The school summer holidays are here at last. Maybe you’ve got a holiday planned. Perhaps it involves a long car journey. Nothing is more stressful that a long car journey with children. Frozen soundtracks in the CD player and a bag full of snacks won’t keep the children occupied for very long.
So what can you do to help pass the time? Tablets with films downloaded onto them can certainly pass the hours, but why not engage with the scenery and play some games with the children too?
Here are some ideas. Adapt for age appropriateness:
- Eye spy with my little eye. Or as my daughter likes to say – I spy with my double eye! This one is always a hit. And each person gets a turn to guess. And in those awful motorway traffic jams it’s perfect.
- Spot the car! It’s like a scavenger hunt for cars. List down car models and see who is the first to get all of them. A great bit of healthy competition.
- The song game – for the music buffs. One person starts singing a song, and using a lyric from the song the next person tries to connect it to another song. And on it goes until someone makes a mistake. For example, “Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back any…” “more than a woman, ooh more than a woman to…” “me and you, now I’ve been waiting”.
- Name that tune. One person hums a song and everyone has to guess. It can be hysterical if the person humming has no musical ability!
- The alphabet game. Pick a category, for example animals, and starting with A, name animals working through the alphabet. This is great for children and adults alike.
- I see a sheep! – or any other animal. This is fun if you’re driving through countryside. Every time you see a sheep on your side (or cow) you shout it out and get a point. If the person spots the animal on the other side of the car and shouts out first then they steal a point from the other passenger.
- Build a story. One person starts the story with a sentence. The next person continues the story until you build a complete story. This could be quite hysterical with toddlers because their imaginations are so free.
- Place your bets please. – Stuck in motorway traffic? All place bets on how long it takes for the traffic to clear. The closest guess wins a prize.
- Car colours – Choose a time limit depending on the length of your journey. Each passenger guesses how many cars of a certain colour will be spotted during that time period. The closest guesser wins. Have a pot of prizes for the children as an incentives to keep them interested.
- 20 questions – This is a well-known game. One person thinks of a person, place or thing and everyone else is allowed to ask them 20 questions which can only be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Whoever guesses correctly becomes the next person to think of something.
There are so many other car games you can play. We’ve only listed a few here that require no materials. Pack some pens and paper and play tic tac toe, hangman or connect the dots. Many children’s car seats come with little tables or places they can rest items. Colouring books and crayons, sticker packs and magazines are all great distractions that don’t cost the earth and should keep everybody calm and happy.
Enjoy your holidays!