is no getting away from the fact that holiday planning can be a bit
stressful! However finding ways to
get around some of the issues will no doubt ensure one or two less grey
This year millions of people
will have gone on holiday, some of those will be relaxed and others a
tad frazzled. I have years of experience travelling with two
lively boys. As they get older the issues do change and so must
the ways I deal with them. It is no longer possible to ply them
with carefully prepared portions of snacks to stagger along the journey.
They need more entertainment.
Personally my little darlings
will start before we even get in the car. The times my husband has
got out of the car saying "You take them, I am not going". This
then escalates of course into a bit more 'banter' between us.
Work out how long a journey will
take and what will hopefully entertain everyone during this time.
(Plus allowing for problems en route keeping us in the car for longer
--- we have to deal with the M25 for most journeys so we know to allow
Having a bag just for taking in
the car is the best way to ensure you have something. It also
means if you are going on a train, boat or even in your accommodation
you are equipped.
I do not want this part of our
holiday to be expensive and it shows in
The Great British Holiday Report from Teletext which was produced
recently that families are budget conscious over their holiday. It
also says that larger families book their next holiday at least 6 months
in advance. So with that in mind I think it will be advantageous
to bookmark this article to make sure you keep your games bag full of
When I was young and we were
going on holiday my mum would buy a ladybird book with audio tape.
This meant everyone listened to the story but myself or my brother were
able to read along or show our little sister any pictures in the book.
My own family have enjoyed many books even the whole series of Harry
Potter over many journeys.
It is important that we spend
some quiet time on a journey as some of the games can be quite noisy and
the driver may not like this very much. Its their holiday
too. It is also exhausting being games master for the brood so we
need a rest too.
We don't want to OVER stimulate
our little darlings so games need to be kept under control.
Keep a score card of winners of
any games you play and offer a prize to be given at the end of the
holiday. This allows for all the passengers to have a chance of
Traditional car games such as
eye spy can be tricky as someone will surely insist on eyeing an object
from outside - just for fun.
game which can benefit from a little preparation is to play BINGO.
Not your ordinary number bingo but depending on the age of the players
you can do it with pictures or words or both. EG. A Lorry, A
red car, Police Car, Caravan, Motorbike, roof box, McDonalds' sign and
Don't make each card have too
many options as a quicker game is far easier to manage. Plus gives
the option for more winners.
There are many sites that you
can gain free printable pages from such as the BBC cbeebies page.
Personally I ended up making my own as I felt that many of the
printables were showing pictures that were not relevant to the UK.
However if travelling abroad I think it would be an excellent way of
introducing the differences by showing the different road signs,
vehicles or even places like schools or town halls.
If you have older children you
could give them a notebook and a pen each and ask them to do the lists
and then shuffle the pages and play that way.
If you wanted to be more
prepared you could make the bingo sheet and laminate it. Then use
wipe clean pens so that you can reuse the cards.
Making the mistake of playing
games like Yellow Car can be regretful. These are usually
underlying games that play on throughout a journey. The original
way to play this is that each yellow car seen means the finder can hit
an opponent. This I do not recommend starting as most little (and
not so little) darlings enjoy this and it can get rather mean especially
if one has dosed off.
DVD's --- When we were
first bought one for Christmas I thought oh this wont get used. It
didn't take long before we had upgraded it to a screen each (less eye
contact). Plus we purchased headphones. This was the best
thing we have done. Apart from the discussions! over which DVD
will be chosen and who holds the remote control. The headphones
means that we can still have the radio on it the front and they can
watch the films. Also they don't have to interact with each other
which is a blessing on a long journey.
This is all in moderation.
Mixing films in with other entertainment is ideal. We don't want
our children to miss the world that is going on outside as its important
to have no stimulation sometimes too.
A nursery Rhyme CD is a
fabulous way of enjoying some singing and even actions to (as long as
you are not the driver)
Many will use IPods, Nintendo
DS or tablets to keep the travellers entertained which is ok but I
personally like to try and reduce our technology dependency whilst on
holiday. I am the worst culprit so diverting away from computers
is really quite important.
of the most useful things I have in my handbag is some
printouts of the squares games.
Multiple functioning as it can be used for emergency scrap of paper, the
back can be used for noughts and crosses or hangman too. I have
even once given a little boy in a hospital waiting room a sheet so he
could play with his Dad whilst waiting. It is also amazing for
keeping children who are not good at sitting at a table entertained for
quite some time. It can be put away when the food arrives and
bought out again perhaps between courses. It does not take much
effort and it easy to keep in your bag.
Verbal Games can be
enjoyable too. I find games like I went to the shop and I
bought ---- then go through A-Z taking it in turns repeating the
previous purchases and then add your own. I went to the Zoo is
another alternative, If you are using shop then saying I went to the
supermarket, butchers, bakers etc will reduce the scope of answers just
20 Questions can keep everyone
going: One player thinks of an animal, mineral or vegetable.
The other players have 20 opportunities between them to ask a question.
The first player may only answer yes or no. Questions such as is
it an animal? are good ones. Each player takes their turns and
once all 20 questions are gone everyone must answer. We play it
that if you know before hand then you are allowed to guess.
these games can be used on any journey such as a plane, train or boat.
On these type of journeys I would take a pack of cards too as there are
many games you can play either with the children or just adults. Most
important is a simple pad and pens. Finding appropriate
wordsearches and colouring pages can wile away some time especially if
your child is good at entertaining themselves.
Remember it's the beginning of
your holiday and the last moments too. Your journey can be
Author: Yolanda Barker
Editor at www.totz2teens.co.uk