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  • Katie Wright

Holiday road trips can be fun!

There is nothing quite like the big family school holiday road trip! Depending on your personal experiences, the thought of it will either excite or terrify you!

But don’t panic, you are not alone…. We have gone searching and have come up with 10 great ideas to help make your ‘School Holiday Road trip’ one to remember for the right reasons 😊

The reason car trips can turn into nightmares is that bored children can cause chaos, so it stands to reason, that we just need to keep the children busy and occupied.

It is easy for many of us to think, ‘Ipad’ or ‘tablet’ as the first defence against a bored travelling child, and in most cases you would be right. They have a great role to play in the sanity of parents everywhere, and in moderation that is perfectly reasonable. Just in case you have a longer trip planned, and you prefer your child not spend the entire adventure with their eyes glued to the small screen, we have put together a list of mostly ‘technology free’ , interactive, family inclusive games and activities that the whole family can enjoy during the car ride.

I. Spy

Nothing beats the classics! I Spy is a bit like animal spotting, but it allows the kids to be a bit more creative. Take it in turns to “spy” something outside the car and tell everyone the first letter of that thing (I Spy something starting with A). The first person to guess what it is, wins! If you are including younger players, you can modify the game to be “I spy something that is ‘blue’?

2. License Plate Game

This is another creative game that helps kids experiment with words and build their vocabulary. Look at the letters on the number plates of passing cars and get the kids to come up with a phrase of what the letters mean. For example BRC could be short for ‘Big Red Car’ This one is pretty fun for the adults as well.

3. DVDs, movies and cartoons

This is the go-to for many parents when it comes to keeping kids occupied. Make sure batteries on phones or tablets are fully charged before you set off and have plenty of shows or movies downloaded for them to watch. If you want some extra peace and quiet, you can give the kids headphones.

4. Interactive books

Reading in the car may not be for everyone, but bringing books along for the car trip can provide a great distraction. Better yet, interactive books that kids play with are even better!

5. Sing-alongs

Another classic for car trips is the sing-along. Wheels on the Bus is an old favourite, or anything from Frozen is sure to win them over.

You can even make up your own funny ‘progressive’ songs, where 1 person starts singing a song and then pass it to the next person who sings the next verse (real or made up)

6. Car cricket

In this classic car game, the player scores ‘runs’ based on the colour of the cars theyu see going past. A white car is 1 pt., blue car is 2pts, motorbike is a 4, trucks are a 6 and a red car is ‘OUT’

7. Animal Spotting

This is a fun way to keep kids distracted by using the changing scenery around them. Get them to list the number of animals they see out the windows, with the aim of spotting the widest variety of fauna. As an added incentive, you could have a snack or toy prize for the kid who can spot the most.

8. ‘SPOTTO Another classic game is ‘Spot to’ where each player keeps an eye on the traffic and catches out the other players when they are the first to spot a ‘yellow car’ and call out ‘Spotto’

9. Magnetic travel game A moving car is not the right place to play a board game, however with the use of some magic magnets, you can create your own mini travel games such as connect 4 and 0’s and x’s

10. Backseat ‘Bingo’ Before your trip, create a ‘Bingo’ list for each child to tick as you are travelling. You can make each list slightly different depending on the ages and reading levels of the children. You could use pictures for the younger children and words for the older children.

Remember that children can get bored easily and sometimes the best plans can go awry, so it doesn’t hurt to have more activities than you think you will need.

It is also a great idea to stop regularly, and pack water and snacks.

You could also spend time talking as a family about what you might see when you get there, what each person hopes to do on the holiday .

Buckle up, travel safe and enjoy your holidays, making precious family memories!

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