We’ve all experienced long car journeys, whether for a holiday, to see relatives or maybe move house. For the first part everyone is excited, enthusiastic to embark on the adventure and waiting in anticipation to see where they’re going. Maybe you’ve picked the scenic route and can’t wait to see what’s in store on the way, or perhaps you’ve just bought a new car that you can’t wait try out and test all the gadgets driving on the motorway. Over time the excitement might wear off and you’ll need a game to keep your children entertained and focus their attention away from the journey.

Fortunately for us, years of evolution has taught us humans to adapt to tricky situations and now we’ve got a whole host of games you can play thanks to the bubbling creativity of parents who’ve gone before us. And now we’ve got the best picks of the bunch – a selection of games guaranteed to entertain both your children and the inner child within, turning any long car journey into what will feel like a summer walk in the park. From family favourites most of us will undoubtedly remember, to maybe ones you’ve not heard or played before, here’s our pick of 5 games to play with your children on long car journeys.

Guess the animal

What are the rules? One player is asked to think of an animal and describe the animal they are thinking without saying its name directly. They can us descriptions of what type of animal it is, what noise it makes and where it lives. The aim of the game is for the other players is to simply guess what animal they are describing. What makes this game fun? This game has no winners or losers and it can help improve the verbal communication of your children as they find the words and phrases to describe the animal. With their imagination at play you are sure have a great time playing this game.

20 Questions

What are the rules? A classic family game that most people will be familiar with. The rules are simple, one player thinks of a person, animal or object, and the rest of the players have to find out what they are thinking of by asking 20 questions. After the 20 questions have been asked, the other players must have a guess and the player must reveal if they are right or wrong. What makes this game fun? 20 questions can be played by anyone, not just with your children. You can really make the game your own and choose a subject that you and your family know well. Maybe a TV show or a film. There’s no score limit or winner so you can play the game for as long as you want to.

I went to the shops

What are the rules? This is a memory focused game many people will be familiar with. It starts by one player saying ‘I went to the shops and I bought….’ and then naming an object – ‘I went to the shops and I bought an apple’. The next player must repeat what the previous player said and add their own item to the list of what they bought from the shops. As the game progresses players will have to remember all the objects that have been previously said by other players. What makes this game fun? While slightly harder than other games you can
play, it is an engaging game that can take attention away from a long journey.

Number Plate Sentences

What are the rules? You can take number plates from cars you see on the road and read their number plate to your child. The aim of the game is for them to create a sentence from the letters on the number plate. For example, a number plate like YW18 JLN could make the sentence – ‘Your white jumper looks nice’. What makes this game fun? It may be a bit of silly game but it is great fun nonetheless. You’re sure to have fun with your children and let their imagination run wild whilst they are learning. You could also add a maths twist
and include adding the numbers on the number plate together as part of the game. This is great for children of all ages, especially for those of school ago who have started learning phonics or mathematics.

Pub Cricket

What are the rules? Each player has 3 lives and must try and score as many runs as possible before their lives are used up. Players can score a run by counting how many physical legs appear in the subject name of the pubs, bars or hotels that you drive past in your car. For example, if you drive past a pub called The Prince of Wales, the player will receive two runs (one for each of the legs of The Prince of Wales). If you drive past another pub called The Red Lion, the player will receive 4 runs (one for each of the legs of a lion). A player loses a life if you drive past a place where the subject of the title has no legs. For example, if you drive past a pub called The Ship, the player will
lose a life. Once every player has had a turn and lost all their lives, the player with the most runs will win. What makes the game fun? Pub cricket keeps your children looking out of the car and can be a good way to keep them away from screens. It can encourage them to take in the environment they are travelling through and engage with the local area. Plus, its great fun taking into account the names of local pubs and working out how many points a player will get. It creates a sense of anticipation for what will be the next place you’ll drive past and who will score the runs.