9 Ways To Keep Kids Entertained In Bank Holiday Traffic

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'Are we nearly there yet?' Five words that strike fear into even the most tolerant of parent’s hearts. Add in bumper-to-bumper bank holiday traffic and you could blow a gasket before you’ve even reached the halfway point. But help is at hand with these children's games, toys and gadgets to keep kids occupied on a long car journey. 
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1. Hand-Held Video Games

Hand-held consoles have come a long way since Donkey Kong, and these days game play on the go is as varied as home machines. The Nintendo 3DS XL is good for small hands with two large screens and glasses-free 3D. Meanwhile, the PS Vita will appeal to teenagers with its built-in sensors meaning you can tilt, touch and shake to make things happen.  

With a huge range of games available, it’s easy to find something age-appropriate, too. Toddlers will enjoy any of Disney’s games from Olaf’s Quest – based on every child's favourite bit of entertainment, the Frozen movie – to Planes Fire & Rescue. Older ones will love the thrill of games such as Lego City Undercover
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2. Sticker Books

Boys and girls love sticker books, especially those where you have to dress up the fairy/princess/ballerina/soldier/pirate – sticker book publisher Usborne do some great ones.

As long as you don’t mind stray stickers ending up all over the car, these books are relatively inexpensive and will keep idle hands busy for a few hours. Younger kids not dextrous enough for the dress-up books might still like to decorate scenes with themed stickers – or just decorate themselves.
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3. Tablets

The beauty of a tablet is its versatility. Kids can play games, watch a movie, take photos, read a book or even try an educational app – in case you feel guilty about the number of Peppa Pig episodes they’ve watched.

Top choices include the iPad Mini 4 or the Amazon Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition, which is perfect for younger fingers. There are thousands of apps available on both platforms – pre-schoolers will enjoy Lego Duplo Train, where they can 'drive' a train from station to station, while Monument Valley will keep older children captivated. Just make sure the tablet is fully charged and download any movies so you don’t need to rely on wavering Wi-Fi connections. 
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4. Make a Travel Pack

Get kids involved in their own entertainment by getting them to create a travel pack. All you need is a small duffle bag they can fill with things to keep them busy en-route.

Try a notepad and pen to jot down interesting things they’ve seen, a puzzle book, snacks, a drink and a favourite cuddly toy. Buy them one or two inexpensive items such as window walking toys and other stocking fillers you can sneak in to add a bit of excitement. Then make sure it’s within easy reach in the car so they can dip in to it whenever they feel bored without having to ask you. 
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5. Portable DVD Players

If you’ve got a movie-mad kid, a portable DVD player is a great way to kill a few hours. They’ve come down in price and size recently, making them a good buy for a long journey.

One of our favourites is the ieGeek 12.5" player with swivel screen. It has a USB port, free game CD with game controller, and comes with a car charger. Pick up some of the latest DVD releases such as Disney's Zootropolis and Kung Fu Panda 3, a headrest mount, a pair of child-friendly headphones and revel in the peace and quiet. Until they need a wee…
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6. Toy Steering Wheels

Little ones love to copy grown-ups, so what better way to keep them occupied than to buy them their very own steering wheel? They can drive along in the back seat turning when you do, indicating and beeping the horn.

Most come with realistic noises such as revving engines and flashing indicators so children can really feel part of the journey. The Casdon Electric Sat Nav Car steering wheel even comes with an imitation sat nav to direct kids into action, while the VTech Baby Tiny Tot Driver is ideal for littler ones, with its music and buttons to press. 
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7. Spot the…

If your child suffers from car sickness, using a handheld device is a no-go. So you’ll have to resort to traditional ways of keeping them entertained. With a bit of prep you can keep them busy for the entire trip.

Take a look at the route you're travelling and on a handy notebook draw a list of things they need to look out for with a check box for them to tick. Younger children can look out for things like a red car or tractor in a passing field, while older children can spot town names, landmarks or makes of car.
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8. Audio Books

For children too young to read, an audio book is a lifesaver. Find their favourite children's audiobook on CD or get them to try something new and you might get a few hours off from the constant questions.

For babies, a CD of nursery rhymes could do the trick. You might want to gouge out your ears by the end of a journey, but your little'uns will love singing along to the Wheels On the Bus for the 10th time in a row. If you really can’t bear to share, load up an MP3 player so they can use children's earphones
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9. Mini Whiteboard And White Board Pens

Let kids embrace their inner Monet with a mini whiteboard and a pack of coloured whiteboard pens. Toddlers can create artistic masterpieces (scribbles) and then have fun wiping them off with a tissue or dry baby wipe, while older kids can play games such as hangman and noughts and crosses.
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