Encouraging kids to play in the car during road trips enhances the overall enjoyment for both them and the driver. Keeping them engaged and entertained allows for a comfortable and fun journey, reducing the likelihood of distractions while driving. A happy and content child in the backseat makes for a safer, smoother and more enjoyable trip.
If your little one becomes restless, it’s best to pull over to the side of the road and calm them down before continuing the journey. Prioritising their well-being helps maintain a safe and focused environment for everyone in the car.
How to Ensure Child Car Comfort
Before going anywhere in a car with your kids, ensure their travel system prams or seats are fitted correctly and professionally based on your car model and seat. A number of stores will offer professional installation to ensure your child is safe when on the road.
When embarking on a long trip, make sure to plan several breaks. These breaks are essential for drivers to stay more alert on the road and avoid any associated risks with extended driving, but also for your children’s physical comfort. Prolonged periods of sitting in child car seats can impact their physical well-being, making regular breaks even more important to ensure a comfortable and safe journey.
Ideally, babies aged four weeks and under should be let out of their car seats every 30 minutes, even if they’re asleep. During the break, give them the space to stretch out on a rug or other safe space. For older children, ideally, allow them a break every 1-2 hours.
When you’re back on the road, consider trying the following to keep the kids occupied:
- Chat while driving (for example, ask kids what sights they can see outside the window or play alphabet search)
- Listen to music (for example, listen to nursery rhymes or family-friendly songs, or let them have a concert through a kid’s karaoke)
- Listen to audio stories
- Play games
- Watch some cartoons or movies.
Another effective method is to offer distractions, like soft hand-held toys or books, to keep them occupied during the journey. However, it’s essential to prioritise safety and prevent loose objects or pets from becoming hazards in the car.
To ensure everyone’s safety, store loose objects in the glove box, behind a cargo barrier, or in the car boot. Secure pets in a harness or animal container while travelling to ensure their and your child’s safety. These precautions will help create a safer and more enjoyable travel experience for everyone onboard.
5 Fun Crafts for Kids to Do in A Car
Road trips can offer more than just songs, movies, games, or books. Consider planning a few fun crafts to keep kids’ hands busy and their minds engaged during the journey. You don’t need to worry about messes; numerous handcraft ideas are car-friendly and won’t create a big mess.
These creative activities not only provide entertainment but also boost kids’ creativity, making the trip even more enjoyable and enriching for them.
Simply choose what’s age-appropriate for kids. Check out a few options below:
1. Pipe Cleaners
Pipe cleaner crafts (i.e. chenille stems or fuzzy wires) have helped many on-the-go parents survive long car rides with their kids. Children of any age love them! They can encourage sensory play for younger kids and boost creativity and critical thinking for older ones. What’s more, they’re fun to play, colourful, not messy, and very affordable, making them a must-have in every travel survival pack.
2. Colouring Crafts
Of course, we simply can’t leave out the go-to road trip aid for kids—colouring books! You can print pictures of your kids’ favourite cartoon characters or the like or buy colouring books in advance.
We recommend you opt for coloured pencils as they’re less messy than other coloured texters or pens. There are twistable coloured pencils that don’t need to be sharpened, which are all great for safe, convenient, and mess-free crafts.
3. Road Trip Journaling
Why not let your kids make a fun road trip journal to chronicle their adventures? Give them paper, washable colouring materials, stickers, or washable glue sticks. You can then let their imagination lead the way. However, this option is only recommended if you have older children or don’t mind getting messy in a car.
4. Photo Album
If you want a fun no-mess way to chronicle their trip, try a photo album. Purchase a postcard or take a Polaroid picture at every attraction and place you visit. Let the kids add them to the album as you go. When you return home, they’ll have a whole book of memories from the places you visited.
If you want to avoid a lot of colouring, cutting, or glueing, try origami. It doesn’t need any materials except paper. It’s just all folding! With a simple origami kit, even young kids can easily follow the instructions to make their favourite cute animals from colourful paper.
Crafting on the road is a delightful way to make time fly during the journey. It brings joy to kids and ensures the road trip remains safe and enjoyable for everyone. These road trip crafts can serve as wonderful souvenirs of the family adventure or thoughtful gifts that kids can give to grandparents or other family members, making the entire journey even more memorable and special for everyone involved!