We know the feeling. You've piled the family into the car for a great holiday but you're barely down the road before you hear 'are we there yet?' from the back seat. Well, don't worry.
Keeping the kids entertained on a long drive doesn't need to be a challenge with these ten boredom-busting games to play in the car. Most need no equipment or preparation and will keep your whole car occupied for hours. The best news: grown-ups will like them too.
Try these games when you're next on the road to create some friendly competition and a few laughs along the way.
The classics never go out of style. If you don't know how to play, it's simple. One person starts by choosing something they can see and declaring 'I spy with my little eye something beginning with...' and the letter the object starts with. Other players guess what it might be. Don't get caught out: the sneakiest players look for things inside the car as well as spotted along the road, and the less obvious the better!
THE ANIMAL GAME
A word game that's especially good for little ones who are working on spelling, the animal game is still fun regardless of age. The first person says an animal and the next has to say another animal that starts with the last letter of the first. So, if the first person says 'dog', the next might say 'gorilla' and so on. If you're stumped, you're out, and the next person can pick up where you left off - until there's only one person left.
Create your own list of things you might see along the way that the kids can mark off as you travel. If you're feeling extra creative, give a different list to each passenger and see who completes their bingo card first. There's no limit to what to include, but here are a few ideas that have worked well for us: farm animals and native animals, different types of buildings, water (rivers, lakes and dams), tractors, trucks and petrol stations.
At the start of the road trip, each passenger picks a fun 'rule' that everyone should follow for the duration of the journey. It might be lifting your feet off the ground when you go over a bridge, touching the roof of the car if you go through a tunnel, or clapping when you see your destination on a road sign. The aim? Don't be the last to perform the action (but cut your driver some slack while their attention is on keeping you safe on the road).
How many boy's names can you think of beginning with T? How about girl's names? And foods? Pick a letter and a category and see if you can think of 10. If that's too easy, try for 20. Alternatively, pick a category and take it in turns to match words from A to Z.
Most commonly played by being first to shout 'spotto' when you see a yellow car, this one can be easily tweaked for regional road trips. Pick a more common colour (red or silver, for example), a type of vehicle (caravan, motorhome) or even a brand (like Toyota) that everyone looks for. Alternatively, assign everyone in the car their own and see who spots the most by the end of your drive.
Who's got the best memory in your car? Working through the alphabet, each person adds what they will take on holiday to a growing list:
- Person 1: I'm going on holiday and I'm taking an activity book...
- Person 2: I'm going on holiday and I'm taking an activity book and a beach ball...
- Person 3: I'm going on holiday and I'm taking an activity book, a beach ball, and a caravan...
And so on!
Go around the car in a clockwise direction and build your own story as a family. The driver starts with 'once upon a time' and each person adds a sentence to create a unique (and sometimes hilarious) story, with each new sentence building on the last. Will your tall tale have pirates and aliens, princesses and monsters, or something else entirely?
This is super easy. The aim of the game is to be the first person in the car to shout 'cows' when you see cows - simple, right? Well, watch how quickly the competition heats up, especially as you travel through some of our rich agricultural regions. For a different spin, you can do this with landmarks too. If you're heading to the coast, for example, the first person to shout 'see sea!' on spotting the ocean is the winner.
ORDER IN THE COURT
A sneaky one for when you're in need of a little quiet time, the game starts when someone declares 'order in the court' and the first person to speak loses. Add an extra element by timing how long the silence lasts and seeing if you can beat it next time. Believe it or not, it sometimes works...
Ready to hit the road on your next family holiday?