We’ve been to Scotland for a holiday – right up to the Highlands. It was lovely to look at and we did very little except walk through pretty landscapes and go to the coast, but it took several days to get over the journey up and it will take another one to get past the time back. Car travel. Long journeys. Why oh why oh why haven’t scientists figured out teleportation yet?
Anyway, we took two days to get up and another two to get back. We decided to split the journey for two reasons – the first was that we have lovely friends who we’ve not seen for a while who live in the Borders and this was a great reason to stop by and see them, and the second was that E is now three and a 10 hour car journey would be a nightmare for any child.
You can get to Australia in two days. Luckily I’d rather go to Scotland. But it did still leave the dilemma of what to do with E when she was travelling. I believe some parents use ipads and various other items of technology but I don’t have an ipad and don’t like the idea of E being reliant on these things anyway so we went with this:
It’s my bag of tricks – something to be delved into when she got fractious. Mini Cheddars, Pombears, chocolate fingers, a toy dinosaur, a mini Etch a Sketch, two mini Thomas the Tank Engines figurines, a toy fish, a toy snake, four sheets of stickers, some crayons and paper, raisins and some more chocolate. I bought all this and then panicked that there was too much chocolate so also packed some cars we already had, some finger puppets we’d just made and a pot of grapes.
For the most part it worked. On the way up she was like a dream. The way down was a bit worse as there were lots of roadworks and traffic jams so when the bag didn’t work I turned to CBBC Art magazine. (I’ve been thinking of doing a magazine review blog for a while – I’ll cover this then.) Do this. For any journeys. Take scissors, sellotape and a copy of CBBC Art magazine. It basically contains a lot of things to cut out and stick together. I made a car with four people and dog inside, two dinosaurs and a set of traffic lights. She was thrilled with them.
We also sang a lot of nursery rhymes. And E’s currently getting into her letters so asked what things began with quite a lot. And finally, and this was the bit I was hoping for when I decided not to consider an ipad, she entertained herself quite well. At one point she had several telephone calls with some mermaids. (“Hello mermaid? Alright? It’s getting dark so you might want to go to bed. Yeah. Yeah. OK bye!”)
I have very fond memories of playing Battle of the Planets in the back of our car with my sister. She sadly doesn’t remember this at all. We also used to like counting Christmas trees on our way back from our grandparents’ house, and of course we played I Spy and made words from number plates. Plus, the car was where I had to listen to my dad’s music taste – he drove, he chose – which I half resented at the time but am rather fond of country music and Johnny Cash as a result which I can’t regret really. Long car journeys are not my favourite things but we’ll have loads more to do over the years. So having E work out how to entertain herself so early makes me very happy.