Quite a few of my sentences now seem to start with the words ‘when I was young…’, which prompted Freya to ask what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
It was tempting to make up stories about having a pet tyrannosaurus but I had to admit that while I’m old, I’m not that old.
One of the most recent times I have said it was after Mark suggested getting a few things to entertain Freya on our long car journey west.
“When I was young we played endless games of eye spy or just sat quietly and enjoyed the scenery,” I said, forgetting that I am now the parent and had a three plus hour journey ahead of me sat in the back with her.
I’m pretty sure, as my parents will tell you, that I never actually sat quietly either – and Freya seems to have inherited that…skill. Usually when we go to Ipswich, an hour away, she’s asked ‘are we there yet?’ before we’ve even left Norwich. In the end I figured having something to entertain her with wasn’t a bad idea.
Mark gathered together a few little bits and every hour or so, usually midway between comfort breaks, I got one out of the bag.
The best one (or at least the one she played with the most) was the wipe-clean Travel Doodles pack from Usborne.
She had lots of fun drawing faces on people, completing puzzles and designing outfits.
There are more than 100 doodles on the double-sided cards and then obviously you can wipe off and start again.
She played with the cards for more than an hour and now, even when we pop to the shops, she likes to get one out and doodle.
It says not suitable for children under 36 months and some of the doodle suggestions are more difficult than others. Freya (at four/nearly five) could do the majority of them but there is room to grow too.
When I got home I looked them up and apparently they have other sets, including a general holiday one and 50 Things To Do On A Plane. I’d definitely consider them, if we go anywhere else.
We did play a few games of eye spy, which was interesting as she’s just learning to spell, and counted different colour cars and there was also time to just sit and take in the scenery but I think having a few extra things certainly made the journey more pleasant.
What’s your stance on entertaining children on long journeys?
Note: I’m not being paid to write about the Travel Doodles, I just really liked the cards and thought I’d recommend them in case you have a long car journey coming up.