It’s not fun to have your car break down and have to be stranded waiting for the tow truck to arrive. But it can be an especially sticky situation if there are kids in the vehicle with you. Depending on how the car broke down, it can be scary for small children to be stuck on the side of the road. Or, if that’s not the issue, keeping them from going stir crazy is a challenge all on its own. Here are a few helpful ideas for how to keep kids safe and happy until help arrives.
1. Keep the Children in the Vehicle
They may want to run around and stretch their legs, which is completely understandable. But once you’re outside the confines of the car, it’d be easy to have a child not understand the dangers around them and run to where they shouldn’t be. To keep everyone safe and calm,stay in the car. You may choose to keep them buckled in to be extra secure, or let them unbuckle and lay down or sit in the front like a grown up. If you do go the unbuckle route, be sure to lock the doors to keep wandering hands from opening them. Always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Tell Them About Tow Trucks
You can make it sound like a superhero is coming to save the day. The kids will be interested in a truck that attaches to the car and pulls it along. And be sure to explain that the tow truck operator is a friend and that he or she will help. (You can ask the tow truck company for the name of the operator coming to personalize the experience even further.) With any luck, the children will be excited and keep an eye out for the tow truck, making the experience educational and fun.
3. Play a Game
We’ve probably all played road games before on long trips, but they work when you’re not moving too. Try looking for rare car colors to earn points. Five points for yellow, ten for green, and fifty for pink! Or, put their eagle eyesight to the test and have them hunt down different state license plates. The one who finds the most states wins! You may, however, want to avoid punch buggy, otherwise you’ll end up with sore arms and riled up kids. PRO TIP: Avoid using electronics to entertain the children unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Exhaust all other options before handing over a phone. The last thing you want is to finally have the kids content watching a show on a tablet and then having it die before the tow truck arrives. Start with the personal interaction and games first. Or, keep a portable charger in your glove compartment to help lengthen the life of electronics.
4. Keep Emergency Fun Bags in the Trunk
This is something you can put together and keep for months in the trunk. It’ll be a small investment ahead of time, but well worth it in the long run. Take a gallon ziplock bag and put crackers, a water bottle, a puzzle, and coloring books inside. Whatever your kids love to do, get creative. Keep the bags in the trunk for when your car may break down to save the day from being boring. For added fun in case of a night time break down, keep glow bracelets on hand as well. These will need to be replaced more often due to the nature of the chemicals, but can provide easy entertainment for small children and helps you keep an eye on them if you have to get out of the vehicle. Having your car break down with children on hand doesn’t have to spell certain disaster. This is an opportunity to teach roadside safety and patience and still have a little fun in the process. Make sure to have them thank the friendly tow truck operator to add the perfect ending. Did these tips give you ideas on how to make a tow truck wait more fun for little roadsters? Then pass the information along by sharing this article with your friends! And if you have other game ideas or tips on how to teach road safety, comment below!