How to survive a long car journey with kids

Games and stories

Good old-fashioned games can always help with boredom, frustration and arguments. Kids love looking out of the window, so play simple games to keep them entertained. You can play the classic version of I Spy or make it into a counting game by seeing how many different things you can see, such as how many red cars can you spot?

You can even practice the alphabet with 'car registration plate bingo' where you use car registration plates to run through the alphabet. So for the little ones, get them to call out as they see each letter on a passing car. For the older kids, you can try to spot the letters in the correct order to make the game last longer.

Make up a story; One person makes up the first line of the story, then you all take it in turns to say what happens next. Be as creative or silly as you like - who knows how your story will end!

Listen to podcasts on BBC Sounds

Your little one can explore a world of pure imagination with CBeebies Radio on BBC Sounds. The BBC Sounds app has some fantastic podcasts, stories and songs made especially for children which you can listen to on your journey. 

Listening to child-friendly radio like CBeebies Radio can make a positive difference to children’s concentration and listening skills. One of the greatest benefits of learning to listen well is the impact it has on a child’s awareness of the difference between sounds and words – that gets children really ‘in-tune’ with the power of language and they start to want to express their own ideas – all by themselves.

Travel during nap time

If at all possible, plan your journey to co-ordinate with your child's usual nap time. If you're lucky, you'll get to travel in peace for a bit while they catch up on some sleep.

Snacks and more snacks!

Do. Not. Forget. Snacks! Take food that they can hold and eat easily and it won't make too much of a mess in the car. This way you won't have to stop at the service stations and spend lots of money.

Remember to pack a bin bag to collect up all of the rubbish, you could even line the car door pockets with bags to create bins. A bin bag can also come in handy for an emergency sick bag, if you need it on your journey.

Reuse those forgotten toys

Throughout the journey you can surprise them with a present for either being good, winning the games or just to celebrate getting so far in to your journey. But don't worry about spending lots of money, you can find old toys they have already been given but just forgotten about. Dig deep into their toy box and see what you can find and wrap them up! Perfect to keep them excited (and behaving) on the journey.

Apps galore

Download the CBeebies apps before you hit the road. CBeebies apps are available to download for free and are designed for big ones and little ones alike.

Adults can feel safe in the knowledge their child is using an app that is free to download and free from any advertisements or in-app purchases, leaving children free to explore, play and enjoy a fun learning experience with their favourite CBeebies characters.

Don't forget you can also download their favourite CBeebies shows from iPlayer so you can watch anywhere and without WiFi; perfect for those long car journeys.

Are you ready to try CBBC?