If you’re a parent who has ever gone road tripping with the little ones, you will know just how hard it is to keep them entertained over long-haul trips. Whether you’re in a large car or a small one, there’s a good chance that in just a short few hours your young ones are as rambunctious as ever and simply want to do anything they can to escape the confines of the rear seat.
There’s of course plenty of entertainment hidden inside an iPad and an iPhone, though countless episodes of a TV show or some arcade games can only go so far, and so we have a tonne of great ways to keep your kids entertained on a family road trip below.
Keep in mind that you might need to be a little creative with some of these tips, however, with some initiative you’ll be well on the way to a road trip that goes by in a flash, and doesn’t end in tears or a very moody toddler or teen.
Plan Out Stops and Tell the Kids!
The first tip we have for you is to make sure you have all of your pit stops planned out in advance, and in locations that are at least a little stimulating for your little ones – however, keep safety and ease of access at the top of the list. You don’t want to venture into the 4WD tracks only to end up summoning DingGo for repair services.
Once you have a tonne of stops planned out, you can then tell the kids when and where these are, giving them a little insight and also allowing them to follow the blue spot on their maps app to know exactly how far away the next stop is.
Added to this, you could work to draft up an itinerary document with links to what is at each of the stops you’re heading to. These can include local animals, trees or even a small task sheet that asks for a few photos of each stop, and one of the family. This way you’re giving the little ones something to do when you’ve stopped, and some personal media or photos to take a look at when you’re back on the road!
Make a Movie Theatre
Of course, only taking up the back seat, you can work to whip up a fun movie theatre or arcade-like space for the kids to hangout in. This creates a sense of coziness and if you work to do it right, you’ll be able to make sure that there aren’t any boredom spells!
Pin up some window shaders, invest in some displays or a sharable iPad and mount it to the rear seats and you’re all good to go.
Just be sure that there are plenty of movies downloaded to choose from if you’re on the road without any phone reception.
Try Out Family Games
For some of us, our fondest memories are those in the car on road trips with friends and family playing eye spy and other car games, and so for our third tip we ask that you certainly try out some of these!
Of course, a more modern variant might be on the cards, such as spotting the landmark you find on Apple Maps, and shouting out whoever spots it first, though either way, you’re keeping everyone entertained when things in the car or on the iPad get a little bland and boring.
Depending on how old your kids are, you could fact-find based on the towns you drive through, asking the little ones how old a town is and any other interesting tidbits that you might find interesting.
Prepare a Podcast or Audiobook
When it comes to entertainment for everyone, there is nothing better than a good podcast or an audiobook that is appropriate for all ages and that everyone can enjoy.
Not only are these great to keeping us all entertained, though they might also be the perfect companion to lull your little ones to sleep in the back. As we’re sure you’ll agree, there's nothing better to fall asleep to than the sound of the open road and a great story being read to us.
Break Out the Toys
Again, depending on your kid’s ages, you might also want to resort to some car-friendly toys that will keep the little ones entertained.
The fidget spinner may be out of trend, though they’re still incredible when it comes to keep us distracted and entertained. You could also consider other toys such as action figures, colouring books, legos and more.
With this in mind, there are also 3D iPad apps that essentially replace the toys we would typically suggest such as Rubiks cubes, lego and more, and this means less packing and less mess when you’re out on the road.
Make Food More Fun
When we’re out on the open road, it’s good to keep food in mind. By this we mean packing fun healthy snacks that are going to reduce the chance of the little ones fighting for McDonald’s on the way to your destination.
Whether it’s trail mix, cheerio necklaces or just about anything else, it’s always a good idea to keep your food and snacks in mind and only pack things that are fun and won’t cause a sugar spike and make the little ones do anything they can to bust free from the car.
With our tips above in mind, we hope it is a lot easier and less stressful to take the little ones out on the road this year without a whole lot of hassle.
Remember, it is always a good idea to focus on distraction and keeping your young ones from realising how bored they might be, so a continued film, song or audiobook paired with games, toys and educational activities is a good place to start.