Choose someone to start and tell them to think of a word (DO NOT say it out). They then need to scramble up the word and say the letters in a random order so if they think of the word chips, they could say the letters P, C, S, I, H. Everyone else then needs to guess the word. The person who gets it right is then next to think of a word. Really great to keep those spelling skills intact
- 20 questions
This is an old favourite! One person thinks of an object (or anything for that matter) and everyone else gets to asks 20 yes or no questions. Remember they have to be a yes or no question and there are only 20 questions!
- I spy
Yup, it's another oldie! Look for an object and say I spy with my little eye something beginning with ... And say the first letter of the object. The person to get it right wins the next turn.
- Mental maths
Look at the number plates of the cars around you and use the numbers to create a sum, or even the letters to make up a word.
- Eat the alphabet
So, this is a variation on the I'm packing for a picnic. Instead you start with "I'm so hungry I could eat an anteater", the next person continues with "I'm so hungry I could eat an anteater and a..." (something that begins with a b). And so you continue through the alphabet. Of course, you could play the original version, with this one the person starts with "I'm packing for a picnic and I pack a sandwich" The next person then says "I'm packing for a picnic and I pack a sandwich and a hotdog" and so you carry on using the last letter of the word.
- Word Stretch
Every time you hear the question, "Are we there yet?" turn it into a game. Get your child to come up with as many words as possible with the letters in the question. So, you could have ate, weather, year and so many more.
- The house on the hill
This is a really fun creative game! When you see a mysterious house on a hill (or wherever really), come up with a story about the house. Who lives there, what do they do, how many children do they have, do they have animals. This is really great to get the imaginative juices flowing.
- Colour Safari
Choose a colour and then get the kids to find 100 objects of that colour. The first person to get to 100 gets to choose the next colour.
- Sweet and Sour
Let the kids wave to passing cars, if the car waves back they are sweet, if they don't they are sour!
- Rock, paper, scissors
An all time favourite! I don't think we need elaborations on this one.. Except for a reminder: rock beats scissors, scissors cuts paper, and paper covers rock.
- Team Storytelling
Start off with one person saying "Once upon a time there lived a dragon.." the next person continues the story saying "Once upon a time there lived a dragon who had a mouse for a friend" and so you carry on. You don't have to start with Once upon a time.
- The banana game
Whenever someone spots a yellow car they get a point. This is a variation on the punchbuggy game, but may lead to less fights! You can decide on a number for to achieve to win or give a time limit, and the person who has the most by the time limit is the winner.
- True or False
This will keep those mental juices flowing! Come up with a statement and let the kids answer true or false. You can easily change the level of this game depending on the age of your child.
Think up a word and then you say "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with dog and starts with l". The first person to then get log gets the next turn.
- Alphabet game
Look for sign boards and find one with a word that begins with an a, then look for one that has a word that begins with a b and so on...
- Broken telephone
Start with one person whispering a story to another person, and then that person whispers to the next. The last person then tells the story out loud! This can often turn out to be quite funny!
- Name that tune
Choose a theme, movies, series games, cartoons etc. And then one person hums the tune, everyone else must try to guess the song.
Someone thinks up a word, real or made-up, and then everyone else has to guess if it's real or not. You may need a dictionary for this or a tablet which has a dictionary or internet access.
- Backseat activity bag:
This is for when everyone just wants a little quiet time. Make up a bag with a colouring book/pages a clipboard to lean on, some crayons, books, and iPad or tablet (look out for our list on great apps for the car trip), magnetic board games, headphones and an iPod or MP3 player. Juice, water, chips and snacks.
Mostly, make your journey part of your holiday. We have such a beautiful country and often we just want to get to where we are going. Stop and have a Wimpy breakfast, let the kids run off some energy and give yourself a break! Also remember your seatbelts and get a good nights sleep before a long trip!
Travel safely guys!