How do you keep the kids entertained on road trips AND stop them misbehaving?

Now here's a question we'd all like the answer to! How do you keep the kids entertained on road trips?  Well we put the question out to our TAWKers and below are some of the best ideas you will find that have worked for others. I hope you find something that works for you and of course if you have any others to add, then let us know!

The following are answers and thoughts from other TAWKers (names omitted to protect privacy) to help you.....

  • We used mobile style tablets as motivation to be good. Muck up, no tablet. The tablets were the last thing we'd bring out each day. So if they misbehaved they wouldn't get it.
  • We try to make sure we travel in morning & get it out of the way. Try where possible to get kids to run, walk or ride before they get in for a long stint.
  • Break it up where possible. Involve them in the map reading, planning trip distances what everyone wants to stop & see etc. Grab a brochure about the next place you are going to, from the last visitors centre and talk about all the things that each of you would like to do there.
  • I've bought a boot sorter between kids so they can access different books, activities, toys & leap pad stuff plus a little holder for back of headrest for a cpl of snacks each. Be flexible & enjoy the journey.
  • The TAWK Family Quiz is of course a must!  It's designed especially for TAWKers - for those long drives in the car and a way for you all to interact together.  You can vs the kids as all the questions are adjusted to the level of the player!  Read more here.
  • Keep the kids bellies full, keep their minds busy and do your best to keep them comfy. Whenever they get grumpy, stop for a run around and stretch their legs to let off a bit of steam or stop for the night.
  • Take a jar of lollies and tell them they can have the jar at the end of the trip, but you will take one out and eat one every time they misbehave. They will not like seeing you eat their lollies
  • Collect something from each major stop, carry small sandwich bags and collect along the way and label, then transfer into bottles and label when you  get home, rocks, dirt, sand, shells etc., whatever will fire up their memories.
  • Pads, portable DVD player, no crayons (they melt), colouring in. I used a metal baking tray & made magnets for them to create scenes. Tray was useful for colouring etc as well. Stable tables are good too. Stickers are easy to use in the car. Pipe clears to make sculptures.
  • We did a three month lap with an 8 and 4 year old last year. The 8 year old did school work, read and write stories. the challenge was keeping the 4 year old occupied! We took lego after reading advice from others and he loved it - also great for playing with other kids around camp! Also audio books - you can download them on your phone from the library, Andy Griffiths and Paul Jennings books were great for the whole family. Movies on the laptop were a treat for long traveling days - someone gave us a BBC documentary about Australia which was a surprise hit with the kids.
  • I put together a box with paper A5 coloured and white. Stickers, pencils & colouring book, a Lego box, chalk,a container of little toys (transformers, ninja turtles etc). I painted an old oven tray with sides with black board paint. Which was great for him to draw on as use as a board for his other activities.
  • A bag of lollies for each kid. I said if they were miss behaving I would throw one of their lollies out the window and they could have what is left when we got to our destination. I only had to throw 1 lolly out and both kids started crying. They were perfect angels after that.
  • We have double DVD player and lots of games and books.
  • I have a mystery bag of a couple items from the $2 shop. So they get a new toy every now and then. If we have a big day in the car we only stop to stretch the legs and use the toilet. We eat in the car. That takes up some travel time and stops the fighting for a little bit. Also lollipops for that last half hour of madness just to get you to the destination.

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  • Ours have word search books, and I have bought kids magazines for them to look at and blank writing/sketch books with some pencils and colours. Stop when possible for a toilet stop which is an opportunity to stretch the legs for all of us and they can have a bit of a run around. Pack a small ball to kick around.
  • Play games with them, spelling tests, Australian quiz questions. We found keeping them busy helps.
  • We play games even invent ones. They have a Samsung tablet each with lots of games, fun and educational as well as there own movies and music! we also like lots of stops!! It's amazing just some of the things you see in rest areas.
  • Car cricket. Count cars between trucks and trailers, once you hit a truck or trailer your out.
  • Pipe cleaners! They can shape them into animals, numbers, letters etc keeps them occupied for ages. Also those sticky gel window decorations.
  • Get a whiteboard marker and play games on the windows. Hangman, maths questions, noughts and crosses, things like that.

If you have any other ideas, please let us know and or comment below.....

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