How many family drives have you taken where the children start screaming and throwing things around the car and evening crying? Maybe it was during the school run or an exciting ride to the airport gone wrong or even a trip to visit family. No matter when and where you were, family feuds in the car are something that happens to every family at some point.
We asked our Facebook followers about their tried and tested methods for having a fun and peaceful family trip. Here are their suggestions, plus a few of our own. It’s not too late to join the conversation, you can add your comments to the Facebook thread.
If it’s possible, plan your road trip adventure to take place during a late afternoon and evening. That way you can guarantee at least a few hours of peace and quiet as the children will be sleeping. Plus, there will probably be less traffic on the roads.
Stop the screams by keeping the children entertained with a fun movie or a few episodes of their favorite tv show. I-pads and tablets can be safely attached to the back of the front seat or even be held by the children. Make the experience even better for you by providing headphones, so that you don’t have to listen to it as well.
If you are going on a long journey, we suggest taking an in-car charger. We would hate for the tablet to run out of battery mid movie.
Warning: This may cause car sickness, be prepared with hole-free plastic bags, spare clothes, water and wipes.
Car Activities = Games, Games and more Games
There are hundreds of games that can be played in the car. They are a great way to have some family fun, as everybody can take part. Here are four awesome games to get you started:
1. License Plate Game – See if you can spot a license plate from all the 50 states.
2. I Spy – This guessing game is a classic! Look out the window and see what you can spot, and say “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letter T.” Then everyone gets to guess. “Tarmac. No. Tires. No. Trees. YES!”
3. I went to the supermarket and I bought… everybody adds one item to the list on their turn, but you must remember the shopping list as it grows and grows. You are out of the game when you repeat the shopping list incorrectly.
4. Who am I? If you have older children, then try this celebrity/character guessing game. Players have 20 questions to work out who you are by asking questions that can only be answered with yes or no. This is a great game that is made easier by limiting the category. For example, movie stars, singers, sportsmen, Disney characters, cartoons, talking animals. Etc.
There are two great options for audio entertainment, the first and most obvious is music. You can listen to the radio and sing-a-long to the latest hits, or play an album. Do your children love a specific musical artist? Or maybe they love nursery rhymes. Either way, an album can last between 50-120 minutes.
Classical music has been proven to have a calming influence on both people and animals that listen to it, why not give it a try? Also, if one of your car passengers has ADHD, then it may be worthwhile reading this article from ADDitude, about the 8 Best Songs for growing ADHD brains. The songs are said to promote language skills, sleep and brainpower.
The second audio entertainment option is an audiobook. Hours and hours of listening to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter sounds like the better option to screaming kids in the back of the car, what do you think? Nowadays, there are hundreds of thousands of audiobooks available for download on CD, many of these are specifically children’s literature. Not sure which audiobook to order? Check out the British newspaper, The Independent, because they published ‘The 10 Best children’s audiobooks’ list.
Hopefully, these car activities will help to make your next driving adventure a pleasant experience with minimum screams and tears. If you have more suggestions, you can share them here.