For generations, the thought of setting out on a family road trip with your little cherubs has caused anxiety and dread for parents across the world.
Long distance commutes can be stressful at the best of times. No matter how much you plan ahead, there’s always the inevitable threat of traffic jams, road closures and wrong turns (yes, the smug satnav was right when it told you to take the next left). These annoyances are magnified when you factor in your growingly impatient precious cargo.
Just as you think you may have reached your breaking point, you hear the dreaded grumble; “Are we there yet?”
And the truth is, you don’t know. You just don’t know. Before long, a tantrum erupts and you’re forced to deploy your secret weapon of: “If you don’t stop that right now, I’m turning this car around!” It’s all well and good saying it, but you know that there is no chance you will be turning back round at all. And the worst part? Even the kids are aware of the emptiness of this threat.
However, all is not lost. Over the years there have been countless inventions in order to take your passenger’s restless minds off the marathon journey ahead of them. So, to help you prepare for any upcoming treks and avoid total misery, Creditplus have put together a list of road trip distractions for the whole family.
What is it that they spy with their little eye? A lorry? A tree? An air core gauge? The truth is, it could be anything, which is what makes this well-known game so appealing. With a near limitless amount of options available to spy, this is an engaging way to keep your little tykes busy as they scan their surroundings in order to win the round.
This classic game is guaranteed to test the brain and engage the whole family. The game works with the first person starting with “I went shopping and bought a…” and names an item they put in their imaginary basket. The next person then repeats the first person’s line, but adds on their own item. As the game goes on, it gets harder and harder to remember the (by now) bonkers list. Where else can you buy an apple, bread and a pink elephant?
Here, you can let your kid’s imaginations run wild. This simple and creative game involves choosing a passing car and memorising the last three numbers of its plate. Once the three letters have been memorised, it’s time to create a story. The first letter is used to decide the name of the main character; the second letter is the start of an animal or key item in the story. Finally, the third letter describes what the character is doing. You will be astonished at to what your little story makers manage to come up with.
Another simple but extremely effective distraction is the Twenty Questions game. Once someone has secretly thought of an item, animal or person, it’s the aim of everyone else in the car to find out what they are thinking of. However, only 20 questions can be asked collectively and they can only be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Once all 20 questions have been asked, each person is allowed to make a guess at what the person is thinking of.
This giggle-inducing game requires one person to hum the tune of a song or theme tune that they have secretly selected. It’s then up to everyone else in the car to guess the name of the song being hummed in the fastest time, and then it’s their turn to hum. And if you happen to be tone deaf, you will stick out like a sore thumb.
We’re honest enough to admit that kids these days are more than comfortable with tech, and we’re living in an age where there’s an app for everything and the mobile phone has almost become part of our anatomy. An easy way to appease the squabbling children is to hand back the iPad and watch them immerse themselves in the technological jungle. With Angry Birds, Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer at their fingertips, you’ll soon be left to your own devices as you endure the lengthy commute.
As easy as this quick fix is in stimulating the minds of your little ones and giving you a peaceful break, at the end of the day nothing beats the human interaction of the classic games we’ve mentioned above. You may even find it entertaining yourself.
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