Long gone are the days where Liam and I could just jump in the car and go. Every trip now is a military operation. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it’s certainly different. Even for just short journeys within the city, we have to make sure Dexter has had a wee, the girls have clean nappies on, and then we have to count heads to make sure we have everyone. Are we going to need the buggy? Let’s get that in the boot.
If we’re going anywhere further, there is even more to consider… so here are my top tips for surviving car journeys with kids.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure your car maintenance is done. Check all your fluids – (your water, oil, petrol etc.), tyre pressure and tread. Have sensible items in the car such as a first aid kit and a torch in case of accidents or breakdowns. I’m not the driver in our house so I’m sure you can find a more comprehensive list for this section but basically, check your car before you go.
We have wipes EVERYWHERE. They are fab for a multitude of messes, sticky fingers, spillages, mucky faces and of course nappy changes. Always keep a packet in the glove box. And maybe a spare in the boot too.
A good distraction from boredom is music. Have a mix of something for the adults and something for the kids. The radio is fine, but it’s nice to mix it up a bit with some songs from the kid’s favourite film or educational bits such as nursery rhymes and such.
If your journey coincides with nap time, a cushion for when they get tired and maybe a favourite blanket if they have one. Just something that might help them nap or sleep. Perhaps even their favourite teddy.
Get them each a little bag with something of interest in. It might be a book to read or a word search/puzzle book. Perhaps a tablet or iPad. Add a small notebook and pack of crayons, a couple of small snacks and a drink that can be resealed.
Bin or rubbish bag
Speaks for itself really.
When I was younger, we used to play a game called ‘spot it’. The person who’s ‘it‘ chooses something for everyone to find. It might be a tractor in a field, a plane, a hay bale, a motorbike with a passenger etc. Everyone else in the car has to try and ‘spot it’ first and then it’s their turn to choose what to find.
You can also play I spy or 20 questions and similar games
It’s always handy to keep a potty and or a sick bag in the car for long journeys. When kids are involved, there is just no telling when they might get caught short. Tissues are good to have too.
Water for the car, water to drink, water to rinse out the potty if you need to use it. Always have water!