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How to Survive a Long Car Journey

Activities and top tips to help with long car journeys

Going on a family holiday is great feeling and they are always worth the long journey there, but if you have travelled anywhere with children you will know how stressful it can be! So if your heading off on a long car journey soon make sure you are prepared and try some of these ideas that will hopefully make your trip more interesting and enjoyable.

Ready to travel

1. A Travel hunt

Version 1: Download and print our free travel hunt activity sheet, take a clip board and pen and have fun ticking off all items you see along the way. Click here to download your checklist now!

Version 2: Older children may enjoy spotting cars; you can down load and print this second version where they can tick off all the different car makes they see . Click here to download your checklist now!

2. Surprise pack

Collect a bag of cheap little toys, which may include sticker books, colouring books, miniature figures, window clingers and wrap them up individually. Ask your child to select one ‘lucky dip’ item at a time to play with, once they get bored with the selected toy they can then choose another. This could potentially provide hours of entertainment!

3. Licence plate game

Version 1: Challenge your children to think of a sentence using the last three letters of a licence plate they spot on the road. E.g. for a licence plate ending ALM the sentence could read Ants Like Marshmallows. For younger children you may want to ask them to think of an object that begins with the last letter on the plate.

Licence plate game

Version 2: See how many licence plates you can identify from different countries and make a list all the different places you find on route.

4. 20 Questions

The first player has to pick a person and the rest of the people in the car have to try and guess who it is by asking questions that can only be answered with a yes or no. To ensure the game doesn’t become too hard or boring give it a theme, like superheroes or Disney characters.

5. Eye Spy

No car journey is complete without a game of Eye-Spy! For younger children you might what to adapt the game to colours instead of letters.

Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with (letter name or sound)

Eye spy with my little eye something that is the colour (colour name)

For babies

6. Travel treasure basket

Collect natural and every day objects from the home for your baby to explore. You can find out the benefits of a treasure basket and ideas of what to put in your basket in my other blog here.

NB: To do this activity you will need to be sitting next to your baby and observe at all times while they are exploring items from the basket.

If you can, plan your journey when your little one is most likely to sleep, take plenty of pit stops for toilet breaks and for a chance to let off some steam. For babies who have been cooped up in a baby car seat, you may want to do some gentle baby yoga exercises* to give them a good stretch!

Baby in car seat

My final tip is to take plenty of healthy snacks and drinks with you. If your children are anything like mine they will often complain of being hungry or thirsty to alleviate the boredom!

By Sue Brown

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