Ways To Keep the Kids Entertained In Bank Holiday Traffic

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“Are we nearly there yet” are five words that strike fear into 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 toys, games and gadgets guaranteed to keep kids occupied on a long car journey. 
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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. There is a huge range of games so it’s easy to find something age appropriate. Toddlers will enjoy any of Disney’s games from Olaf’s Quest to Planes Fire & Rescue while older ones will love the thrill of games like Lego City Undercover. 

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 so you can tilt, touch and shake to make things.  
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Tablet

The beauty of a tablet is its versatility so on a long journey it’s worth the investment. 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 are 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 whilst 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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Portable DVD Player + DVDs

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 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 like Zootropolis and Kung Fu Panda 3, a headrest mount, a pair of children's headphones and revel in the peace and quiet. Until they need a wee…
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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 like 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 music and buttons to press. 
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Sticker Books

Boys and girls love sticker books especially those where you have to dress up the fairy/princess/ballerina/soldier/pirate. 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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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 your travelling and on a notebook write or 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 whilst older children can spot town names, landmarks or makes of car.
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Audio Books/Music

For children too young to read an audiobook is a lifesaver. Find their favourite story 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 they’ll 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 child-friendly earphones
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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 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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Mini Whiteboard and White Board Pens

Let kids embrace their inner Monet with a mini whiteboard and a pack of coloured white board 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 like hangman, noughts and crosses or write notes to tell you how bored they are.
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