Top 21 Travel Games for the Car – Part One – Cars part

We all have memories of long road trips when we were kids, having to put up with our parents choice of music and staring out the window for hours waiting for the next toilet stop. Thankfully there have been improvements since those days (ie portable DVD players), when all we had was a few sheets of paper, notebooks and the faithful walkman. However, nothing beats old fashioned preparation. With five children, I still don’t go anywhere without a pencil case, paper, and snacks to overcome back seat mayhem. Keeping the kids (and adults) entertained is still one of the keys to a successful trip. If you have a list of games you can play, especially if you are planning a driving holiday that includes lengthy road trips, you will be a step ahead when the inevitable whining and ‘are we there yet?’ questions begin. Below is a list of our favourite travel games and activities that are easy to explain, as short or long as you want them to be, and no doubt will become topics of conversation years down the track.1. I SpyThere is no such thing as a lengthy road trip without a game of I Spy, even if it only lasts a minute (in my car). This game can go on and on until a parent has enough of guessing an abstract object that you passed ten minutes ago. It will keep the kids entertained for a good amount of time if you are clever. For those who were deprived of this great Aussie travel game, just say, ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with’(letter of the alphabet)’ and your companion will have to look around and guess the object. You can make rules as you go, like only outside the car, or not guessing the same object twice.2. Who am I?It’s simple enough. You think of someone famous and can only answer yes or no to questions that everyone else in the car asks you (one at a time). To vary it a little you can move to only cartoon characters, movie stars or someone who’s not even famous at all. It just helps if everyone knows who it is. Whoever guesses the correct answer gets the next go. You can also guess animals, or things, and change the question to ‘What am I?’3. Scavenger HuntGet the kids to prepare these cards before the trip begins. This will add to the fun of playing. Draw or simply write the name items such as a yellow car, a stop sign, a service station etc, then hand out five cards each during the trip. As soon as the item is spotted, you move on to the next one. The first to finish their five cards wins. You can vary this game to just spotting types or colours of cars, or more or less cards per game played.4. ScrambleThis is always a fun game to play with paper and pencil the only requirements. Someone calls out a street name (preferably longer than four letters) and everyone has two minutes to write as many words as they can using the letters of that street name. After the time is up, everyone adds up their scores to find the winner. To score, you get two points for every word but only one point if the word was used by someone else. It’s so much fun you will want to keep playing every time you see a lengthy street name.5. Alphabet gameThis is a lot of fun especially if you are passing through a number of towns and activity, not for the long, lonely stretches. Everyone has to find words beginning with letters of the alphabet, beginning at A and ending at Z. The words can be on street or shop signs, and whoever spots it first must claim it so the others know it’s been taken. First to get to Z wins.6. BingoThis game that needs to be prepared before you leave, but is very easy to play. Just draw up grids for each person (apart from the driver) with objects on the squares that you would normally see on a long trip, ie truck, cow, stop sign etc. Use stickers to cover the square when the object has been spotted. It won’t be long before someone will be able to shout BINGO.7. AnimaliaWe played this game on nearly every family holiday. A designated person would start by saying an animal of their choice, ie DOG. Then the next would have to say an animal starting with the last letter of that animal, ie GOAT. The next would have to start with the letter T. It goes on until someone can’t think of an animal and they are out. There are a number of variations of this game. You can start the same way, but you have to repeat the animals that have already been called out, ie DOG, GOAT, TIGER etc. Whoever forgets an animal is out of the game.8. Game BagsEvery child loves to have a special bag with surprises in it. This is a great idea if you have the time before the trip begins. Just fill it up with a new pack of pencils, small colouring in book, chocolate bar or lollipop, small games, torch, wad of paper,just use your imagination and choose your time carefully when you hand it out as it will be received well especially if they are bored and starting to fight.9. Licence PlatesThis is lots of fun for the imaginative. Every licence plate that you are driving behind has three letters. Every passenger has to think up a different meaning of the three letters. There are so many combinations that you could keep going for a while, until someone gets really tired of thinking. This is one of those travel games that start and stop when you least expect it. It’s fun trying to beat each other to think up the meanings, as some of them can be tricky, especially the V’s and Q’s.