Often parents dread long travel by road because their young children get terribly bored and cranky. Three-year-olds are bundles of energy to begin with and being trapped in a car for hours can be infuriating. So if you want to get out of your car at the end of your journey with your nerves and sense all intact, here are some ideas you can try:
- Download loads of fun, peppy music that everyone enjoys. You can also download music your child’s school has taught them. That will thrill your child to bits and will have them clapping and singing aloud.
- Play red-car, white-car. Have everyone call out everytime they see a red car or a white car. If your child is able to take it one level higher, divide into teams. Maybe you look out for only white cars and your child looks out for only red ones. Whoever finds three or five cars of their colour first wins.
- I-Spy. If your child is bored of looking out of the window, spice it up by playing I-spy. It is a great way to teach your child new words and teach them about the things around them. Like, ‘I-spy a coconut tree’. Your child might not know what a coconut tree is and this is a great chance for them to find out.
- Storytime. If your child loves stories, get the whole family to pitch in and tell their favourite stories. There are some kids who are bored by stories, and so in those cases tell him anecdotes from when they were babies. All children absolutely love hearing stories about themselves. It makes them feel loved and cherished and is an instant pick-me-up.
- Tablet or iPad. If you have reached the end of your tether, allow your child to play on the tablet or watch a movie for a short while. Some children experience motion sickness from using a tablet in a moving car, so this might not work for everyone.
- Food, food, food. Pack tasty snacks that your child can get excited about. Give both healthy and junk options and alternate between the two.
- Ample breaks. Take breaks along the way to give your child and yourself a chance to stretch out, blow some steam and re-energize. Nowadays, many restaurants on the highway have a small park area attached. A little research in advance will allow you to plan your journey in such a way that you can break at such places for lunch or tea.
- Comfy nap spaces. If you have space, cover the seat with a soft comforter or quilt, provide cushions and a blanket to encourage your little one to take a long nap.
However, even with all of these ideas, you can expect some whining and complaining. It is important to be aware of it and set your expectations accordingly. Have a safe and happy journey.