The hustle and bustle of the holidays is quickly upon is. It amazes me each year how easily it sneaks up on me. I have the same amount of time to prepare, there is the same time in each day, but somehow, no matter how good my intentions are, I always seem to be behind. That leaves me rushing and frantic to get things organized before the big day. One of the areas, I always seem to forget is preparing for the inevitable holiday car trips. Whether its a 5 hour drive north to see my sister or a simple (insert laugh here!) drive to the mall to get a last minute gift, find ways to keep kids busy in the car can be a challenge.
Are we there yet?! Is a question every adult who steps into a car with a child dreads. Whether its 5 minutes into the drive or 5 hours, it is bound to to drive an already stressed driver crazy. With a little prep work ahead of time, you can keep the kids occupied, happy and relatively quiet in the back seat with hopes of avoiding that question.
Here are 5 tips for preventing the dreaded “Are we there yet?”
- Videos – Videos are a great way help children (especially those who can tell time) how long until they arrive at their destination. When my children were younger, I used to tell them “3 and half movies until we get to Aunty K’s house!” Not only does it keep them entertained and amused, it prevents them from asking when we would arrive because they had a timeline they could understand.
- Food – As adults, we know that when we are bored, we get hungry. Why wouldn’t that be the same for kids. Keeping a wide arrangement of healthy snacks like crackers, grapes, apples and dried fruit are a great way to make happy tummies and happy kids.
- Sight Seeing Games – When I was a kid, we didn’t have built in DVD players or handheld video games, instead we did things the old fashion way and used our surroundings to play games. Whether it was searching for the letters of alphabet on a licence plate, playing I spy, Travel Scavenger Hunt (Printable for preschoolers and for older kids) or engaging in a Car BINGO (Printable here), it helped pass the time quickly and effectively
- Crayons and paper – Never underestimate the power of creativity. Whether it is drawing a picture, making a holiday card or writing a story, a pad of paper can keep kids busy for hours.
- Scrabble Twist – Scrabble Twist is our new favourite Car game! Not only does it keep them engaged but it also helps to improve language and cognitive functions. Scrabble twist is an easy to grip electronic unit based on the board game of scrabble. There are three different game functions, party, turbo and solo. You simply find words in the five letters displayed and twist the unit to bank a word! The more words a player can find, the higher their score will be. Its great for kids and adults alike!
If you have a long drive ahead of you this holiday season, I suggest you add preparing for it to your ever growing to do list! Find some good movies, print of some of these amazing printables and grab yourself a Scrabble Twist game to prevent those 4 dread words – ARE WE THERE YET?