What are the best car games with kids? A few weeks ago we embarked on our longest family road trip to date – 500 miles from Yorkshire to Westerhoven in The Netherlands.
The furthest we’d driven is to Cornwall and I planned our first trip there to the nth degree. Thank goodness I did. We ended up spending 9 hours in the car after getting caught up in traffic.
This time we broke up the journey by stopping to see friends in Essex on the way.
However, it was still a long time to spend in the car so I planned some drivetime entertainment. The Bears enjoy playing games, so I try to factor a few into our journeys (before everyone gets fed up and the ipads come out – I’m only human).
Here are 9 of the best car games with kids:
Who am I?
This is a current favourite of both Little Bear (4) and Big Bear (6). We’re keeping it simple at the moment by sticking to animals so that they can both play but you could broaden it out to more categories depending on your child’s level of understanding.
Guess what’s in my handbag
If you have more than one child with you and need to stop the bickering, get them to list as many items as they can think of that might be inside your handbag. The one who comes the closest wins.
How many can you name?
You can either put a timer on this or not, depending on how well your child responds to pressure. Give them a category and ask them to name as many things in that category as possible eg animals, vehicles, or children’s TV characters.
Turn a magazine into a scavenger hunt by asking your child to find certain items eg. ‘find something that starts with a B’ or ‘find something that is blue’.
Lego noughts and crosses
Make a noughts and crosses board out of a lego board and bricks.
Create a printable game based on what your kids see on the road. They mark off a square when they spy a stop sign, blue car, or other object on the list. For extra points you can laminate the sheets and use a dry erase marker for a washable and reusable game board.
Tin foil challenge
This is good if you have kids who like to fidget or enjoy craft activities. Give everyone a sheet of aluminium foil and ask them to mould it into anything they want: animal shapes, balls, jewellery, crowns, headbands, necklaces and masks. Be creative.
If you need some peace and quiet, choose a word and then get the kids to listen out for it on the radio or look for it on road signs and advertising hoardings along the journey. As soon as someone hears the word they shout ‘Buzz.’
How many arms and legs?
One for older kids or those who enjoy maths. If you’re travelling through towns or the countryside, make pub spotting into a maths game. Work out how many arms and legs each pub has. For example, The Spotted Cow would be four ( four legs), The Prince Albert would be four – two arms and two legs) and the King’s Arms would be two (two arms). The Coach and Horses would score 12 (two horses and one driver equals 10 legs and two arms)
If you enjoyed 9 of the best car games with kids, check out 9 tips for long car journeys with kids who have additional needs
What’s your favourite game to play on long family car journeys?