Keeping kids entertained on journeys

Whether you’re walking, or driving, taking an epic adventure or just going around the block on the school run, travel time always presents a challenge for parents. So here’s a short guide to give you some ideas on how to keep your little ones entertained whatever journey you’re taking.

Strategies for the Car

In order to minimise stress during a car journey, you should plan ahead and pack well. Make a mental note of where you plan to stop on a long trip and study the route properly beforehand even if you plan to use a satnav – they’re not always reliable, or as I have found run out of battery and the charger faulty (not one of my happier journeys)

Take healthy snacks and drinks that your children like with you and keep it a secret until they complain of being bored or hungry, that way they’ll have the excitement of a surprise as well! You’ll be amazed how much time you can take up by offering treats and requesting a tidy-up during the halfway rest stop. The best way to travel long distances with children is when they’re sleeping, so it is worth considering their usual sleeping schedule and what time they tend to eat. Leave just before lunchtime and you’ll be able to keep them occupied with food, or travel at night and you’re likely to see them sleep through the whole journey. If you’re just off on a short journey, for example the school run, consider adjusting your travel time to either slightly earlier or slightly later if possible avoiding peak times – there’s nothing worse than grumpy little ones in the back of the car because you’re stuck in rush hour traffic. In case this does happen, keep a toy, game, or colouring book in the back seat pocket for them to play with when traffic’s going nowhere.

Make It An Adventure

If you’re discouraging use of the car for the school run in favour of some fresh air and exercise, you could be met with some resistance… but worry not! By adding the promise of a little adventure to the journey you’ll have them running out of the door in no time at all. There’s no point denying it – even in the ever-active minds of kids, walking is boring. So choose an alternative method of transportation!

You could go for bikes, scooters, skateboards, or shoes with wheels in (yes they really exist!) – but whatever you choose make sure you’re also kitting them out with all of the necessary safety equipment. Helmets are a must, no matter how short the journey. You should also grab some elbow and knee pads for less experienced or younger children, and potentially fingerless gloves to protect their palms should they fall.

We also like to play games on our walk to school, hide and seek, I-Spy, scavenger hunts and even racing each other across the field.  We also, well the children that is, like to collect treasures on their walks.  I usually make sure I have a bag for each of them and they fill with feathers, sticks, stones and flowers, of course I then need to carry these home again with me while they are in school however we do keep them to make collage pictures or for small world play with their animals or small figures.

You can make most boring things into an adventure and children will enjoy it, plan ahead and it helps to not only relieve the stress but to make sure you all have fun in the process

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