Yes, vacation! But hey, how are we going to entertain the kids in the car?
It is vacation, we are all looking forward to it. Great to do nothing. Quality time with the family and time to recharge. We plan months in advance where we are going to. A nice forest cabin abroad, an apartment nearby a beautiful old town, a bungalow in a holiday park or that nice campsite with an animation team. As the holidays get closer, we make lists. Lists of what needs to be packed and what still needs to be purchased before you can leave. A list of what goes in the car for the children is indispensable. Because during a long drive it is great to have something to hand. I will take you along in my tips for a fun and pleasant car ride.
- Healthy snacks and enough drinks are a must to keep your kids and yourself in a good mood. For example, you can bring sliced vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers. Or fruit such as grapes, blueberries or apple pieces. Also make sure you always have enough water with you!
- For smaller potty trained children, it is useful to take a potty with you to urinate well when you stop somewhere. Never toilet stress that way.
- Make a surprise bag for each child. Give this if you are already on the road. You can, for example, put a reading book, search book, a coloring or sticker book with a number of small pencils, a bottle of drink, candy, some small toys such as an animal, duplo or car in the bag. Pack something as a small gift, which will increase the festive mood even more.
- Take window stickers with you, and have the children stick them on the side window on the way.
- Make or buy a search bag. Also known as ‘i spy bags’. These are small bags filled with rice or grains and all small figures. The bag has a card with what is in the bag. By moving the bag, the figures come up and can be found. Guaranteed for hours of fun, and also very handy if, for example, you have to wait a little longer on a terrace.
- Provide enough music and audio books for on the road. The stories of Annie M.G. Schmidt, Carry Slee, Gak and Wout, Dikkie Dik, Boer Boris, Woezel and Pip, Frog and his friends and Prince Karel’s ice cap, provide hours of listening pleasure! Tip, listen in advance if you like the voice of the reader, because you also listen to it yourself12
- Play rhyming games. As you look outside, say something and complement each other with rhyming words. Horse. Tail. Cow. Tired. Street. talk.
- Play hide and seek in your fantasy. Someone invents a place where he/she is hidden. That can be in the washing machine or in the kitchen cupboard. The others guess where he/she is hiding by asking questions.
- Make up words with the last letter. Choose a category, for example ‘animals’. Say an animal and the next person has to say a new animal with the last letter of that word. For example: Pig. The last letter is a g so the next person completes with: goat.
- A fun and educational activity is the Lego alphabet or animals. There are several maps with examples on the internet. Search by Lego alphabet, or Lego building cards. Print the cards, laminate them and attach them to each other by means of a ring. Put all the necessary Lego in a box and let the children replicate the examples of the cards.
- Fun for older children is the game ’50 funny games on the go’. Counting, making up stories, thinking, playing and guessing, there is enough variety in between and can be done several times during the ride.
- For older children, a car bingo also very nice. There are many examples on the internet that you just need to print.
- An even more fun variation on the car bingo is car bingo with some treats as a reward. Buy a pill box, or another box with small compartments, and stick a picture on each compartment. You can think of a red car, a tree, an airplane, a windmill, etc. When the children have seen these things, they can open the box and eat the goodies.
- Can’t find anything tasty that fits in small compartments? Then baking tin bingo is an option! Take a muffin tin. Fill the baking tin with various tasty things that do not need to be refrigerated, such as nuts, dried fruit or small salami sausages. Line the top of the baking pan with aluminum foil. Place adhesive tape over the dividers, so that the foil does not tear out to the other compartment when one compartment is opened. Cut out the circles from the sheet and stick them on the squares. Spotted a hot air balloon? Then you can open the box. (Click on this link for a nice sheet)
I wish everyone a very safe journey and happy holidays!
Pedagogical employee at the Blokkenbouwers (0-4 years)