Boredom Busters for Aussie Road Trips: 6 Ideas to Keep Kids Amused in the Car
No parent likes to start their holiday with a nightmarish road trip. From the inevitable “Are we there yet?” question to the “I’m bored” whine, kids can be a handful on a long car journey. To help parents keep their sanity on the family vacation, over the years many helpful souls have devised clever games and distractions to keep kids amused in the car. Whether you’re a parent of a questioning toddler or a hyperactive pre-schooler, there are sure to be a few handy tools that you can test out on your kids. Read on for six helpful hints to keep your children calm, occupied and quiet on your next family road trip.
Create a Travel Journal
A great way to keep kids occupied in the car is to buy a blank notebook that they can turn into a travel journal. Before the holiday starts you can help your child to choose a book, cover it with travel-inspired pictures and create a list of topics that they can draw or write about while they’re away. For instance, depending on where you’re headed, you might prompt them to list all the reasons why they love staying at Coffs Harbour hotels (like being near the Big Banana), where they most want to visit in Sydney (Taronga Zoo perhaps), or what they most hope to find on the Great Barrier Reef (maybe Nemo). You can also give them a list of items to try and spot during the car trip or a selection of landmarks to draw along the way.
Play I Spy
An oldie but a goodie, I Spy is a game that kids of all ages can play. Starting with the infamous “I spy with my little eye” line, the game simply involves one person at a time spotting something on the road or in the car and giving the other participants a clue to work from. The person who guesses the mystery item then has a turn to spy with his or her little eye.
Let Them Get Their Groove On
If your ears are starting to hurt from all the Eye Spy hilarity, it might be time to let your children listen to some music — quietly, with headphones on. Bring along a phone or an MP3 or CD player with music loaded on it and let them listen to the beat for a while. Just ensure you have vetted the selection earlier for younger kids so that they don’t end up accidentally listening to songs with unsavoury lyrics!
Drawing and colouring are perfect for keeping kids occupied in the car. Bring along a small set of crayons plus a new colouring book and they’re sure to be busy for hours. Note though that any children who are prone to car sickness should have this drawing time limited so that they don’t get ill.
This guessing game involves one person coming up with an idea (generally a person, a place or a thing) and the rest of the players taking turns to guess what it is in 20 questions or less. Players may only ask yes-or-no questions. If the answer to a player’s question is “no”, then it’s the next person’s turn to ask a question. A “yes” answer means that player can ask another question and keep asking until they guess the right answer, or until they get a “no”. The winner is the person who correctly works out the right answer in 20 questions or less.
I Went to the Store
This alphabet game starts off with the first playing reciting the line “I went to the store and I bought…” followed by an item that starts with the letter “A”. The next person repeats everything the first said and then adds a new item, this time beginning with the letter “B”. The game continues on until the end of the alphabet is reached or until someone forgets the order involved or an item on the list. This is a great game to help a child’s creativity and memory skills.
About the Author: Rochelle Johnson is a travel writer and parent who enjoys exploring Australia with her kids in tow. She loves to test out the latest and greatest family-friendly hotels around the country and likes to share her experiences with other parents.
Photo source: Jonathan Martin