As a tribe with two young kids who regularly take 3 hour long road trips to visit family, we’ve learned a few tricks to help keep the kids happy (and us parents sane!) whilst making car journeys. If you’re about to embark on a road trip, here’s 5 simple tips to get to your destination minus the stress and tantrums.
WORDS KIMBERLEY GREEN
1. Pack their favourite toys and books
I ask my two to each fill their rucksack with their favourite small toys and books to help keep them occupied…that means we usually have the Avengers as passengers too – handy if we need any help along the way! If you want to be super organised, you can purchase car seat organisers that hang on the back of the drivers and passengers seat to fill with all of their goodies.
2. In-car entertainment
We take the kids’ portable DVD players along with a few of their favourite films or TV programmes, sometimes visiting the library beforehand for the kids to borrow some new DVDs which they get excited about. We also take a CD with their favourite tunes to singalong to. This usually helps pass a good chunk of time until they start asking “are we there yet?”.
3. Stock up on snacks
My two seem to be constantly hungry so we make sure we pack plenty of snacks for the journey which helps keep them happy when hunger strikes. Word of advice though – avoid popcorn – that stuff ends up in every nook and cranny.
4. Plan a family-friendly pit stop
On particularly long journeys we try to stop off at a family friendly cafe mid-way, which I research before we go. The Crooked Carrot Cafe in Myalup (where we stopped on a roadtrip from Perth to Bussleton) is a great example of somewhere the kids can burn off some energy in their large grassed area and playground whilst parents enjoy a coffee fix!
5. Think of games to play
Another way to pass the time is to play some games. With young kids (almost 2 and 4) we’re a bit limited in the games they can play but some we regularly enjoy with our eldest include “I spy with my little eye something the colour of…” and challenging our son to make up stories that include three random things that we choose for example; a story including Batman, a gorilla and a banana. It’s great fun listening to his imagination run wild – he’s turning out to be quite the storyteller!