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Keep the kids smiling – whatever the journey

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Date Posted: 15-02-2017

It’s those magic words… are we there yet? We all remember using them when we were kids and somehow, without telling them, they’ve picked up the habit too. It’s not their fault, journeys can be a drag. With a bit of planning though, it could be a breeze for all of you with some simple games, activities and treats.

We’ve gathered 10 ideas for making their journey pass by a lot quicker. And yours, for that matter. In fact, we’re confident these will hold off those magic words right to the end of the journey.

1. Have a countdown on the journey. Set milestones around junctions, towns, cities and points of interest so they get an idea of the progress they’re making. Make this into a treasure hunt with star prizes for spotting ‘magic’ milestones.

2. Make a travel pack with things they haven’t used for a while. Books, colouring sheets and pens. You don’t need to shell out for new books, you could even plan a trip to a local library.

3. Top Trumps and other travel card games. Board games won’t be feasible, but you might get 20 minutes of peace with a decent card game. You’ll find something at any of our WHSmith stores.

4. Good behaviour badges. Set up a reward system based on reaching milestones with good behaviour (time and distance). Create simple badges. They won’t take long.

5. Keep hidden surprises. Hold back a surprise bag of activities and healthy snacks to use as a back-up plan. You’ll find a range of healthy snacks at any one of our Watirose stores.

6. Download a story podcast or take a CD. Choose a story aimed at slightly older kids, so they concentrate on what they’re listening too. Ensure the content is appropriate of course!

7. Those trusty i-Spy games. You may get an extra 10 minutes grace from the tantrums. Play the number plate game – get them to find words and award points for the best answer. Red car, Yellow car is always a good one. You don’t see many yellow cars these days.

8. Technology! Whilst DVD’s are always a favourite with them, they’re not the best use of their time. If you have a kindle or tablet, download a book or some educational games. Get to know how gameplay and find out how they’re getting on and why not set some treats for those highest scores?

9. Give them a map or a means of viewing Google maps. Kids generally love the idea of knowing where they’re going. Why not mark (or pin) your planned Welcome Break stop on the map and get the kids to guess how long it will take you all to get there? (Be mindful of the data and battery power Google maps uses up!).

10. Stop in at Welcome Break. Pick up a BK King JR Meal deal or Children’s lunch bag from any Waitrose (20p of which goes to BBC Children in Need). You’ll also have plenty of space to unwind and the chance to pick up extra-treats for the final leg.

Good luck with the journey and we hope to see you along the way with some smiling faces. Use our Welcome Break Journey Planner to find a Welcome Break location on your route here.

Don’t forget to tweet that #MotorwaySelfie when you stop off at Welcome Break. If we retweet it, you could win a £5 Welcome Break voucher.

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