Driving can sometimes be a stressful ordeal. Not least when you’re in deadlocked traffic in a city centre or when you’re careening around twisting, narrow lanes on a country road that you’ve never encountered before. The last thing you need in situations like these are your children bellowing from the back seat that they’re bored.

If you have been on the receiving end of ‘Are We Nearly  There Yet?’ – or words to that effect – on more than one occasion, you should take note of the following tips. Remember, children do not always see their seatbelt as a life saving device: sometimes it is a tool that is restricting their freedom.

They can become tired and bored easily if they aren’t doing something interesting. On the next long car journey you take, you can try some of the following and perhaps avoid shrill cries such as ‘I’m bored, when are we gonna get there?’


Audiobooks are on this list ahead of portable DVD screens or miniature TV sets in headrests because they are a more valuable and engaging way to entertain your child in the car.

Also, it would be a great pity if you found yourself driving in a foreign country or on a road near outstanding natural beauty and your kids were glued to a TV screen rather than taking in the scenery.

Audiobooks allow your children to get the best of both worlds; they’re being entertained and educated whilst also being afforded the opportunity to look upon their surroundings.

Number Plate Games

You can invent numerous games from such mundane objects as number plates (which you should see quite a lot of while driving). These games can be very worthwhile educational exercises for your children, unbeknownst to them.

Why not play a game whereby you’ve to try to add each individual number up on the registration plate of the car in front of you, and the first one to complete the sum correctly wins?

Or why not name an animal/fruit or other object of your choice which begins with the first letter of the plate in front of you?

So, for example, if the number plate in the car in front of you reads A12345, the respective answers would be fifteen (1+2+3+4+5) and something like ‘aardvark’ or ‘apple’.

These games are very easy to set up and can last for a long time, especially if you’ve competitive siblings in the back seat!

Sing-Along Time

Both kids and adults love a good sing-along, so why not blast our versions of your favourite songs and tell the kids to do the same.

There are some brilliant, affordable products on the market which cater for sing-alongs to popular musical soundtracks. These provide not only a CD with the songs but also a book of lyrics which your children can use to follow along.

While behind the wheel you can imagine yourself on stage in front of a packed audience, the spotlight glaring on you, the hushed, expectant audience in front of you, then belt out songs like you’re a famous pop-star. But, of course, you can keep telling yourself you’re only singing to entertain the kids!


This is utilising children’s competitive nature again, but nothing can hold their attention quite like a compelling quiz. You can have questions made out before your journey or you can simply ask questions up as you go along, either way your child will want to show off how knowledgeable they are in front of their friends and/or siblings and/or parents.

Choose a different topic for each round and try to generate questions that aren’t too difficult. If the kids are lucky enough to get a bit of spending money on their holiday why not make it part of the game? A few rounds could generate some quick cash for them to spend on other things to keep them quiet once you arrive!

Also, make sure you are keeping score, as the last thing you want is a major dispute over scoreboards. This can lead to problems worse than the constant ringing of ‘Are we there yet?’

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Electronic Gaming

While it is nice to hark back to traditional car games like the above number plate game, sometimes children might want to satisfy their craving for technology as they are travelling in the car.

You can download a game on your smartphone if you don’t have any portable gaming device. Smartphones nowadays are equipped with advanced gaming technology, enabling children to enjoy great gaming experiences while on the go.

If you are concerned about the effects of the amount of time they’re spending playing games on your smartphone, why not set goals and measures, like saying ‘You’re allowed to play on the smartphone until we reach town ‘X’ but then have to take a break until town ‘Y’, or something along those lines. That way, they will appreciate their time gaming and will also be able to measure the journey which will quell common travel frustrations.

One important thing to remember is that some games may have in-app purchases or will use data. Make sure to check if the game has these before handing over your phone. You don’t want to be left with a hefty phone bill because of data usage or in-app purchases.

TV Shows/Movies

Many portable DVD devices are readily available and very affordable today. You can keep children occupied on a long car journey by allowing them to plug in headphones and watch a movie or TV series.

If you are worried about the price of constantly purchasing different DVDs, you should think of availing of your local library service, which can loan some classic children’s movies for free.

Some people choose to invest in miniature TVs which are installed in headrests. However, you can pick up a portable DVD player – or two – for very cheap in most electronic stores.

Of course, if you are using portable electronic devices of any kind, ensure you’ve checked the battery levels. The last thing you want is the DVD player to run out of battery just as the climax of the movie is unfolding before your children’s eyes!

Author: Logbook Loans

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