Travel with young children requires patience and ingenuity. Sharing with you a few fun car games that have saved my sanity and added an element of fun to many trips that I have taken.
I remember one car trip, where every five minutes, by the clock, my son would pop up from the back seat plaintively asking, “Have we reached?”
The only way to counter this, in my experience, is gagging them, or keeping them occupied. Just to make things more complicated, my kids tend to feel carsick. And this too, reduces if they are occupied.
Here are a few fun car games ideas. They are pretty generic. And you can tweak them to suit your child’s interests.
1. Travel Bingo
Give each kid a bingo sheet. You get a huge variety online. Or you can create custom made ones. As they see any of these items they cross it out. You can declare winner multiple times – for the first 5, for the first 10 and the first complete sheet.
You can create custom made sheets, or even lists depending on your destination – so if you are heading to the hills you could spot your first pine cone, first temple or first lake as you drive along.
If you are not the kind of parent who likes to prep everything in advance you can modify the game to I-Spy. This is pretty basic. One person announces, “I spy a cow” and everyone needs to spot the same.
You can create a host of variations on the theme, depending on the age of your kid. You could pick a letter – say “T” and everyone has to find something with ‘T’ along the way. Or pick a colour or shape and everyone has to spot something circular or something red. Add points if your kids are less combative than mine!!!
This could be modified for any kind of travel trip. You could look for stuff in an airline magazine, at a railway station…. You get the idea!
Photo courtesy: www.kidscanhavefun.com
2. Yes, No, Black or White
It’s an old favourite but can become hysterically funny when played right. The rules are very simple. One person is the “Leader”. Now everyone else needs to ask him or her questions and the leader needs to answer without using the words: Yes, No, Black or White. And its fun to try and trip the leader.
So the exchange could go like this.
Q: What’s your name?
Q: Do you like Blue?
A: I don’t like Blue. I like Yellow.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Q: Don’t you love chocolate?
A: I don’t love chocolate
Q: You said yes
A: No I didn’t
Q: Ha ha you’re out!
You can do a traditional story building – where each person adds a line and builds up a story. But the way we do it, you need to connect your story to people and places you see along the way. So if you see a car crammed with children, the story could start off
“There was no other way. So all twelve children bundled into the little red car and headed to ….”
If you next pass a herd of cows, they need to be woven into the story
“…The Land of Cows in order to find the original Holy Cow. And the children arrived there only to see…”
And it goes along like this – the more absurd, the better.
4. Twenty questions
This is a classic game.
Think of something or someone. Keep it fun and quirky. Everyone else asks numerous questions till they figure out the person in question.
5. Silent Contest
And after all these contests if you are exhausted, run the silence contest. Everyone has to stay silent; the first one who talks is a monkey!! This can cause some squabbling, but you may (with a bit of luck) get a 10 minute break!
So try one of these on your next trip. May make your life easier. And keep your children happy. Though when all else fails, you can still give them an i-Pad and let them play!