Car journeys can be boring at the best of times and going on a long trip can understandably prove pretty testing for both you and your children’s patience.
To curb those comments of “are we nearly there yet”, we’ve put together 10 car games to keep your brood happy, entertained and contented on any lengthy car voyage.
1. Spot the…
Make a list of things for your children to spot on the route. This could include cars or significant landmarks along your journey. You could add a little incentive – such as an ice cream or a small treat as a prize – so they don’t lose interest. If you’re heading to the coast for your holiday, an extra 10 bonus points for the first person to spot the sea.
2. 20 questions
This is a great game to keep the kids guessing – think of an object and get the children to uncover what it is. If they decipher what you’re thinking of within those 20 questions, then they get to think of the object for the next round. Don’t make it too hard, but don’t make it too easy, and you could while away the hours on the road.
3. Puzzle and colouring books
The old favourite puzzle compendium and colouring book will engross your children, giving you a bit of respite in those difficult summer traffic jams. There’s plenty of modern gadgets for kids – including tablet computers to help their learning – but a good old colouring or puzzle book gives them the touch and feel aspect to keep them entertained. Just watch for felt tip marks on your car’s interior…
4. Electronic games
While the old-fashioned way might be interesting, kids get bored easily, so temper those books with some digital entertainment. Hand-held games consoles and e-learning devices are great and can pass the time while educating you’re child. Just make sure they’re fully charged before you leave!
5. CDs and audio books
You might want to tune into the news or catch a traffic report, but the kids don’t – CDs and audio books are a quick and easy way to keep them occupied. A good old sing song or their favourite talking book (after all, they might quickly get bored of reading) might even help them to nod off, giving you a bit of peace and quiet.
6. Journey diary
Encourage your children to write a diary of their journey, taking in landmarks, cars and anything else funny or notable they see along the way. Get them to write about what they want to do when they get to their destination, too – it’s good fun, builds the excitement but keeps them busy and also helps their learning.
7. I spy
It’s a classic – I spy can keep kids guessing for hours. If you join in too then your kids feel the challenge of beating mum and dad, making sure their focus is on the game. Pick objects that are pretty much always visible and don’t make it too hard or they’ll lose interest. A few clues along the way helps to keep them guessing, too.
8. Counting games
They might be a touch monotonous for you, but children love counting games. Try cows or sheep in the country, or blue or red cars on the motorway. You can only count items on your side of the car and the first one to one hundred wins – if you’re feeling particularly challenging, set the topics for them.
9. The yes/no game
The yes/no game is simple, fun and utterly addictive. The aim of the game is to not say yes or no, so ask your kids questions to test their mental agility (don’t make them too difficult and give them a decent amount of time to respond). Even when they get it wrong it’s mostly funny, so it’s a good way to keep spirits up and provide fun for all the family.
10. Memory games
If you’re off on holiday especially, test your offspring’s recollection by getting them to play some memory games. A favourite is the “I went on holiday and took a…” The first person says an item, and then the second has to recall that point, adding a new one to the list and so on. Drop in some ridiculous pieces of luggage to keep things fun.