If you’re going on a road trip over the school holidays, or spending at least an hour in the car with the kids, then here are a few non-digital boredom busters to help you (all) survive the journey.
Just for the kids
Window art - Let the kids decorate their windows with suitable markers and stencils, or gel stickers.
Magnetic travel games - these are great for avoiding the ‘mum, I dropped it’ complaints from the back seat.
Bubble wands - blowing bubbles out the window is great for when the weather is fine, but stick to the left side of the car so you don’t distract oncoming traffic.
DIY activity bags - carry bags, looped over the headrests of the front passenger seats, can be filled with all sorts of fun activities such as: sticker books, blank notebooks and pencils, wipe-able boards with markers, colourful pipe cleaners, sheets of tin foil (to make hats etc), reading books or a joke book (although avoid if prone to car sickness). Make an activity table from cardboard boxes, or buy a tray, to sit on knees.
DIY activity folders – an alternative to carry bags are folders, with plastic sleeves to hold printed activity sheets (source these online) such as: colouring-in pictures, words searches, mazes, dot-to-dots, and stickers for decorating blank sheets. A snap lock bag, or pocket in the back of the folder, will keep pencils, crayons and washable felt tips in one, easy-to-reach place. Again, you may need to supply a cardboard table or tray.
Games for everyone
Licence plate game – chose a number between one and nine and look out for your number on the plates of passing cars. They either need to be the same as your number, or add up to your number, in order for you to get a point. Whoever reaches 25 points first, wins!
I Spy – For older kids, give the first letter of the word as a clue; for younger ones give the colour e.g. I spy with my little eye, something that’s yellow.
20 questions – you can only answer yes or no to questions that help the kids guess ‘what’ you are, such as the Easter bunny.
Car tag – those who are first to spot the greatest number of car makes and/or models win. Other variations include how many cars of one colour, or other things you might see on the journey, like farm animals, people wearing hats, trucks etc.
Sing-a-long – choose favourite songs from memory, or throw a CD on for a family sing-a-long. If the kids are too young to know all the words, then chose songs where they can join in with special noises (Old MacDonald) or actions (Wheels on the Bus).
Audio books – these are especially good if the kids are prone to getting car sick when reading.
Got any more boredom busters to share? Flick us an email, we’d love to hear your best tips.