We are just back from an Epic road trip which included Butlins, Brighton, Reading, Bucklebury (to see the Prince), Harry Potter Studios and back home to North Yorkshire again.
Thankfully Moneysupermarket invited us to take pert in their £50 road trip challenge, so we put the £50 in the tank of our loaned Hyundai Santa Fe (more on that to come) and made it our aim to keep the MiniMads and Miss and Master Frugal occupied on our trip.
My boys are seven and eight and we traveled with Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family and we have been putting our heads together so that we can keep the children entertained on the journey. It goes without saying that we made sure we had lots of snacks and drinks with us and I did not let them start the journey with every activity. We brought out new things as they got bored and kept them entertained all the way. W
1) Eye Spy Books and prizes
2) Travel Packs
Throughout the year I keep an eye out for things that I could add too our travel[packs. I save all the crayons and pencils you get in restaurants and also all the little sticker packs and gift packs you get with children’s magazines. We have travel packs with dot to dot and puzzle books, colouring, sticker books, maths and English books, no mess painting, Plasticine, small pots of play dough and small cutters and a tray
3) Travel Journals
We are great fans of scrap books and journals and have one for each of our adventures. I supply the boys with stickers, tape, glue sticks and stamps so they can personalise their journals. The blank books are from the Pound Shop.
4) Travel board games
You can buy travel versions of favorite board games. We have battleships, guess who, snakes and ladders and connect four. They do not take up a lot of space and are fun to play. If you have more than two children travelling in the car you can have tournaments and give small prizes for the winners.
5) Audio Story
Sometimes you just need quiet time on the journey and tyhis is when I bring out an audio story. We are currently listening to Harry Potter again!
6) Mind Games
Sometimes simple is best and we have an array or games that we play that require nothing other than ourselves, including eye spy, “I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to pack…”, I do not spy, try and make the other person laugh, guess what profession I am, the yes no game and what animal am I.
Some children have issues reading in cars, I know that I do, but neither of my boys seem to have any issues, so they always take books for the journey. In addition to reading books, we take where’s wally books, word searches (with highlighters) and puzzle books.
8) Maps and Navigation
My boys love maps and helping with directions. You can pick up travel atlases for next to nothing and I give them a highlighter and let them help with the navigation. I also have been know to pass them the sat nav and let them give me the directions from that too.
9) In car movies
Portable DVD players or even ipads are great for providing movies when on long journeys. I make sure that the boys have their own headphones. We tend to leave the electronic entertainment to last when they really are sick of travelling. For a long time I avoided it, but it is a great occupier and they love it.
10) Handheld electronic games
When we are on long journeys I do let my boys take their Nintendo 3DS and we take IPads, but they are often kept until we have exhausted all my other games and ideas.
So how do you keep your children entertained and occupied on car journeys? I would love to know your ideas and what your favorite in car games are. Please do leave me a comment and let me know.