How do you keep young children amused on long car journeys?

How often have you been on your way somewhere and been delayed by traffic, or it has taken much longer than you thought to get there? Or even just been on a long car journey and your children have got bored and started playing up? This is a regular occurrence for all parents with young children and can be the most irritating and frustrating time as you are all cooped up inside the car. So, the answer is distraction and playing games with your children.

There are two types of games you can play in the car, educational and plain simply amusing. If you sometimes struggle for ideas, particularly if you are frustrated as your children are playing up, and still having to concentrate on the road, why don’t you write down a list of games that can be played when the pressure starts to build. This can be kept in the car at all times, and then referred to when needed. It will be easier than trying to think of potential games to play when you are stressed out.

Some ideas of games are:

The ‘snooker game’. Ask you children to spot coloured cars in the order that the coloured balls are played in a game of snooker. So white is first, then red, then yellow etc. If you want it to last longer, then you can put another white in front of each colour.

Spotting makes of cars, or trucks, or vans. This is easy as you can pick popular ones, or if you want the game to last longer, you can pick rarer models.

Reciting the ‘Times tables’. Depending on the age of your children you can give them a time limit for reciting them properly and a little reward when you reach your destination if they get them all right.

‘Capital Cities of the world’. Depending on your child’s age, you can ask them the Capital city of England or Scotland, and progress to more difficult countries as they get a bit older and learn more. It is amazing how quickly they will retain this information.

Sing songs which start between two defined points on the road. It starts when you pass a certain landmark and must finish exactly as you pass the next. You will be surprised how precise your child can be. You can sing nursery rhymes, or popular songs, but let your child select the song.

Everyone, except the driver, writes a sentence on a piece of paper, then folds it so no-one else can see what is written apart from the last word, then the next person writes their own sentence. After everyone has had two turns, someone in the car reads out what has been written. Everyone will laugh for sure with what results.

You will also have your own ideas for games, and so your this list can be as long as you like, but do keep it in your car. It will definitely help you manage and keep your cool when you find yourself under pressure with your children in traffic.



How can you manage those car journeys for bored young children?

How many times have you dreaded the thought of getting in the car with your small children and wondered how you will manage them this time? Youngsters get bored notoriously quickly and it doesn’t take long for them to get noisy, frustrated and sometimes aggressive. You will have experienced that. So how can you make those car journeys not only tolerable, but enjoyable?

The answer is distraction. You will know that if your child is playing up, the only way to manage is to distract him and in a car, there is plenty around you to do this. Games always work, as does singing together. First of all, what games could you play? All around you are other cars, so you could start with ‘spot the mini’. The first person in the car, and it includes you and mum as well, to spot a mini, gets a point. If it is a yellow one, then you get two points. The first person to reach ten points gets to choose what the next car is to be spotted. This can last for as long as you want, and your child will love the challenge and the competition, particularly if he beats you and mum!

If you prefer singing to playing a game, then you could try the following. You take the distance between two points on the road. It could be between two road junctions, or villages, in fact any two landmarks are good for this. Then somebody in the car has to sing a nursery rhyme or rhymes, and time it so that it begins when you pass point A, and finishes exactly when you reach point B. You will be amazed how much your child will enjoy this challenge, singing, finishing right on time, and knowing you are listening to him. Once he has finished, he gets to choose who will sing next.

Try these, I’m sure they will help make the car a less stressful place for everyone in your family. There is nothing better than arriving at your destination relaxed and refreshed with good tempered children…………


How do I keep my Toddler from getting frustrated on long car journeys? Be Creative!

What can you do when you are stuck in traffic with your toddler? You know how tense it can become as your child starts getting boisterous or screaming his head off. So you need to invent some games to amuse him and stop him getting bored.

A good game to try is “the snooker game”. This can take anything up to 30 minutes to play, and will keep your toddler very interested. The objective of the game is to spot cars which are the same colours as the balls on a snooker table.

Most of the colours are easy to spot, so you start off with red, and go all the way through to black. However, have you ever noticed just how few yellow, brown or pink cars there are on the roads? In fact there are virtually no pink ones at all, so the game can really go on for as long as you want it to. Your child will be enthralled.

A variation on this game is spotting makes or types of cars. You get to choose the make to be looked out for, and whoever spots one first gets to choose the next one to find. This too can go on for as long as you need it to.

Try them, they really work, and tell me what you think.