Children and long journeys by car never mix very well. I don’t know how many times I heard my children ask, “How much further is it?” after 15 minutes in the car, and another 4 hours to go! Try turning the journey into a joy ride with games that are fun and everybody will be happier.
1. WHO AM I ?
One passenger imagines that they’re a famous person, either past, present or fictitious (for example, Robbie Williams, Henry VIII, Buzz Lightyear). The other players then have to guess who they are by asking questions that can only be answered with either “Yes”, “No” or “Sometimes”. Who knows which interesting characters you could find yourself traveling with.
2. TEN FOR THE ROAD
Make a list of 10 objects before the start of your journey. Choose objects that you are likely to see on the journey and that are appropriate for the area in which you’re traveling. You might choose something like 1) a church steeple, 2) a tub of flowers, 3) a policeman, 4) a school, 5) a blue car, 6) a train, 7) a litter bin, 8) a dog, 9) a supermarket, 10) a suitcase. Award one point to each passenger for each item seen. The person with the most points is the winner.
3. THE CHAIN GAME
One passenger names a town or city. The next passenger has to name another town or city that starts with the letter of the previous place name. For example: Newcastle – Edinburgh – Harwich. If a player fails to continue the chain, they drop out. The passenger who is left at the end is the winner. This game can be varied by using the names of animals, boys’ names, foods etc. The choices are endless.
4. PLATE SLOGANS
Look at the license plate of the vehicle ahead of yours. Each passenger has to make up a slogan using the letters on the plate. Each word in the slogan must start with the corresponding letter on the plate. Examples are: DDB – Dogs Don’t Bark! TFB – Time For Bed! LED – Let’s Eat Dinner! Another variation of this game is to use the first and last letters and have each passenger think of a famous person (past, present or fictitious) who’s name begins with those letters. For example: TFB – Tony Blair! LED – Lady Diana! SDW – Snow White!
5. TRAVELING CIRCUS
The objective of the game is to list as many types of circus performers, including animals, that would usually be found in a circus. To do this, participants must find objects along the road that begin with the same letter as the performer. For example: a cat – a clown, an arch – an acrobat, a train – a trapeze artist. The one with the most performers listed is the winner.
Use your imagination to think up other variations of the above games, or new ones of your own. By keeping their minds occupied, the children will be far less likely to complain of boredom. And everyone will be happier