Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Our top tips for entertaining the kids on long car journeys
We have always been fortunate that our children are good travellers - they suffer no motion sickness and have an adventurous side so always look forward to seeing somewhere new. I like to think that their willingness to travel long distances by car stems from our holidays and day trips to varying parts of the UK, including North London, Dorset, Cambridge and North Wales.
However, they are still children and can become fractious if not entertained in some way. Over the years, we have researched portable DVD players, games consoles, play trays and the like. But, when it comes down to it, we find that the simple activites are the most effective.
Here are a few of our favourites:
"TUNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLL" - this one is very simple, but has a rather short time span. To play this game, you must first find a tunnel. Upon entering the tunnel, every person in the car must say the word, holding the second syllable for as long as possible. The object of this activity is for the word to last the length of the tunnel. This game is particularly popular with Daddy, who always wins.
Spotters - Jasmine loves this game. She likes us all to choose a colour and then spot as many cars as we can in our particular colour. The person who has spotted the most by the time she gets bored with the game (around 15 minutes in) is the winner.
Another option (more popular with older children) is for someone to choose three things to spot (say, a bridge, a magpie and a lady on a bike). The first person to spot more than one is the winner.
MINI! - A perennial favourite (even with Sonny, who has no idea what a Mini looks like); the object is to spot Minis on the road. Different points are awarded for different models, i.e. a standard Cooper is worth one point, whereas a Clubman is worth four and a Countryman warrants a hefty five points. I also think I've managed to persuade other members of the family that if a pink Mini convertible with the roof down is spotted, the lucky spottee is automatically the winner!
I spy - who doesn't love this one? This game has become much more interesting for Daddy and me since Jasmine mastered her letters. A year ago, we were frequently treated to "...something beginning with P," turning out to be Tree. Or the absolute classic, "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with cow".
Word association - This is one that my teenage stepson used to love three or four years ago, but that we've not yet attempted with Jasmine or Sonny. Our preferred method was to pick a subject (food, cars, footballers) and go through the alphabet, taking it in turns to name something relevant beginning with each letter.
Singing - if all else fails, sing. This is our motto! Since Jasmine was born, Daddy has made nurmerous CDs specifically for the car, containing various musical stylings. I think this is why Jasmine now has such an eclectic taste in music and has been known to request Leonard Cohen and The Mouldy Peaches as often as Old McDonald, and the Night Garden theme tune.
Hopefully, our ideas have given you some inspiration for your next long car journey. For more great ideas, visit http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/uk/