Ways to entertain the kids on long road trips.
If you’re going on a long road trip with the family, the part you most likely dread is the children getting bored or agitated. Nothing makes a trip more hellish than a couple of kids going a bit cray-cray. And nothing makes you more thoughtful on the idea of abandoning them to fend for themselves in the Karoo… while thinking maybe a Maltese Poodle would have been a better idea.
Well, we’re here to stop the Wild Children of the Klein Karoo, because once that starts, they end up forming gangs while armed with sharpened sticks. If you’ve read the book Lord of the Flies, you know how well that works out. Speaking of books…
Children love being read stories. And there’s a way you can have stories read to them while you focus on driving. The magic of audio books. Simply figure out what exciting children’s adventure they might get into, and download the audio book of it, and play it through your phone’s Bluetooth to your car’s stereo.
If they’ve read “everything”, find the classics: Harry Potter, anything for kids by Roald Dahl, Percy Jackson, etc. And who knows, it might have the same effect as reading to them at night time does. It’ll help lull them to sleep.
Speaking of sleep…
Send them to La La Land!
You know that expression, “Tummy full, eyes closed”? No? Maybe because it is an Afrikaans phrase typically spoken in die taal. But never mind. The saying is truly wise and presents an excellent solution.
Simply keep them as far away from the sugary snack foods, and during the lunch break, encourage them to eat a big hearty meal. Anything with plenty of protein should do the trick, as protein is quite complex for the body to break down, and so it tends to induce sleepiness – especially in kids, and especially during the afternoon segment of the drive.
Big meal, and you’ll be watching them fall asleep in no time.
Speaking of watching…
You should invest in screens.
They’ve been around for a while. Screens that hook up to your infotainment system in your car. They go on the back of the front seats. For decades, parents have learnt that TV is one of the best ways to keep the kids out of trouble. Well, the same principle works for your car. DVD or whatnot entertainment will keep them fascinated for hours (hopefully).
Some even feature the ability to play games on them. Which is even more immersive and involving.
Speaking of games…
You don’t have to bust the bank.
There are a lot of games you can play as a family.
Here’s some ideas:
The Car Colour Game. Everybody picks a colour. Then every time you see a car with that colour, you win a point. Whoever has the most points by the next service station stop wins the round. Hot tip: ban the colour white to make the contest more fair.
Then there’s classic 20 Questions. You know, the game where you pick something that’s either an animal, mineral, or vegetable, and everyone else has 20 questions to guess what it is. You can only give ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, so it’s a bit like ‘hot or cold’, the object hide-and-seek game.
Then there’s a game normally reserved for the fire place. It’s the Co-lab Game, where everyone collaborates to tell a story. Each person in the game gets a paragraph, approximately, to tell a story, before ending their turn and the next person picks up on that story and continues it as they see fit. It can lead to quite crazy outcomes.
It’s basically the apparent technique of the new Star Wars trilogy. Which just shows, it is a game that is best played off the silver screen.
Good thing they haven’t done that with the Marvel comic book movies.
Speaking of comics…
Get the kids engrossed in some old school comics.
Reading in a car can be a jarring experience because of the motion. But comic books are much easier to read, considering the frugality of text and reliance on pictures to tell a story. If you’re looking to save money, and get more bang for your buck, one thing you can do is visit a second-hand book store. They often are packed to the brim with comic books that are inexpensive compared to brand new editions.
There you go! Some great ways to keep the kids entertained and keep you sane. Happy holidays, everyone!