Put your hand up if you have a family road trip planned over the next few weeks. Embarking on a road trip with kids can be a daunting task, even for the most seasoned parents (after all, an iPad only goes so far).
Long drives need parents to find engaging ways to pass the time and keep everyone entertained, so that backseat moaning and groaning is kept at bay.
Here are a few tricks to consider when embarking on a road trip with the little ones these Easter holidays:
Map out your trip
If your kids are old enough to read and understand maps, then pick up old-school paper maps for each kid and allow them to highlight places of interest along your planned route. On your trip, make these points of interest your milestones for breaks on your drive. This will give the kids a chance to be involved in the journey, rather than focusing on the final destination.
Bring travel games and toys
“It can be tough to keep rambunctious rug rats entertained for long car trips or plane rides,” says parenting website FamilyEducation. Toys are an excellent way to curb “on-the-move meltdowns”. They are a great distraction for kids during long trips and can help keep them entertained while on the road. Click here to check out South Africa’s favourite toys and choose whatever suits your kids’ needs.
Take along kid-friendly audiobooks
Audiobooks are perfect for passing the time on long car rides and are suitable for all ages – they are a great way to keep both kids and parents entertained. Whether the kids prefer to listen through a portable speaker or through headphones, audiobooks will captivate their minds, making long trips seem like short ones.
Audible, an Amazon company, has a list of recommended family audiobooks for all ages.
Download versatile apps
Kids have notoriously short attention spans, but the great thing about raising kids in this day and age is the help parents get from technology – such as apps that can be downloaded to entertain kids while you barrel down the highway. Apps such as DisneyNOW have loads of kid-friendly content and are packed with games that kids can enjoy during their road-tripping experience.
Create a travel surprise bag for your child
Kids have curious minds and love being Dora the Explorer. One way to keep them from being mischievous and getting bored during road trips is by creating a little treasure bag they can explore.
Use a bag that will conceal all the goodies inside, and fill it with fun stuff to keep the kids entertained on the road, such as small picture books, colouring books, coloured pencils, jigsaw puzzles, and wooden beads and a piece of thread to thread them onto.