My daughters are 6 and 2 so our 6 year old gets very involved and our 2 year old likes to pipe up now and again. We always try and involve them both and encourage our youngest to have a guess, even though she tends to say “Seven” in answer to anything.
When not playing games, I am generally forced to play music from Trolls or Little Mix, so it can help to break up a long journey to play a game or two. I also try to avoid reaching straight for the iPads too early on in a journey so we find that games in the car can help prolong that.
The following list is our top ten games for playing with kids in the car:
- Rainbow Cars – spots cars in the colours of the rainbow, starting with Red then Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Depending how long it takes and how bored the kids are getting, we can include lorries or bits of lorries.
- My Car Colour – this one is best for quieter roads rather than motorways. You each pick a colour and count the number of cars you see that are your colour. You can either do this within a set time or just shout out each time you see your colour.
- I-Spy – good old favourite. Younger ones can play I Spy Colours, where they have to spot something blue for example. We also play I-Spy Numbers which involves spotting 4 things for example 4 people in the car.
- ABC Game – in this game, we work through the alphabet naming things in a category, such as Animals – ant, bee, cat etc or Sweets – aniseed balls, bubble gum, candy canes etc. We have done this for things you might get in a classroom or things you might get at a party. You can take it in turns or just work through it together depending on the age and ability of your child.
- I Went to the Shops – here you take it in turns to add an item to a shopping list remembering the ones that have already been said, eg I went to the shop and bought an orange, I went to the shop and bought an orange and a toilet roll, I went to the shop and bought an orange, a toilet roll and a pen etc. You can work through the alphabet or just think of items randomly.
- 20 Questions – somebody thinks of a person or character that everyone in the car knows. You take it in turns to ask questions about the person to work out who it is.
- Guess the Time Left – this is a good one to answer the dreaded question “Are we nearly there yet?” Each time someone asks that question, you can say, let’s guess and see who is closest. How many minutes do you think Sat Nav says it is until we get there? You can do this every 20 minutes or so if you want, but probably best to leave it until you’re fairly close. An answer of 5 and a half hours may be a little depressing for everyone otherwise!
- Odd One Out – we quite often play this with our school aged daughter, so for example you may say Orange, Apple, Carrot and Pear, where carrot is the odd one out because it is a vegetable and not a fruit. We have progressed to things like Grass, Giraffe, Glass and Cup, where cup is the odd one out as all the others begin with a G.
- Name that Tune – a great one to adapt for different aged kids, our youngest loves to guess nursery rhymes and our eldest can hum along tunes from Little Mix or from the Trolls soundtrack.
- Eddie Stowbart Names – whenever we see an Eddie Stowbart lorry, we always guess two girls names and see whether anybody got one of the names on the front of the vehicle.
These are the games we tend to play when out and about in the car with kids and they do help to pass a bit of time. If you have any other ideas, please share by leaving a comment.