5 Tips for a long car drive with kids
We all know the feeling of planning a long trip. You consider dividing it into overnight stays, you wonder if you should just take advantage of the time and take it in one a stretch?
We have all had the similar thoughts, and when you have smaller children in the car, and you dread how many diaper changes will be needed, who may not be able to hold themselves before the next toilet visit, and whether there should be a motion sickness kit ready.
When you overthink it, a lot can go wrong, but luckily you plan oneself out of most situations.
So sit down and look at your route, and think about how you might be able to take advantage of the following suggestions.
1. Have snacks in the car
The most important thing first. One thing that is for certain, is that no matter how much a child eats before a long drive, they will most likely reach a dangerous level hunger minutes into the drive. If you are like most families, then a stable blood sugar is crucial for you to be able to endure sitting in a car together for hours at a time. Therefore, there is almost nothing more important than the ability to eat a snack, or a plan a pit stop for a refreshment. Do not wait it out and hope that you come past a place by chance, the best thing is to have a plan and an approximate snack time before leaving home. Remember a snack for when planning – It’s not fun to plan when you have low blood sugar!
2. Prepare a (Good) playlist
Children love to being the main decision makers, but when creating a playlist, you might want to all collaborate and agree on some songs that the whole family enjoys along the way. That way each of you can look forward to your favorite song coming on. That being said, no one can stand listening to crazy frog nonstop, so for you the sake of your own sanity – make sure there is a mix of every taste.
3. Car games
There is a huge variety of car games – and yet we always end up playing ”i spy”. Given the fact that you are effectively in a moving car, filled with people of all heights and ages, this game does pose some challenges. Why not try some of these suggestions instead:
Who am I thinking about?
One of the funniest car games is, that you think of a specific person (or an item, that’s completely up to you!) And then the other people in the car have to guess what or who it is you are thinking of, all based off of how you answer their yes or no questions. You all agree on a theme before you start, decide who’s in the “hot seat” so to speak, and each other person in the car gets to ask them 1 question at a time or guess the item/person before the turn goes to the next person. Whoever correctly guesses the person or item, wins! Remember to choose a theme beforehand where everyone has an equal chance at guessing the person/item.
Guess a melody
It’s always a huge amount of fun trying to perfectly mimic a melody without the help of lyrics. See who can guess the song being recited, the quickest, only using (possibly quite creative) humming.
Share some dad jokes – googling allowed
When kids finally reach the age where they begin experimenting with jokes, there are endless amounts of fun to be had. If you need new material, the internet never disappoints even finding accounts dedicated solely to the fine art of the dad joke – but in most cases, the funniest jokes are the ones your kids create on their own.
Tell a story using only none sentence each
It can be a laugh creating a silly story together where each of you get to come up with parts of the storyline. Take turns adding to the story, try dropping some plot twists and new funny characters to keep the excitement going.
4. Share an experience
If you are like most families, you might not get many chances to spend time together where you aren’t distracted by your ever growing to do list or a screen. Take advantage of your time together in the car, and use it to get to bond with each other. Tell a funny story from your own childhood, or from when the kids were smaller. Try taking turns or even choosing a theme such as, “the most embarrassing thing you’ve experienced” or “the best family holiday”. The goal isn’t to embarrass each other, but to laugh with each other – not at each other. So be careful when choosing a theme – Especially if you have a teenager on board!
5. Take a play or walking break
If you pass by a playground on your way, then consider taking a small break. The kids can blow off some steam, and the driver could use the break to enjoy the fresh air and possibly a refreshment (see point number 1) Maybe are playground is too out of the way for you, but you might be closer to a bit of nature where you could take a walk and possibly try putting our free sensory scavenger hunt. All you need is a forest, a park or a beach or something similar. You can download it here, print it from home or fill it out digitally.