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Family Ski News | July 16, 2024

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Entertaining the kids en route

“Are we nearly there yet?”…. “George is in my space”….. “Susie keeps poking me”….. “Timmy’s making annoying noises”….

If this sounds like your family when travelling on a long journey, you need’s ‘Entertaining the kids en route’ guide. 

If you’re planning to drive down to the Alps for a family ski holiday or for a summer mountain holiday, here’s our guide to keeping the kids entertained as you go. 

Children generally cope better on long journeys if they are entertained, so have compiled some games to keep them amused so you can concentrate on the driving.  (Most of these suggestions also work well on trains/planes.)

It goes without saying that you should consider stopping every two hours to let the kids stretch their legs and go to the toilet.  In France, some motorway service stations or roadside aire de répos (rest areas) have play areas for the children with climbing frames and swings or at least a picnic table.

A portable DVD player system is great for very long journeys.  It really does keep the children quiet for ages!   If you’re car isn’t fitted with a built-in system, don’t worry – you can buy them as stand-alone units too, from around £50.  

Get a pile of books from the local library.  Check the renewal dates coincide with your return travel!

A flight scenario best avoided!

If you children are prone to travel sickness, audio-story-CDs are an excellent alternative.  Also see our feature on how best to avoid travel sickness.

Music CDs are always a good idea: young children will enjoy sing-along songs and nursery rhymes. 

You might even like to try learn-a-language CDs and educate yourself and your kids on the move with the language spoken at their destination – French, Italian, German…. It may even give them confidence to speak it a little during their holiday! 

 FSN’s Top 5 Favourite Travel Games
(One of the nicest things about these games we find is that – apart from the Travel Safari game – they involve no paper, felt-tipped pens, small plastic parts, etc, to get lost/damage the car upholstery… All that’s needed from the kids is some enthusiasm and a desire to observe their surroundings and/or use their imaginations.  They are also good distractors for children who suffer from motion sickness).

1 I-spy
The ever popular game “I spy with my little eye something beginning with [c]”…. then everyone has to guess the object you’ve seen which starts with the letter “[c]” etc, the person who guesses correctly gets to “I spy with my little eye…..” next.

2 Travel Safari

3 The Alphabet Game 
Go round the car, taking it in turn to add one item to the list, running through the letters of the alphabet and following a theme, eg animals…. antelope, bear, cat, dog, elephant… etc.  Most themes work well for this (fruit, food, countries, cities, girls’/boys’ names, etc).   

4 I went to market and I bought [an apple]….
Go round the car with each player adding another item from the market, making the list longer and longer until someone can’t remember the full list.  Try it in the language of your destination with older children!

5 The Silent Game (…our favourite!) 
See who can keep quiet the longest!  The winner (ie the last person to make a noise) gets a treat.