Do you have some long journeys planned this summer??
Afraid of the kids killing each other in the back??
Or worse, feel guilty that they'll have their head stuck in a tablet the whole way!!
Here are some simple games and activities that may pass part of the journey and ensure the kids take in their surroundings and don't resort to fighting!
When we are going on a long journey eg. Donegal to Dublin, we compromise by allowing them their devices for the last hour. Before that, they can chat to us, daydream, sing along to the radio or play games.
Here are 3 games we like to play:
- I Spy
Up until our kids started school, we played this game with colours, “I spy with my little eye, something that is green.”
Now that they’re older, they love playing it with letters and it usually passes 20 minutes or so.
Keep it to within the car though, or the blue sign from 5 km back could cause WW3!
2. Call Out Games:
These are very simple games like, “Horse” and “Yellow Number Plates” (if close to the border)
We used to play these games on buses to basketball matches back in the day! Every time you see a horse, you call “Horse”. You’d be amazed how many there are!
“Yellow Number Plates” is a favourite in our house as we live in Donegal and there are lots of Northern reg cars around. It can also have an added slap to the knee of your sibling (if you think that’s a good idea!)
I find whiteboards great for keeping children amused on car journeys. They are clean and durable; just bring a marker and cloth.
Here are some activities:
- Track county number plates
- Draw pictures
- Who knows (Mum, Harry Potter, Peppa) the best?- Ask questions about family members, books or movies and the children write answers on their whiteboards
Other things that can keep the peace:
- Download their favourite artist/songs or nursery rhymes onto a Spotify playlist. This could be planned with them before the trip.
- Download an audiobook from a series they already love.
I hope these ideas help to you get through the car journeys you have planned for this year. Whether you are going on a half hour trip to the forest, visiting family down the country or driving through the continent, these games can be played. They encourage families to talk, play and have fun together, while taking in their beautiful surroundings!