A trip by car with children is like suitcases: it takes planning! And the more prepared you are, the better! Tips, games, stories… we have compiled a list of 6 tips tested and approved by children and parents alike, so that even the longest car journeys become part of the happy memories of your holidays. .
1. Our little holiday diary to captivate them and above all to amuse them!
To on the passenger side, slide markers (washable) or sharpened pencils, children will be delighted and above all motivated to embark on a game book dedicated to them. According to their desires, they can devour it or take advantage here and there to embark on a new activity. Something to keep 'em occupied so you can breathe
Time saved: at least 1/2 hour. Print right here.
2. Show the route on a map and explain the steps:
We have better than dad's A3 format GPS: the famous maps of our childhood, those which detail unparalleled (but without warning of traffic jams) the entire French road network! Michelin maps, an impression of the internet… By highlighting the route and showing it the day before to the children, they manage a little better to 1. find their bearings and 2. evaluate time and distance. And if you are very motivated, you can even choose the stopping places to define the travel times.
Time saved: fewer answers to this famous question “Dad mom when are we getting there?? And above all, a lot of observation time!
3. Pass the time in the car listening to podcasts!
Our unanimous favourite, France Inter's "Une histoire et Oli" podcasts: "La bibli des petits": stories for 5-7 year olds of about 10 minutes imagined and told by inspiring authors and that we loves so much like Katherine Pancol, Delphine de Vigan, Raphaëlle Giordano … who tell children philosophical tales. Why do we join? Because listening to CA-NA-LISE stories unleashes their fascinating imagination! Each of the captivating stories are full of dreams, describe a universe that children know and can make their own. Ideal for getting some sleep and calming them down, especially if in the case of siblings they like to excite each other and increase the noise level in the car.
Time gained: 30/40 minutes.
For the (well) more savvy, and especially our elders, Franck Ferrand's podcasts will fascinate you as much as the (big) children. A deep dive into the history of Francis I or Empress Marie-Louise with the captivating voice of the narrator will not hurt anyone and keeps the brains more or less connected, especially in summer, of our dear teenagers!
Time saved: maybe the whole trip if you can't stop!
4. Introduce them to Chercher Charlie's magic books so that the trip goes by faster!
The characters constituting these timeless and fascinating books do not revolve around the famous Charlie, so it is not enough to "look for Charlie"! You also have to find in this fray Félicie, Pouah, Ouaf, Blanchebeard… The pages, very large, and the characters, (very) numerous, make it such a great activity that you almost want to get back to it! Especially since these little guys to detect are stuck together, so it takes a little time to find them! So for the whole book... It's a godsend.
Time saved: 30/40 minutes
5. Games where the whole car participates!
- The Little Bin! Reminder of the rules: choose a letter and determine the categories (according to their age): first name, fruit, vegetable, color, animal, country, part of the body, etc. Nothing better to enrich vocabulary and improve spelling! Remember to provide paper and pens, otherwise: a good memory will also do the trick!
Time saved: at least 20 minutes per game.
- Neither yes nor no to learn how to divert attention! Effective for teaching children how to gently twist those you want to trap. Bursts of laughter guaranteed, your children will surely even manage to fool you for your greatest satisfaction.
- The king of silence: ideal for finding a little calm. Works even better when there is a little attention for the winner!
Time saved: 5 minutes (and to start again without moderation).
- Learn a song by heart: that of Emilie Jolie by our dear Johnny whose harmony touches us as much as the toddlers.
Time saved: 1/4 hour, you will also really know it by heart…
- Game Manager's game! The rules: a game leader, each in turn, asks the others to look for a specific object found along a road: stop sign, yellow truck, cow, palm tree, etc., the first to find wins the game, becomes in turn leader of the game and launches the comrades on other tracks of observations. Simple as pie, childish and a good atmosphere guaranteed.
Time saved for each game: 15 minutes, but it all depends on what you make them look for 😏
6. Healthy snacking or picnicking while passing the time!
In a slightly more gourmet range, healthy snacks have the talent to pass the time! Granola, walnuts or almonds in a small box, raisins in another (to be eaten one by one), raw vegetables sticks, 100% fruit apple juice, homemade sandwiches, sliced cheeses and cut fruits...enjoy what they have feast has the talent to keep them busy and therefore to be able to continue to move forward in our journey.
If, despite everything, your intuition tells you that it won't be enough, then 2 options: Leave at 3 a.m. to arrive at dawn at the dream destination and take advantage of a big snooze to drive quietly (take the road at 2 to keep always the driver VERY awake 😵💫). Otherwise, leave at 8 p.m. after dinner and fax everyone on arrival to wake you up the next morning at your vacation spot.
In these two cases, know that the excitement of the departure, the journey and the slightly twisted night will make them wake up very early, a bit the same type of awakening as on Christmas Day! Do not thank them, thanks to them, your first day of vacation will be perfectly optimized!