“Are we nearly there yet?”
My brother and I would say this within fifteen minutes of a long car journey, forgetting that we had already spent half an hour shuffling around in the back seat before we had even set off. Many of the games we played as kids – I spy, lists of car colours, memory games – worked well with my own son but he had the advantage of being born in the technological age so was soon entertained by a succession of Game Boys, DVDs and tablets.
I must admit, as a parent, I found computer games a guilty godsend but when tempers frayed, the calming effect of a proper toy or book was necessary. I’ve been looking at ‘The Works’ Toys & Games plus their books and stationery and found lots of great value items on their website which I would recommend for frazzled families on the road.
We used to play a game where each person would add something to a shopping list then take turns to remember the ever-increasing list. This can pass the time until fights break out regarding the sequence of items. I’ve found a super alternative: Brainbox. Memorise what’s on a card and answer a question chosen by someone else. Get the question right to keep the card. The ‘on the go’ versions for Devon and Cornwall sound brilliant with 36 cards featuring facts about each county. Suitable for ages 8 and above. Price: £6
You can’t go wrong with pens and paper for keeping kids amused on a car journey. If they’re into doodling, there are oodles of pens and pencils to choose from, including a set of 30 gel pens for £4. I always buy their notebooks when I visit our nearby store. There’s a Harry Potter notebook for £3 or how about these Pop Art ducks for £2?
When I was young all we had was the humble cassette and I would be the one sitting in the back using a pencil to wind the tape back, after it had become scrambled in the machine. In my son’s day CDs were in constant use and those with the most annoying songs tended to be the ones he favoured most. Let’s hope Peppa Pig’s selection, with picture book and CD, keeps everyone happy for £6.99. There’s also The Gruffalo’s Child and other songs for £6.99.
My son couldn’t get enough of sticker books – we must have gone through dozens of them over the years. I’ve since discovered that if your little ones struggle with removing the stickers you should peel the backing sheet off for them, leaving the stickers behind. This tip is too late for me now! There are plenty of books to choose from, including this one from the new DreamWorks movie, Trolls: price £1.50
Tackling a craft activity in the back of the car might not be ideal for all children, or their parents, but they might be patient enough to try some paper folding. There are a number of Origami sets including a very sweet one with instructions for 11 different animals. Price £7. I’m also curious about these Pom Pom Pets as long as you leave the cutting and gluing until you reach your destination. The kit includes everything you need including a 48 page instruction booklet and wool for £7.
Mum or Dad in the front seat might need to learn about Hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness (£5) by the time the journey is over. If you’re in the countryside and curious to know what’s holding you up, maybe My Little Book of Tractors might come in handy (£6.99). The Works also has a special online offer of 10 children’s books for £10 with over 130 books in the collection.
If you still need inspiration, I think The Works has just the answer: 100 things to do on a car journey. At £5.99 this sounds like a sound investment. Happy travelling!
This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Works but I’m a big fan of the store so my opinions are definitely my own.