KEEP YOUR CHILDREN ENTERTAINED AT HOME WITH THESE ROAD TRIP TIPS
Your family’s spring getaway may have gone out the window - along with your Easter holiday activities - but your new, government-enforced ‘staycation’ doesn’t have to be all boredom and whinging.
With COVID-19 putting everyone’s travel plans on pause, we’ve taken inspiration from adventurous road trips to help keep your youngsters occupied during the lockdown.
Before we crack on with the fun stuff, we’d like to take a moment to remind our readers that current government advice states that all non-essential travel should stop. You can read more about the latest coronavirus rules here.
Lockdowns and Road Trips: Surprisingly Similar
With all that out of the way, it’s time for something a little more enjoyable. In many ways, a lockdown is not all that different to taking your kids on a road trip. You’re all stuck together, space is limited, you can’t go outside and there are only so many things you can do to keep the little darlings occupied before the squabbling starts.
That’s why we’ve decided to transform our infallibly fun collection of family road trip ideas into a bumper list of lockdown activities. These games and pastimes ought to keep you busy until the lockdown lifts and you can finally hit the road for real!
Things to Do With Your Kids at Home During the Quarantine
Already at your wit’s end? Worry not, these road trip games and activities are all brilliant things to do with kids at home.
A spot of colouring in can keep young’uns occupied for so much longer than you might think. If your online colouring book deliveries won’t come fast enough thanks to coronavirus hold ups, never fear! There are tonnes of downloadable, printable resources you can use instead. You could even draw out your own colouring in designs, or use digital programmes on the computer. Here are some of our favourite resources:
- The Crayola website has free colouring in pages featuring everything from Disney characters to intricate mandalas.
- Coloring.ws has colouring pages for just about any interest. We love the travel-themed designs (ideal for holiday daydreaming during quarantine).
- Make colouring extra educational with designs featuring famous works of art from Super Coloring.
- Disney has colouring pages your kids can complete online - no pencils or crayons required.
- Really Color lets you turn your photos into colouring book pages at the click (or three) of a button.
Parents who road trip with their youngsters swear by the distracting power of small craft projects. On the road, these projects need to be simple and require few ‘ingredients’. From the comfort of your living room, however, these indoor activities for kids can be as messy or complicated as you like! Here are some brilliant sources of inspiration to get you started:
- Good Housekeeping’s list of 50 craft projects for kids include some spectacular ‘makes’ such as DIY jellyfish that can hang from the ceiling and mini banjos made from elastic bands and jam jar lids (perfect if you can’t get hold of new crafting gear at the moment).
- Happiness is Homemade has some fantastic family-friendly crafting ideas for kids that you can try today. We’re especially tempted to try building a loo roll tube marble run!
- Pom-pom chandeliers and ‘nebula jars’ are just two of the crafts kids will love on this awesome list compiled by Buzzfeed. This resource includes messy outdoor activities (if you have a garden), as well as indoor activities ideal for rainy days.
As any parent will attest, kids these days are utterly addicted to the internet. Many road-tripping families love that devices are now portable enough to use on the move. Here are some brilliant, fun and educational YouTube channels for children:
- TED-Ed is full of beautifully animated videos about all sorts of subjects, including Egyptian myths and why animals have claws but humans have nails.
- Mike Likes Science comes from the rapper formerly known as Coma Niddy. His channel is packed with engaging, clever raps all about educational subjects including coding and dinosaurs.
- Geek Gurl Diaries is a brilliant collection of videos designed to inspire girls who want to learn to code.
- Sesame Street has all sorts of brilliant content on its channel, perfect for littler YouTube lovers.
- Netflix Jr. is home to videos from lots of children’s Netflix shows including StoryBots and Go! Go! Cory Carson.
On a road trip we recommend planning lots of activities kids can engage with from their seats, such as I Spy and Road Trip Bingo, where you have to spot as many items on your bingo sheet through the window as possible. Inside your home and outside of car seats, there’s no limit to the activities you can get stuck into. Why not try…
- Building a blanket fort out of sheets and pillows. Depending on your space, supplies and patience, your fabric castle can become as elaborate as you like!
- Creating a treasure hunt might not be practical for busy home working parents, but if you find yourself with free time, it’s a brilliant activity for kids. You can create maps, or set a trail around the house complete with riddles that your little adventurers must solve in order to find the next clue.
- Building an obstacle course might be less chaotic if you have an outdoor space, but it can work inside too as long as the obstacles are on a small scale, like running across the landing balancing a book on your head. In the garden, courses can get as creative as you like! You can even get the kids to invent their own obstacles to keep them busier for longer.
We hope some of our road trip-inspired indoor activities for kids will keep you and your family happily occupied during the COVID-19 lockdown. Do you have any brilliant ideas to share with other self-isolating families? Let us know in the comments section below. You’ll also find lots of other lockdown ideas on our blog, including a list of our favourite travel documentaries - perfect for winding down with a spot of escapism once the kids have gone to bed.