As a parent, we’ve all been there. We’re out in the car and the kids are getting on fine. But then boredom kicks in and all hell breaks loose. And it doesn’t matter whether we’re heading for the park, the shops or a super-long roadtrip, you need to have some tricks in the bag for this inevitable moment.
The trouble is, no one teaches you about dealing with chaos in the car in any driving lesson. I took an intensive driving course, so I learned how to drive and passed my test in 5 days flat. We certainly didn’t cover pacifying bored children. But I’ve got your back. Here are 5 killer ideas to save the day.
Idea 1: Charge the iPads
I know what you’re thinking – this is an obvious one. But hear me out. If you’re heading out on a long journey, get them an audiobook or two. Audible is awesome and they can choose from Harry Potter, Roald Dahl and the like.
Idea 2: Pack puzzle books
From word searches to Sudoku, crosswords to spot the difference, you can’t beat a good puzzle or activity book. If you need to, set little challenges. Like set a timer and see whether they can complete each task in under a certain timeframe (children love a challenge).
Idea 3: Take a healthy hamper
Kids also love food. Fill a bag with healthy snacks and simply distribute these goodies at various intervals. What could be easier? It makes the time go surprisingly quickly. Just remember that this could induce a toilet stop or two, so stay cool under pressure.
Idea 4: Play games
From i-spy to snap, road trip bingo to the alphabet game, you can’t go wrong with a good game or two. My favourite is the number plate game and the rules are pretty simple. Take it in turns to pick out a car. The aim of the game is to think of a word that contains the last 3 letters on its number plate.
Idea 5: Embrace some colouring
Packing a pencil case, some colouring pens and paper is also a winning idea. Ask your children to pick something that they can see from the car and draw it.
If you want to develop the game further, get them to take the 3-colour challenge. Again, the rules are simple. Put all the pens or pencils in a pencil case, then get your kids to close their eyes and each pick out 3 pens or pencils. Whatever colours they get, those are the ones that they must use.
So, there you have it. These 5 ideas alone are enough to get you to where you want to drive to. But you know what? If there’s one piece of advice that I would give, it would be to plan ahead. Know what tips and tricks you’re going to use so that you can feel 100% organised from the moment you turn on the ignition.