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A Child in a Journey – 5 Ways to Survive a Long Car Drive

Ewa Czajkowska     July 07, 2017

Long car journeys with children on board are an endurance test for young children and a patience exam for parents. What should we take with us if we have to face several or a dozen or so hours of driving?

Audiobooks and music
Before we leave it is worth making sure that we collect favourite stories and songs of our children in a form that will allow for easy playing in a car. More often you only need to record them on your phone. However, in this case you have to remember to take a car charger or a power bank.  If we have different tastes than children or if we feel that there is a risk of playing the same tracks again and again, it is worth equipping a child with his or her headphones and a device with favourite playlist.

Animated tales and television programmes
Parents of the youngest children know well about hypnotic qualities of smartphones and tablets. In a set with gripping films, this type of devices can allow for a smooth ride for hours. However, if strict rules connected with the number of time spent in front of a screen are observed at home, it is worth considering to liberalize them during the journey. Small exceptions can make that a trip will be something special for children and a driver-parent will be able to better concentrate on the road.

Games in tablets and smartphones
Even more gripping form of car entertainment are applications used in phones and tablets. Setting off on a journey it is worth to install several titles intended for the age group, which our children belong to. For younger players, who can already read, we recommend the application called Detective Jolly Head Street of Secrets.  Thanks to engaging activities, such as searching for hidden objects or solving detective puzzles, a parent sitting at the steering wheel won’t have to worry what’s happening at the back seat for several tens of minutes.

Portable versions of board games
Before smartphones have been popularized, in order to ensure entertainment during a car ride, portable versions of popular games such as Scrabble or Ships had been created. Though they take more place than mobile devices and often have parts that can fall away and be lost at uneven roads, it is worth to consider taking them with you as an interlude from looking into the screen. The flaw of most of them is also the necessity to be played by more than one player. In case of an only child – it won’t do!

Kick back a little
But the thing which is most important when we have to survive a long, family trip sitting at the steering wheel is to remember that we don’t have to entertain our children all the time. Having given them their favourite games, toys, films and songs, we don’t have to talk to them or animate them all the time. If we give them too much attention from the start of a trip, they will expect the same amount if it till the very end. Therefore, it is worth to let yourself focus on the road and let children take in the landscapes outside the window, even if it will bore them a little.

Ewa Czajkowska