Family holidays are exciting times for families but what isn’t as fun is the long hours spent in a car, on a boat, or in the air! Bored kids on long trips are a tricky challenge for a parent – with all the nagging, arguing, and constant choruses of are we there yet, your destination can seem a lot further away than when you started! It’s understandable that lots of parents take the easier solution of putting an iPad in their hands and leaving them to it. The catch is that screen-heavy entertainment is quite bad for your little ones – it can give them physical pains, eye problems, and disrupted sleep. So, we’ve made a list of fun travel games that take out the screens, and put in the fun!
Who Can Do it?
This one relies on a bit of good-old fashioned writing and drawing, plus a little bit of prep (sorry parents!). Get a plain notebook and make sections that fit to your journey starting with home and ending with the destination. Then add questions and drawing activities based around these sections. Add some pictures, (like a map or a picture of the place), leave some room for drawing, and then let your little explorers fill it out. Not only does it keep them entertained, it’s also a great homemade souvenir: talk about two for the price of one!
This one is a like a juicy version of Simon Says, because it’s got extra bits! The same idea applies in that you have to do something and then the little ones try to do the same. However, rather than just being physical things (Simon Says touch your nose, Simon Says wave your hand etc.) you can venture into other territories like Who can… write their own name? Who can… count backwards from 10? The game is like an endless version of Simon Says with no winners or losers: as long as you can keep thinking of things to do the fun will never stop! Unless you tire yourself out, in which case we recommend playing your trump card: Who can… have a nap? Hehe!
Last Letter Game
This is a little twist on an alphabet travelling game, like I Spy. First agree on a theme like animals, food, or countries. Then the first player kicks things off by naming a word that fits into that theme. Easy, right? Well here’s the twist! The following players have to continue naming things in the theme by using the last letter of the word before. For example: The theme is animals. The first player says, Horse. The next player has to name an animal beginning with an E, like Elephant, and so on. Give it a go!
Musical Band Game
Singing with your kids is a great way to have some fun, let off some unused energy and bond as a family. However, it can turn into a screaming, shouting, kicking fest – not exactly harmonious! A clever way around this is for the parent to act as family band leader (don’t worry, you don’t need any music qualifications!) Assign mimed instruments to each family member before the song starts and then join in together as a band when it plays! You can then bring different instruments in and out of the song to make your own family musical masterpiece! The Osmonds of the twenty-first century!
Just the name of this game sounds fun to us: try saying it in a silly voice and you’ll see what we mean! This game is a great way for your little travellers to enjoy the journey rather than distract them from it. The idea is to write off a list of things that you know will be on the journey, (think tunnels, trucks, clouds, sun, sheep, houses) and then let your kids tick them off until one of them shouts, WINDOW BINGO! You can make a couple of these and give them to your little ones at different parts of the journey where the game will be most fun.
There we have it: five screen-free ways to keep the littles ones entertained, so that the whole family can enjoy the journey as much as the destination! These games are designed to be activity focused and family orientated to release your little travellers’ energy whilst on long journeys, so there will be no boredom tantrums in sight! All you have to do now is wait for your holiday, to try them out!