7 Aug 2017

What to take to keep the kids busy on holiday

We have yet to go abroad with the children but it's planned for later this year (cannot wait) but in the meantime we have been going on holiday in this country which invariably means a fair bit of driving to get to where we are going. I hate the arguing and restlessness of children when they are in a car for any length of time, equally a few days into the holiday and it's raining or they are just a bit bored it can all get a bit emotionally charged so I like to be prepared.





I'm not really one for taking the ipad with me, not because I'm any kind of earth mother but more because I can't stand the constant bickering between them to use it (we only have the one ipad). So I tend to leave it at home to give us all a break and to make the kids realise that this is something different and they need to occupy themselves in other ways. Bubba at the moment when she gets the ipad, plugs her earphones in and retreats to a corner of the room and is oblivious to anything else that is going on. I don't want that on holiday.

So I usually put together a pack of things to do and play with, both for the car journey and throughout our holiday. For times when it's raining (happens a lot on holiday in the UK), or if they wake up early and don't want to watch the four channels on the tv.

Some of the bits I will produce in the car when the bickering starts or the shouts of "are we nearly there". Other stuff I whip out during the week to pique their interest a bit and give them some more 'quiet time'.

I always, ALWAYS, pack these wonderful plain paper pads (now one each as they fight over it otherwise), I get them from Poundland and they are so versatile. Cub (who is 3) uses his to scribble on and put stickers over it. He is definitely the artist in our little family, whereas Bubba is now more interested in writing (she's 6) so we do a story swap with her pad. I usually write a sentence at the top of the page and she then carries on the story and we swap over and I continue it.  Its quite fun and always interesting which way the story goes - it's also great because whilst she's writing and thinking (and usually talking) about her bit, I get to slurp some hot coffee or get up and do something else in between without her really noticing or caring.


This year I got them both a pack of stickers too, these double packs are great (also Poundland) and they can create pictures using them. It's a bit of a pain with all the empty paper backing that gets strewn around but for five minutes peace I can live with that. I also take a selection of felt pens and crayons which I squirrel away each year and they are used just on holidays - so that way they always feel brand new and I know I've got a full set ready and waiting.

I'm also putting in these drawing aids because I remember using them when I was younger, Bubba can do her own and create works of art. Cub will probably mostly colour in patterns I've created which is good enough for me.


Next I pack some bits for outside - get them running around. From Morrisons I picked up this pack of three balls for them to play with and I also picked up a pack of paper planes (Poundland) because who doesn't like these - plus daddy gets a bit competitive with these.


This for me goes without saying and I'm not really that comfortable with the amount of sugar packed in but...I'm also realistic and know that my two get 'hangry' a lot on a journey and some crisps or snacks helps them to waste a bit of time between the 'who can spot the next blue car' games. So I usually get a selection to keep us all going.

Books - we always take books for reading at bedtime and this is a great one (they also both take a favourite book each).


Then last I take some games, Bubba is big into Guess Who at the moment so I got her a travel version and I also picked up an Orchards Game - Pizza Pizza for a steal in Sainsbury's (£4.50) for Cub. I was intending to keep it until we were away but they found it and we've played it several times. It will help him with colours and numbers as well as waiting his turn! Something that we are working on at the moment...he doesn't like waiting but then I'm not sure many 3yr olds are!
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