Fun Games to Play on Long Journeys
School's out! We've compiled a list of 8 funtastic games for kids to play on long car journeys, perfect for holidays and day trips during the summer holidays.
1. What's that theme? Each person takes it in turn to hum the theme from a television show or movie. The first person to guess the theme correctly wins. If this is too easy, the players can try clapping the rhythm from the theme instead.
2. Who lives in a house like this? Make up stories about the people you imagine living in the houses you pass by. Get creative and spend a few minutes on each story, with each person contributing something. If you're not driving near houses, you can play the same game using other cars instead.
3. The Grand Old - of York. Do you know the Grand Old Duke of York nursery rhyme? Have a look on Google if you need a refresher. Here are the lyrics:
Oh, The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down.
This game often results in giggles. It's a game of concentration. Players have to sing the Grand Old Duke of York together, but each time they sing it, they agree to omit certain words from the song and replace them with blank space. So if we sing the song without the words "up" and "down", we have: "... and when they were -, they were -, and when they were - , they were - !"
It sounds easy enough, but invariably somebody forgets to miss the words! Try it with other songs you're familiar with too.
4. I Spy. The old ones are the best! One person begins by choosing something in the eyesight of everybody and then telling them the first letter of what they've seen. Then the other people have to guess what it is. For example, if the object is the window of the car, then the person says, "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with W." The first person to guess right then chooses their own object for the others to guess. This might sound limited in the space of a car, but there are plenty of ways to keep going as long as people are interested - it just depends how many wordsmiths are in the car!
5. Car Journey Alphabet. Give the children a pencil and paper with the letters A to Y listed. Each player has to spot objects that begin with each letter of the alphabet out the window. For example, they may see a bird and write that (or draw it!) under B. You could say the first person to fill up their alphabet is the winner, although if they're drawing the objects then it's better not to make speed a factor. We've not included Z because it's very hard to find, unless you're having a daytrip to the zoo, of course!
6. Twenty Questions. This classic game is perfect for kids aged 4 and up. One person thinks of something that fits into one of the categories animal, mineral or vegetable. The other people, who don't know what the thing is that the first person thought of, then ask yes-or-no questions, such as: "Is it bigger than a house?" and "Does it run?". After 20 questions have been asked, each person guesses what the thing might be.
7. Fortunately, unfortunately. This is a fun game that involves lots of creativity: One person describes a situation, such as: "One day, I walked through the park." Then all the players take it in turns to add another sentence to the situation - but each person has to begin their sentence with either "Fortunately" or "Unfortunately" - alternating the two. For example, the first person to add a sentence could say: "Unfortunately, it started raining so heavy I was up to my knees in rain." And then the next person could add: "Fortunately, I brought my snorkle and swimming trunks and could swim across the park."
8. I Went On Holiday... Here's one for the older children. This is a memory game that is quite tricky and requires knowledge of geography. The players take it in turns to say they've been on holiday to a city, country, or continent beginning with the next letter of the alphabet from the person who went last. For example, the first person begins with A by saying, "I went on holiday to Argentina." Then the second person continues with B by adding, "I went on holiday to Argentina and Boulder (Colorado, USA)." And the next, "I went on holiday to Argentina, Boulder, and Canada." And so on. This gets more difficult the further into the alphabet you get, as you have to remember all the places that have gone before!