10 Ways to Keep the Kids Amused While Travelling
ARE WE THERE YET:
A MANS GUIDE TO CHILD TRAVEL
If one thing its certain it is lack of perpetration will lead to the relentless chanting of: “Are we there yet?!”; a whole number of tantrums from young ones and even greater number of strops from the big ones – time to get organized:
- 1. STAY-AWAY FROM MOTORWAYS “I spy” possibilities are restricted, so is the personal space. The humor is centered round a heavy dose of schadenfreude – nobody likes the family sweepstake on “who can guess the length of the tailback?”.
- 2. BUS AND TRAIN JOURNEYS OFFER A MAJOR ADVANTAGE, HERE’S AN EQUATION: Rule of thumb: The more opportunities for them, the less obligations for you. If you’re feeling particularly risqué – there is hide and seek – this is not recommended unless you’re travelling to the final destination directly, things could go south if little Jonny decides to get off in search of platform 9 3/4…
- 3. TIME TO CRACK OUT THE PENCILS AND CRAYONS. Hangman, knots and crosses and even battleships (simple 10 by 10 grid marked 1-10 and A-J). Winner, winner chicken dinner.
- 4. MONEY IS AN EXCELLENT BARGAINING TOOL. A simple transaction of a quarter for every hour of good behavior; or get creative – a bonus for every Greyhound Coach they see – do your research and don’t pass a depot, this could end up costing you a small fortune… so a friend said.
- 5. IF CASH PRIZES AREN’T FOR YOU – then how about candy on a rotation system say…. every 30 minutes. Make sure they only get one if they are being behaved – Pavlov’s dog and all that jazz.
You need to sail a tight ship on this, dolling out sweets to appease badly behaved children will result in chaos and inter-car relations will be strained for the duration of the journey. You are a politician now, use your power astutely.
- 6. PRINTABLE TRAVEL BINGO – It’s a classic for a reason: It ticks most of boxes – time consuming ✓, fun for all ages ✓, easy to set up ✓ and relatively mitigating the risk of tears…. ✓. However! It is demanding for you the chef, policeman, politician, gamekeeper and now bingo host – just a disclaimer, but it probably beats the 23rd “rendition of wheels on the bus”.
- 7. TWO-BIRDS; ONE STONE: Now the ideal situation here is that 2,3 or even 4 kids can play harmoniously over a good game of connect 4 or checkers – the reality is probably somewhat different and the conclusion is normally the same, tears. BUT, When the going is good on this, it’s great – when it’s bad, it’s disaster – are you feeling lucky?
For older kids – chess is a sure fire winner, backgammon too – just make sure to keep the steering wheel steady and avoid potholes or you will be at the sharp edge of their angst.
- 8. WHEN YOU CAN; ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, DRIVE AT NIGHT – this is a sure fine winner all day every day. Driving at night is probably among the most tranquil and relaxing time you will ever spend as a parent.
- 9. IF YOU’RE NOT IMAGINATIVE ENOUGH TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN STORY, LISTEN TO HARRY POTTER TAPES, THEY SEEM TO BE NEVER ENDING. Stay away from Roald Dahl though, The Witches may result in you guessed it… tears.
- 10. IF YOU NEED ANY FURTHER GAMES, PUZZLES TECHNIQUES OR ASSORTED BRIBERY YOU ARE PROBABLY ON AN EXPEDITION RATHER THAN A DAY OUT. Our advice to you is to Fly or leave your kids at home.