Fun tips to keep the kids entertained on long Christmas journeys
The Christmas holidays are about spending quality time with friends and family. Unfortunately, it also involves long motorway treks across the country for many of us.
This means you have the unenviable task of keeping your children entertained on tedious motorway journeys for hours.
The dreaded words “are we nearly there yet?” are etched into the minds of every parent on these trips, which is why you must have some tricks up your sleeve to pass the time.
It can be easy for everyone to become grumpy if you are dragged away from the cosiness of home to sit in the back of the car for hours on end.
Instead, you need to get into the car already prepared.
Having a few fun activities to hand can make the long journey to see your family over Christmas far more bearable.
Whether it is playing ‘I Spy’ or letting your children help with map reading, here are some fun tips to keep you and the kids entertained on long Christmas journeys:
Play some fun games
One of the best activities you could try to keep you and your kids entertained is playing fun memory or guessing games.
Not only is this a great way of passing the time, but it creates a break from screen time. Playing games is also better for kids who get car sick because screens can worsen nausea.
Everyone enjoys a long game of ‘I Spy’ to pass the time because it helps you find interesting details in often dull landscapes. If you are a car-loving family (which you probably are if you’re reading this), swap in ‘I Spy’ for a car spotting game.
Perhaps you could shout “Yellow Car!” every time you spot a yellow car driving past or even play the alphabet game for cars.
This is when you start with ‘A’, and everyone must name a car brand starting with that letter. You continue this until you reach ‘Z’.
If you are committed, this could be extended into a journey-long road trip bingo session. Prepare a bingo card of things you will likely see en route, which you and your children can shout out and cross out as you go.
Alternatively, you could start playing the infinite story game, where you make up a few lines of a story, and everyone must add to it one by one. As the name suggests, this can go on for as long as you want.
Playing games together keeps the family spirit high, creates Christmas memories and allows you to teach your kids some interesting facts (unless it’s obscure car trivia about a Morris Oxford you spot on the A30…that’s certain to send everyone to sleep).
Listen to a Christmas audiobook
Another fantastic way to entertain you and the kids on long Christmas journeys is to play an audiobook. This is a popular option for many parents because it entertains and educates the children.
Smartphones and tablets might be more exciting, but Christmas is about enjoying traditional fun. Spending hours listening to a classic novel can keep you engaged and send your kids into a blissful snooze.
However, given that it’s Christmas and your kids are bound to be excited to see what Santa has brought, why not play a seasonal story like A Christmas Carol or Polar Express?
This will distract from the boredom of travelling and ensure everyone is in the right mood by the time you arrive.
Plan your Christmas activities
Alternatively, you could make productive use of your time in the car by starting to plan your Christmas activities. If you are wondering what you will do once you arrive, start a conversation with your kids about what they want to do.
This saves you from wasting time when you arrive (especially during the noise and chatter of a reunited family) and helps you include your children in the planning process.
What’s more, if your kids are frustrated or upset that they have to spend Christmas somewhere other than their home, allowing them to make plans gives them a feeling of control over their festive celebrations.
Let the kids help you with navigation
If your family are becoming restless and lacking anything interesting to do, they could always help you with map reading.
Although Sat Navs and smartphone map apps are adequate, there is nothing like navigating with a good old-fashioned paper map.
If your children are young, having them read maps and road signs helps teach them about geography. It also injects the journey with an all-important sense of adventure, which can transform a child’s memory of a particular trip.
Of course, you will probably want to keep the sat nav in the background…just in case.