It’s that time of year when many of us are making longish car journeys with our children. There are many ways to help keep children entertained in the car, with everything from hi-tech gadgets to simple games. We thought we’d share some of the simple games we played in the car.
Rock, paper, scissors
This is a game for 2. You need to know the three hand signs. The sign for scissors is your first 2 fingers (as if they were scissors), paper is an open palm and rock is a closed fist.
Count to three together and then reveal one of the hand symbols. These are the rules to find out who wins:
- rock beats (scissors because you can't cut a rock with scissors)
- paper beats rock (because you can wrap a rock in paper)
- scissors beats paper (because scissors are used to cut paper)
Starting with the letter ‘A’, think of a word beginning with that letter. Take it in turns to say a word beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. Choose categories such as food or animals. It can get quite tricky!
Animal, vegetable or mineral
Before you set off write different objects on small pieces of paper and put in a bag. Take turns to pick a piece of paper out of the bag.
You have to tell everyone whether it’s animal, vegetable or mineral.
Everyone asks you questions to help them guess what it is. You can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
After each question, that person has one go to guess what it is.
Lucky dip bags
Make up some lucky dip bags with lots of little bits & pieces in, such as cheap party favours & puzzles, crayons, plasticine & sweets. Limit the ‘dips’ to 1 item per 20 mins
It’s an old favourite!
Before you set off, make some lotto cards. Divide a sheet of paper in to equal squares and in each square write the name of things that you’re likely to see on the journey (or for younger children draw pictures!). For example, Service Station, cow, lorry, traffic lights etc… You could include road signs too.
When someone spots an object they have to shout it out and tell everyone where it is (so there’s no cheating!). This object is then crossed off the card. The first person to cross off all the objects on their bingo card wins the game.
Take turns to tell a part of a story. The first person begins, for example, “ The brown bear wandered out of the wood and ….” . The next person carries on “ … and found that he was in the middle of a party…” and so on. The stories can get really silly!
Pack a bag of multi coloured pipe cleaners (available from craft shops) and let creativity run wild. Children can make flowers, animals, chains, letters and much more!
Where are we?
Print out a map of your route for each person from an online route planner. Mark off places and landmarks on the map as you pass them. Also lets them see that you’re getting there!
Take along a tray which can a base to draw / colour / use play dough on. It also makes a great platform for small figure/doll play. A thin sheet draped from the headrest of the front seat makes a great ‘den’ for playing under.
We also recommend taking old towels (in case of accidents), loads of wet wipes (sticky fingers) and lots of snacks, which will also pass some time. Don’t give food and drinks with a high sugar content - it will give them even more energy and make them even less able to sit still!
We'd love to hear your top journey games ideas!
Lisa & Tracey