We’ve all been there – facing a looooong trip in the car with littl’uns who will utter ‘are we there yet’ over and over followed by ‘I’m bored’ and ‘I need a wee’. Well, we can’t stop them saying it, and we can’t stop nature calls, but we CAN help with entertainment. Here are some tech free ways to pass the time (and, believe it or not, improve memory, speech and patience skills!).
🚗 The License Plate Game
An oldie but goodie, this can be adapted if you have more than one child in the car. Give each kid a country and they have to spot plates, and keep track of their numbers. To make it more interesting, suggest they get points for colours too. If you’re in a foreign country try spotting UK plates, or in the USA make it different States.
🚗 I Went to Market
There are plenty of variations of this game but essentially you start with ‘I went to market and I bought…’. You can then choose to be random or go alphabetically. Whichever way you do it, the next person has to remember what went before and add their own to the list, and so on until someone gets it wrong. I suggest a parent makes a note of the answers so there can be no cheating, and so someone actually knows if you go wrong!
🚗 The (other) Alphabet Game
We do this at Christmas, and we’re not even in a car! But it’s good fun. Pick a category and go person to person through the alphabet giving answers. Good categories include Girls/Boys Names, Animals, Countries, Colours and Food. But I’m sure you can think of loads more!
🚗 Would You Rather…
Now then, this is where you really get to see into the minds of your little darlings (or possibly little monsters, this game will tell you!). One person asks the question ‘Would you rather’ and adds two options. Nice people might say ‘only eat chocolate for the rest of your life or never eat chocolate ever again?’ (although this is a quandary!) but those with less pleasant minds might say ‘would you rather put your hand in a bowl of poop or put your feet in a bowl of sick?’. Gross, I know, but some kids are. I told you, you’ll get to know the inner workings of your kids minds playing this one!
🚗 Quiet Bridges
Noise levels getting to be too much? Quiet Bridges is a way to restore calm and order, and give your ears a little rest. During the journey, when you see a bridge you shout ‘Quiet Bridges’. The kids then have to be quiet until the next bridge. The winner (the one who stays quiest the longest, because let’s face it, they won’t all be quiet for that long!) get a prize. Or a point, if there’s going to be a lot of bridges. The one with the most points at the end of the journey gets the best bed/first movie choice/chooses where you’ll eat. You get the drift.
🚗 Twenty Questions
Another oldie but to keep from choosing obscure people only kids have heard of we suggest popping names into a bag to be drawn out. That way you can police who is being guessed. If you don’t know the game it goes like this….pull out a name. Your fellow travellers have 20 questions to work out who it is. You can do it one-on-one or everyone asking questions. They have to be Yes/No questions (is it a man? rather than what gender is it?).
🚗 I Spy
I think this is a toughie in a car, unless you stick to things that are in the car as everything else is speeding by and gone by the time you’ve spied it. BUT it is a good one for traffic jams.
🚗 Stobart Wagon Bingo
Takes a little bit of preparation to get a few cards together with, say, 16 names on. Names are crossed off as they’re spotted on Eddie Stobart trucks. Get a line or a full house! Check Wikipedia for an updated list, it changes every year. There’s around 530 so you should be able to make lots of cards for lots of journeys!
There are loads of variations you can try, like Spot The Dog! Whatever you opt for we hope you have a nice, stress free, punch free and relatively quiet road trip over the summer break, or any time. Happy trails to you 🚗