' and so on. Keeps going for months...

And yes, we then resort to iPads and phones when needed. smile

Duchessofealing Mon 12-Aug-19 12:39:57

We have audiobooks and try to travel at night so they can be told to sleep! Failing that we have car picnics which help to keep them occupied.

m0jit0 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:43:09

Quite difficult at the moment as my dd is only 2 but she like looking at books in the car though she has started getting car sick so going to have to stop her looking at books. Sometimes we play games like "point to your toes/head/nose etc) but that's more to keep her awake on shorter journeys.

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 12-Aug-19 12:48:58

When they were younger we used to:

Play I Spy.

Give each of us a different colour and we'd count cars of that colour with the winner being the one who got the most cars after a mile.

Play the alphabet game.

If I was prepared, I'd give each child a list of things I knew we'd pass and they had to tick them off as we passed, eg petrol station, named pubs or businesses, windmills etc.

One liked maps so I gave him one of his own so he could help navigate (only on journeys where I already had a good idea of where we were going!).

Now they're teens they stick their faces to their phones and snigger to each other about crap on YouTube.

jacqui5366 Mon 12-Aug-19 13:05:59

A tablet loaded with films and games, or a notepad each playing 'out of the window bingo' - when you see a telephone box for instance you get a box ticked.

SayOohLaLa Mon 12-Aug-19 13:43:03

I do a printed map of the journey, with coloured dots for various places along the route, the move to a new motorway, big cities etc. so DS can chart the progress of our journey before he could read road signs. I've also done sheets of photos (from the internet) of landmarks and vehicles along the way so he marks off bridges, statues, motorbike, ambulance etc. as we go. He gets car sick so tablets and books, where you look down, aren't good for him, but he can look down periodically to tick items.

ohdannyboy Mon 12-Aug-19 14:34:37

portable DVD players in the headrest of my car keeps them entertained through the whole journey, makes the drive more relaxing. You just need to make sure we have all visited the toilet before we set off on our journey - well worth the £89 I paid off eBay !

mrsglowglow Mon 12-Aug-19 16:15:17

Ours are teenagers now so they load stuff to watch on their phones. In the past we've had audio stories and DVD players. We also played games such as the first person to spot a type or colour car. Snacks also tend to keep everyone happy as well as service station stops.

TheBumShow Mon 12-Aug-19 16:24:50

Bribery... I pay them 1p for every caravan / red truck/ car with bikes on roof rack for something similar they see. Keeps them occupied looking out for said thing, and then the get a little bit of extra pocket money when we get to where we're going

InvernessAdventure Mon 12-Aug-19 17:03:34

Oh dear. We're quite geeky. We look at the number plates on passing cars and try to come up with three letter acronyms that fit. I'm medically trained so I always win. grin

Ashhead24 Mon 12-Aug-19 17:54:56

Tablets with films and games here too. Although my DS just likes looking out of the window which is handy.

PenguinsCantFly Mon 12-Aug-19 18:31:20

We have a few options in our arsenal...

1. Shared kindle fire on a headrest attachment that straddles both front seats.

2. P L E N T Y of snacks...all the snacks!

3. Eye spy books - the little Michelin man ones.

4. Story CDs

5. Games like 20 questions and points for spotting different coloured cars (yellow gets you the jackpot in our family).

We also have a 'Traffic Jam Box' which has snacks and activities that can only be accessed in the event of a prolonged traffic jam.

BristolMum96 Mon 12-Aug-19 18:36:28

iPad for short journeys :/ long journeys loads of toys in a bag and snacks

Caillou Mon 12-Aug-19 20:52:44

for long journey, we load up the iPad with cartoons and pack food,
for shorter journeys we just talks and discuss what we are seeing, or future days out.

alwaysdressedinyellow Mon 12-Aug-19 21:30:56

Plenty of stops to stretch legs, and top up snacks. Now she's older we tend to load a couple of films on her tablet, or she plays games. Or she and the dog just sleep!

MrsFrTedCrilly Mon 12-Aug-19 23:35:36

When they were younger sticker books, colouring and audio books were good for longer journeys.
We played I spy a lot and also the car registration game, bit like countdown for simpletons ...make a word from the letters in the registration.
As they’ve got older we still play the ridiculous car registration game and in times of need preloaded iPads and headphones for our sanity!

HeroicAlien Tue 13-Aug-19 00:21:17

Audio books
20 questions
Ipad strapped on the headrest of the seat in front to watch films
Pub cricket
Sing songs to DS's latest playlist (he's 9,so it's pretty eclectic - last holiday went from Aladdin, to the Greatest Showman to Three Lions!)
Generally just talking - sounds daft but we rarely get time with no other distractions

Pandamodium Tue 13-Aug-19 07:38:14

Portable DVD player for the youngest (2) kids tablet for the 7 year old and mobile for the teen and DH who is definitely the worst of the bunch.

munchbunch12 Tue 13-Aug-19 08:18:50

Both my DCs get travel sick, so reading or watching DVDs is a no-no. With the older 1, we play countries games, so for one, you have to name a country that starts with the same letter that the last one ended with, eg, Spain, Nigeria, Armenia etc. For another we take it in turn to name all countries starting with A, then B, then C etc. The younger one has just started to learn phonics, so we do a simplified version of I-Spy, or just talk about what we can see ahead of us in the car.

munchbunch12 Tue 13-Aug-19 08:20:11

Oh, and we often listen to their story CDs, or nursery rhymes and songs for the younger one.

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 13-Aug-19 08:22:52

On a flight, they watch their tablets and read. That makes them feel sick in the car though so we tend to sing, play I Spy....but quite quickly run out of steam with that so we listen to stories and I pray that they'll fall asleep!

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