Back Seat Playground

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By In The Playroom

We are back home from our trip! As we went away within the UK, we did all of our travelling by car and with three little ones you do have to go prepared and keep some ideas ready to entertain them in the car.

kids ready for a road trip - backyard playground competition
Excited and ready to set off for their trip!

We actually decided to get a bit spontaneous last minute and set off one day early, to stay over night half way to break up the driving and give us the chance to fit in a little bit more. After getting the boys ready in their PJs, we told them that they will be going in the car rather than into bed. They were so excited! Mr Z (5 yrs) was jumping up and down! I wasn’t sure if Mr T (3 yrs) would understand the sudden change in his routine (due to ASD) but he was fine – he just said Thomas Backpack, ran off to get the backpack, put a few toys in – and that was that!

We brought plenty of blankets and pillows, as we would need these for camping anyway, but it helped to make a nice snuggly atmosphere for the boys travelling at night.

We gathered plenty of toys and activities, a selection of cds and some snacks and drinks for our travels and off we went.

children travelling by car
Ready to go!

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Mr Z enjoying his magazines in the car
  2. Mr R all strapped into his car seat ready to go! (Carloans4u are working to spread the word about Car seat safety this summer)
  3. Supplies prepared! Books, Felt Tips, Magazines, Stickers and small toys. Word of warning though – Do limit these, too much looking down into books or magazines causes some children to feel more car sick, including Mr Z!
  4. Mr T is very excited!
Kids road trip car journeys
Fun in the car

Clockwise from Left:

  1. Everyone needs a snuggle friend in the car! Mr R and his lovely giant sheep, which he is quite attached to at the moment
  2. We packed lots of little character toys, to give variety in play without taking much space. Wow toys animals and people, and some tree fu tom characters there.
  3. Snacks! Chocolate gingerbread man shaped biscuits, to boost the mood a little when getting bored on the journey. I also packed plenty of juice boxes to save keep having to stop for drinks all the time
  4. Mr Z is getting busy with all his activities. The magazines and pens were a definite favourite for keeping him occupied.

We also keep them busy by looking out the windows at all the amazing views that can be seen along the way

driving scenery
Beautiful things to see!

They all love bridges, and anything like sea, mountains, sheep and horses also always fun to spot too. It’s lovely to hear Mr Z spot something and shout out “Mum, Look at the scenery!”

Obviously with little ones, stop offs at service stations for food, drink, toilet breaks and just a break from the car are always needed. It’s always good to find place which cater really well for the little ones, like the services near to Oxford which have a playground outside.

service station with children's facilities
Good facilities!

It can be hard work travelling long journeys with small children, but with some planning and a bit of effort it can be kept fun for everyone. And it is always worth it, when you arrive at your destination…


…And then – Relax!!!!!


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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

16 thoughts on “Back Seat Playground”

    • It is because we decided to change our plans, after we had already put them in their PJ rather than due to actual fwd planning but hey it worked well 😀

  1. Some great ideas!

    My eldest always says the dreaded ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

    And my 11 month old wont sit for long in her car seat so we haven’t tried any long journeys yet!


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