18 Answers

My 8 year old son doesn’t like being in the car. I am about to go on a 7 hour car trip. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to keep him entertained without involving my participation the whole time? Lol.

Posted by Melanie, 28th October 2015

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  • Music with headphones, books, electronics, pencils and paper may all be something you could use, and don’t forget the snacks. I used to travel by car as a kid on holidays, sometimes 12 hours a day. I used to fall asleep for a lot of the time. I did find if I read too much I’d get a headache or feel sick.

  • Pack a few surprise treats and pull them one when he’s starting to get bored or irritable. Don’t let him see what you’ve got or even know that you’ve got treats. It doesn’t have to be all food treats either – maybe a couple of new, small fidget toys would be good too.

  • in car dvd player.. Best invention ever, lol

  • We drive Melb/Syd pretty regularly and have the following:
    iPad (non PC I know, but it works)
    Audio books
    A book that he can write/draw things in
    Plenty of food that he can grab by himself – cut sandwiches, fruit etc

  • Having a brother who lives ten hours away I feel your pain. And you aren’t allowed to drig them and drive at 300 kms an hour to get there before they wake up. I’d fo some research about some things you might see along the way and make a checklist for him. Dvds are a must. Snacks. Music. Good luck.

  • Movies on iPad
    Audio books
    Playlist that he likes

  • so many good suggestions. if you get one of the set-ups in the pic, he may feel more comfortable in the car.

  • Why doesn’t he enjoy the car? Is it because he suffers from car sickness? Have you got a technical device, iPod, iPad, iPhone? You could put kid friendly apps on these for him. Books are good. Portable DVD player. Have lots of rest breaks where he can run around

  • For us with long car trips, we have dvd players in the car for the kids and we make sure we pack them some toys and lots of snacks lol. We also make sure they have ‘cuddlies’ with them – a toy and a blanket each =) We also stock the car with kids songs that they know and can sing to (or try to sing to lol) such as ABC and Twinkle Twinkle… We also try and travel more at night so they sleep most of the way, but if we do travel during the day, we try and make a stop about every 1.5-2 hours so they can stretch their legs.

  • One thing our kids liked was reading the street directory. I also love the idea of an activity box. How about adding a map of your trip (print off Google Maps) and allow your son to highlight the trip and/or highlights he’d be interested in seeing. Our son liked to read and one year kept us amused all the way from SA to Qld by reciting and reading Austin Powers Dictionary. Mind you he was 14 at the time! Some little party toys like parachute men for fun during breaks, mazes with the little balls in them are good for the box too. AS said in another answer check out the cheapy shops! A final suggestion is a treasure map…. “fill in how many red cars you see”, “How many Kangaroo/koala signs do you see” etc… Some of these suggestions come from birthday party ideas and can be adapted. Have a great holiday.

  • My niece has had to deal with her Mum & Dad living 4 hours apart so she has done her far share for car trips. A tag reader (leapfrog) was great for her, the DVDs, iPad more recently, earbuds or headphones & pillows

  • Audio books, or portable DVD player with some educational and fun videos for them to watch during the car trip works for my lot. Give it a go…

  • In car DVD Player with his favourite movies or kids leap pad with games etc might entertain him for a bit.

  • You could add a cheap digital camera to that box as well (an idea which I love and am totally going to steal) that way he can take photographs along the way, my friends kids all love playing with cameras and could spend ages taking photo after photo. Plus it’d be a great way to document the trip which might open you up to seeing something you wouldn’t have noticed before.
    You could also get him help you decide where you’ll stop along the way, it’ll make him feel like an active participant in the trip instead of just along for the ride.

  • You are very welcome MELANIE! You can decorate your own box or buy one from a bargain shop. I like to personalise with a name on it – make kids feel super special.

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