Allow us to set the scene, it’s a rare sunny day so you’ve popped down the roof of your MX-5; the wind is breezing¬ through your hair and life couldn’t get any better. The reality of having kids however means the days of enjoying a serene, scenic drive in your two seater roadster whilst stopping for a roadside picnic are long gone. With half-term coming up, we thought we’d share some tried and tested tips for keeping the kids happy on any planned journeys, and you can keep your sanity intact.
You set off having made sure everyone is fuelled for the ride but we can almost certainly guarantee that at least one child will feign hunger. Taking a bag of snacks and some refreshments should keep them quiet between stops. If you have younger tots, remember to pack non-spill sippy cups and less crumby foods such as dried fruit to avoid any unwanted spillages. Most of our manufacturers also supply insulated food boxes amongst their accessory range so you can choose whether to take hot and/or cold snacks.
It is inevitable that shortly after beginning your journey, at least one if not all your children will complain that they are desperate to use the toilet despite all going before you left home and you’re now 40 miles away from the nearest services. Plan to drive no more than a few hours at a time and make sure you have an idea of the closest service station with a bathroom on the way.
Most of the popular board games are available in travel size and don’t take up too much room in the car. Once they’ve stopped squabbling over who’s being the banker next in Monopoly, activity and sticker books are another handy thing to pack to keep them busy.
If all else fails, a trusty tablet should keep the most distracted of children entertained. Make sure you load it up with child-friendly apps and games the night before. If you’re not keen on them being glued to a device for hours, in-car DVD players are readily available from most of our manufacturers and can be popped in a place where sticky fingers can’t reach them or throw them out the window.
Maybe you’ve taken the option of driving on a-roads, if so there are plenty of imaginative games that can be played on route. Forget I-Spy, this has the potential to drive anyone made after two hours of them attempting to guess correctly! Split the car into two teams and have a go at the Pub Sign game. The premise of this game is each team are awarded points based on the number of legs in the pub name, for example The Jolly Sailor counts for two points and The Coach and Horses counts for 4. If all else fails, you can always pass on driving duties and stop for a swift one to take the edge of the rest of the journey!
Hopefully these tips should go some way to preventing a parenting meltdown, if you have any useful tips please feel free to share them with us in the comments!