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How to keep kids entertained on car journeys

Keeping kids entertained on car journeys is the holy grail of parenting, surely? If you’ve ever tackled any car journey with kids, let alone a long one, you’ll know how mentally exhausting they can be. The cries of: “Are we there yet?” often start within the first 10 minutes of your journey and you can be guaranteed that someone will need a wee, feel sick or proclaim that they are bored or hungry.

Fear not, I have a few ideas that may stop the squealing and squabbling from the back seat during your car journey.

Comfortable clothes

Firstly, feeling comfortable is a must. So if you will be travelling for a long time make sure everyone has comfy clothes on that they will not get too hot in. Maybe invest in a couple of neck cushions and keep a fleece blanket in the boot to keep everybody feeling cosy.

Screen time is an obvious way to keep kids entertained on car journeys

You know screen time is not something you should feel guilty about at all. Films or their favourite series will help to keep the kids entertained in the back of the car. Whether they are watching a tablet or you have a fancy portable car DVD player, give them a set of earphones and you’ll have a bit of peace and quiet whilst you drive.

Create a travel box

Fill an old shoebox with some cheap activities. This could be stickers, some small colouring books, crayons and maybe some magnetic travel-sized games. This should keep them busy for a while and make the time pass quicker during your car journey.

Three boys in back of car and parents in front, trying to keep kids entertained on car journeys

Audiobooks are perfect for keeping kids entertained on car journeys

Choosing a child-friendly audiobook for a long car journey is also a great idea. There are plenty to choose from, you could go for the Harry Potter series – listening to somebody read is very therapeutic and may even allow the children to nod off for a while. Which let’s face it, is always a bit of a bonus – so long as it won’t mess up bedtime!

Don’t forget the snacks – this one is VITAL!

There is nothing worse than a hangry child. Use snacks to break up the journey, at intervals, offer a snack – go for things that won’t create too much mess, like cereal bars or maybe Bear Yoyo’s or fruit strings. Just enough to keep hunger at bay. Ignore this one at your peril!

Car Bingo will keep children busy whilst you’re driving

Come up with a list of things to spot before you get into the car, or similarly you can pick something to spot and then whoever spots it first (such as a yellow car or an aeroplane) can then pick the next item that has to be found. Although with my boys, this one would cause a massive fight!

Plan your pit stops

If it is going to be a long road trip, schedule some breaks to stretch your legs and let the kids get a bit of fresh air. Make sure that the place you plan to stop off at has toilets and encourage everybody to go to the loo. Refuel on hot drinks and pick up any extra essentials that you may need for the rest of your journey.

Do you have any go-to methods for keeping the kids entertained on car journeys? I would love to know.

boy poking his head out the window on a car journey

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? Hang around and read some more such as 5 Top Travel Essentials For Twins. Or Five Ways A Holiday Is Never The Same After Kids. If you need to get organised for a holiday try this Packing List For Babies And Toddlers. And if you’re still looking for some inspiration try 10 Top UK Family Holidays Ideal For Young Children.

If you still want more, head to my Travel Section. And if you fancy reading my usual kind of stuff, head over to my Mum Life section. You’ll find all things parenting with a tongue-in-cheek twist. 

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

If you like what you see, how about you check me out on Pinterest Instagram and Twitter too.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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