Sometimes car journeys with little ones go really well, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you wish you’d never heard of the song “Old MacDonald had a Farm” as you’ve sang it so many times. Sometimes you relish the challenge of finding new animals/machines for Old MacDonald to have on his farm. One friend of mine said she was once having such a bad car journey and had sang Old MacDonald so many times that eventually poor Old MacDonald passed away!
Below I’ve listed some of the ideas that we use to entertain our two boys on car journeys – long or short. Please feel free to comment if you’ve tried any and to let me know how you entertain your little ones on car journeys – we are always looking for new ways, especially on longer journeys to visit family.
- Play “I Spy” with colours – “I spy with my little eye something blue….”
- Play “Name that tune” – hum a nursery rhyme that your little one knows well and ask them to guess the song. Let them take a turn at humming too!
- Do a quiz – we recently did this Easter quiz on a journey to visit family at Easter and we had a great time – you could even get some prizes for them too….https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/377035800035439885/
- Etch-a-sketch – a great non-mess art activity for them to do in the car! We also use etch-a-sketch to play a kind of car pictionary – guess what I’m drawing….
- Water colouring book – give your kids some water pens and a water colouring book and let them draw away – another no mess car activity!
- Magic colouring book – along the same themes as above – get them a magic colouring book and let them colour in with a water pen and see the colours magically appear!
- Fuzzy felt! I love this activity from Little Family Fun – we keep it as a car activity for long journeys so there is something different to do from their normal activities….http://www.littlefamilyfun.com/2014/01/build-truck.html
- Sing some songs – see who can think of new animals/things on old MacDonalds Farm (my boy came up with hedge cutter!), what new things can go on the bus (my boy came up with the feet on the bus go stomp, stomp, stomp….)
- Listen to a podcast – cbeebies do some great podcasts – some of them are interactive too.
- Read a book – either read to them (if you’re not driving!), get some touchy-feely or sound books that they can look through themselves, ask them to read you a story from the book they’re looking at….
- Play “Yellow Car” – see who can be the first to spot a yellow car and clap your hands when you see one.
- If you’re on a quiet road, play guess what will be the colour of the next vehicle we see….
- Practise phonics with them – pick a “sound of the journey” and help them think of as many things as they can which start with that sound.
- Practise shape recognition – pick a “shape of the journey” and help them look out for that shape on the journey. You could incorporate this with some of the activities above and draw the shape for them on their etch a sketch etc
- Stickers! (But beware they don’t get stuck all over the inside of your car! To help little fingers peel the stickers off, you may want to peel the backing of the stickers off first.