Road tripping is a great way to experience different countries, cultures and even the natural world. It also means you can easily pack for the trip and have all your essentials with you at all times, which is a great benefit for any traveling family. However, any experienced road trippers know that the experience is not always sunshine and daisies.
Getting lost, long nighttime drives and lots of people in a cramped space for hours on end can make for stressful turn of events, especially when you have the kids in tow. Fortunately, with a few creative solutions, you can keep the children happy, content and occupied while you keep your focus on the road ahead. Here are five tips for keeping the back seat quiet with car games for road trips.
This one is an old faithful no matter how you’re traveling. Nothing keeps the kids happy better than putting on their favorite films, stocking them up with snacks and letting them go crazy. All you need is a laptop or tablet, a hard drive full of movies and you’re good to go for hopefully the whole trip. However, if the films run out, or they decide they just have to watch one that isn’t on there, things can go downhill quickly. In this situation, you can always pull over to the nearest WiFi hotspot and download some more. However, be warned, public WiFi hotspots are an easy place to pick up nasty malware or even have your details stolen, so if you’re forced to make a pit stop, be sure that you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) installed to encrypt you data and create a secure connection.
This trick is great for keeping the kids quiet but could also help you out in a moment of crisis—potentially. Give the kids the map, show them where you are and where you want to get to, along with a brief description of how maps work and maybe some useful landmarks. Then tell them it’s their job to make sure they know where you’re all going at all times.
Chances are there’s no way they’ll be able to keep up with it, but it’ll definitely keep them quiet in the attempt. And who knows, maybe if you find you’ve lost track of the route a helpful little voice might pipe up from the back and tell you which way to go. Plus, familiarizing them with maps from an early age will definitely come in handy at some point in the future.
The “Silent Game” and Other Strokes of Parenting Genius
A round of applause for whoever invented “The Silent Game.” The name is pretty self-explanatory, but for anyone who doesn’t know the rules, it simply involves two people trying to be silent for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there’s only so many times that kids will fall for this one, so it’s best to have a few back ups in place.
Other strokes of parenting genius include convincing them that there’s an invisible man running along side the car, and they have make him jump from lamppost to lamppost—or other roadside structures—by using there imagination. Alongside this, there are the old classics such as “I Spy” and the “License Plate Game’” that require a small amount of noise, but at least it’s the noise of happy children rather than backseat temper tantrums.
This is a great one for families embarking on multi-stop road trips. All you have to do is purchase a large blank scrapbook at the start of the trip and bring along some glue, scissors and pens, and you can keep the kids occupied for the entirety of the adventure. At every place you stop, get them to pick up a variety of different leaflets, posters and pictures about that place and then once back in the car they can while away the time cutting, sticking and writing about all the places they have been and the things that have experienced. It’s also a great way for kids to remember all the things they have learned about on the trip.
Although this is sure to keep the noise down, be aware that you will probably be faced with a very messy backseat once completed. So for some, choosing to do this may have to be a judgment call on the lesser of the two evils!
The ideal solution for long road trips for any parent is that the little ones will fall asleep the moment they hit the road and not wake up until the destination is reached. However, most of the time this is a lot more easily said than done. Although there’s no full-proof way to ensure the kids go to sleep, there are a few steps you can take to try and encourage the process.
Filling the backseats with an array of comfy cushions and blankets as well as their favorite bedtime toys, if they have one, will ensure a extra level of comfort that will hopefully result in them drifting off. If noise is a problem, there’s a wide range of children’s ear defenders and earplugs available or even try playing some bedtime lullabies over the stereo.
Long car journeys with kids don’t have to be a nightmare. With a few creative tricks up your sleeve, you can be sure to enjoy the road trip with relative silence from the backseat. If you have any more car games for road trips or other tips on how to keep the kids quiet, then be sure to leave a comment below.