Are we there yet? How to stay sane!
04 April 2019
Whether you’re hitting the road for some scenic sightseeing or going on a long weekend with the family this Easter, driving with kids can be somewhat stressful. Researchers found that the average parent takes their eyes off the road for more than three minutes during a 16-minute trip with a child in the car – just as distracting as using a phone. To make your journey both safer and less demanding, we have armed you with entertainment ideas and practical advice!
Be sure to pack lots of food and drinks for the journey. Your best bet is to arm yourself with healthy snacks of course or hand sweets out on a rotational basis, making sure they understand they only get their Haribo’s if they’re behaving themselves. With their mouths full, they’re more likely to be quiet and cause less havoc – and who said bribery didn’t work?
Entertainment is the End Game
While some people may forgo using technology to submit their kids into quiet surrender, a lot of parents swear by it. With tons of family-friendly films to enjoy, they can watch it on your phone or Ipad – just download it beforehand and don’t forget your charger!
Podcasts and audiobooks may also be something to enjoy as a family. There are some great podcasts available for kids which adults can actually enjoy too. If it’s a super long trip, then listening to Harry Potter audiobooks might keep them quiet.
If you don’t come prepared with some sort of entertainment, in the words of Dumbledore, dark and difficult times lie ahead.
If you prefer a technology-free zone, then it pays to come equipped and brush up on the old-fashioned games:
The game where someone chooses an object, or a person and the rest of the family have to ask yes/no questions to work out what it is.
An old fashioned one but great fun nonetheless. It’s an easy to learn game and perfect for the little ones, however if you’re travelling on a boring motorway route, there may not be much to spy!
Get creative inventing a fairy tale. The first person starts with "Once upon a time..." and offers a complete sentence, then the second person adds to the story with their own sentence. This continues with each person until the story reaches a conclusion. This can also prove pretty entertaining for the parents too!
Or known simply as the Yellow Car Game. You have to spot the most yellow cars on the journey. To make the game that little bit more interesting, you could set up a points system and even bring in other coloured cars in, for example 5 points for a blue car and 2 points for a grey car - It’s the Autoline Colours!
You can also print out travel games before you set off like puzzles and quizzes. Or give older kids printed maps with locations to check off as they are reached and let them feel they are helping to navigate. Plus, this might deviate them from asking the inevitable…. are we there yet?
It’s all well and good to keep the kids entertained but you don’t want your car to look like you’ve travelled through a landfill in the process so keep a plastic bag handy for rubbish and make sure nothing loose can fly about that will hinder you whilst driving or hurt the children. Also don’t forget these essential items:
• Wet Wipes
• Small tissue packs
• Bottles of water
• Pen and paper
• Plastic Cups
• Removable shades for windows
• Easy view mirrors so that you can safely keep an eye on children.
If all else fails, enforce the “Quiet Game” with a reward for the person who stays the quietist for the longest time. Kids love friendly competition with their siblings, and it will also help you focus on your driving. Win/Win!