Driving with Children

Distance driving with children can be a stressful experience for both the parents and the children.

There are several things you can do to make the journey safe, fun and even pleasant for everyone.

List of item for car travel:

  • Car games, pencils, clipboard, blank paper or pad, and print-out games
  • Game things – walkman, tapes or CD’s hank-held games, soft cuddly toys
  • Plenty of healthy snacks and treats
  • Surprise presents and toys
  • Wash cloth
  • Plastic bags
  • Small pillow
  • First aide kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bottled water
  • Toilet stop items, toilet paper, towel, soap
  • Jumpers or coats
  • Ball, Frisbee
  • Water container (bowl) if travelling with pets
  • Any medication that is routinely taken

Have the trip planned – include the children if old enough in the planning – get them on the web to check out the rest stops on the way each state has a site for example:- queensland main roads  try and pick rest stops with the essentials; toilets, tables and room for the children to have a run.  You will benefit from a little activity as well.

Go for a bit of a walk, run, kick a ball, throw a frisbee or simply do a few stretches to get the circulation going you will feel much more alert.

Have meals planned along the way if you can, there is nothing worse than trying to get kids to decide what they want to eat (more stress) and if you have more than one to satisfy well forget it.   Better to take food with you if you can, pre packed sandwiches, cold sausages, tubs of yoghurt, fresh fruit, dried fruit don’t forget a treat – small cups cakes or cookies to have with milk while the adults have their coffee or tea. Don’t forget to take plenty of bottled water driving in a vehicle with the air-conditioning on can be very dehydrating.

If your child suffers from travel sickness be prepared.

More information on motion sickness click here

Children between the ages of four and 12 are particularly prone to motion sickness. A child who has experienced motion sickness before may make their symptoms worse on future trips by expecting to feel sick. They may even feel nauseous before the actual ride.  This psychological input is called “conditioned reflex”.

Games for the Road

For young children and the not so young have colouring books on hand, blank paper and pencils for games like hang man, connect the dots. Board games these days come in a magnetic version – checkers, chess naughts and crosses.

Mind games:-

“What I will buy”

This is a great game for a large group – you will need a good memory.

You need at least two players.

This is how to play-

  1. To start the first player says :I’m going shopping to buy – something that begin with A (apple, anchor or anything else that begins with A)
  2. The next player says : I’m going shopping to buy –  and repeat the article the first player said then must say something beginning with B (ball, bat)
  3. The next player says : I’m going shopping to buy an Apple a ball and something beginning with C

Each player has a turn until someone can not remember the articles in the correct order that player is eliminated from the game and the game continues until only one player left.

An old favourite  I SPY

Don’t forget to set rules before you start this game

The objects must be inside the car or always visible to everyone in the car.

Decide who is going to be first and they say;  I spy with my little eye something beginning with (a letter  A, B, C, etc)  and everyone in the car gets to call out suggestions the person how guesses correctly then has a turn.

For small children chose colours instead of letters – I spy with my little eye something blue.

Sing Song

Get a popular CD to play and sing along to.   When each song is played see who knows the most words? Keep score and give small prizes at the end of the trip.

Now something that is sure to keep them amused

DVD players – some new cars come with DVD players already installed for the rest of us pcworld.idg.com.au will give you some options for as little as $250 Australian dollars. Just make sure that you get headsets so that the driver is not distracted.