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Travel essentials: keeping children busy on a long journey

Mums and dads who haven’t yet been on a long journey with their little ones, just you wait! It really isn’t an easy combination, which is why we have put together a list of toys, treats and games to keep them busy. Hopefully it will help you to avoid tantrum and tears - let’s face sitting in the car or on a plane with a ‘bored’ child isn’t something you can ignore (we’ve all tried).

We suggest you arm yourself because research from Vauxhall Motors shows that car journeys with the kids can take a third longer!

Babies shouldn’t be left in their car seats for extended period of time, so every two hours it’s important you take them out. Although they might be tiny and not able to complain they need to be kept occupied too (because we bet they aren’t sleeping)! Taf Toys have a feet-fun car toy that can be used with rearward facing seats. It has a rolling foot stimulation feature and three hanging toys including a baby-safe mirror. It bright and an easy activity center within your car!

Let’s face it, tablets are a god send for keeping children occupied, especially on long journeys. Amazon have just launched their new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition and it’s definitely the best yet. Unlike other tablets the Kids Edition has been designed to protect children from things they should see and parents from unsightly bills. It’s easy for youngsters to use (we’ve recently had a 3 year old tester use it, with ease) and mum or dad can set up a timer so they can allocate their child a set amount of time and then it will stop. Clever isn’t it?

“I’m hungry can we stop?” A hungry toddler isn’t something you want to fight against on a long journey. We suggest you cut out all the hunger issues by arming yourself with plenty of snacks. If you haven’t come across a Yumbox before, you are going to love it - it scooped two golds and a consumer choice in last years Best Baby & Toddler Gear Awards, so we definitely recommend it! Like a bento box it has several little sections making it is the perfect tool for healthy eating whilst on the go. Each of the compartments is separately sealed so you can sort bread in one, yoghurt in another and fruit in the rest without it get mixed and mashed together.

You really cannot go wrong with a colouring book and pencils for long journeys (note we said pencils, no one wants to arrive at their destination with felt tip marks all over the seats)! The colouring pocket game from OMY DESIGN & PLAY is perfect for travelling, it’s compact and had minimal parts, so you won’t have any concerns of a missing orange pencil during your journey. Each set comes with a 1 metre long roll of paper covered in fun characters and shapes and a multicoloured pencil. It's small enough to pop in the car door and leave it there for any long journeys. We found it on KIDLY and thought it mde a nice little gift too!

It’s not only the journey that you need to prepare for, when you arrive you might find it handy to be ready with a few games for your youngster. Little Bug Bingo from Orchard Toys is a small, portable and compact game that will take up no space in your bag or car. There’s lots of colourful bugs and mini beasts to match up including a variety of familiar and unfamiliar bugs and insects for children to identify, from ladybirds to water boatmen. It’s a fun game for the children and doesn’t take huge amounts of brain power from mum or dad to get going (THANKFULLY)!

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