Keeping Kids Occupied (When the iPad is the Last Resort)
Caravanning can really push you to your limits.
We’re talking long drives, unexpected detours and getting caught out in the rain. But if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to drive you up the wall the quickest — it’s the kids.
It’s not their fault. Long drives even tire us adults out! We totally understand the temptation to toss them the iPad just to get a break from them asking ‘are we there yet?’
But before you give in we have rounded up some surefire travel hits that will keep the kids so busy they’ll forget the iPad even exists.
Do you remember barreling down hills as a kid on a dodgy bike? Luckily not much has changed here with kids of all ages loving to play around with bikes and skateboards.
If you have space, a bike rack makes a great addition to your caravan — but if you don’t have the room you still have heaps of options. Skateboards, scooters and rollerskates all take up relatively small amounts of space and can easily be whipped out when you arrive at your destination.
Perfect for getting out that excess energy after a long drive, or to encourage your kids to explore, letting them out on wheels make a great activity that also forces them outside. By the time they make it back to the car, they’ll be so tired they’ll sleep the rest of the trip. Win-win.
Family games night just doesn’t have to be at home. If your memory of board games is Monopoly and Cluedo then you’ll be glad to know there are heaps of new games that can be played quickly. There’s a reason we say ‘quick game’s a good game’ — it goes fast enough that no one can really get upset over who is winning.
Uno is an absolute classic, but there are many new card games so make sure you check out some before you travel. If you have space and the weather has turned you can also play some classic board games — just make sure no one gets upset over winning! If you’ve already played the classics, we recommend Settlers of Catan for some family fun.
We won’t mention any of the viral kids’ songs for the past few years but we bet you’ve heard them — on repeat.
When you need a break from listening to the crackly radio, or whatever old CD you could find it’s time to get into podcasts and audiobooks.
Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time while still keeping you alert and engaged. From kids classics like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson to brand new bestsellers, there is something for everyone. And this best part is — you can rent most of them with your local library card.
Podcasts are also great for long drives — some of them are even designed to be listened to on the road. With a wide variety of genres, you’ll be able to find something that the whole family will enjoy.
If you’ve made it this far and the kids are still bored, then it might just be time for the iPad. There’s no shame here.
There’s a lot more to the device than just binge-watching and Youtube. There are a bunch of apps that are perfect for travelling. Try downloading a stargazing app and going for a night walk at your destination as you learn about astronomy.
The iPad can also be a great tool for journaling. Get the kids to go wild taking photos and videos and encourage them to keep a diary about their trip.
With these activities, your kids will be occupied and you’ll be relaxed, which is the best anyone can hope for when hitting the road with your family.
At least they won’t be asking ‘are we there yet?’