Road trip games for long journeys

Every parent knows that keeping children entertained on a long road trip can be something of a challenge – and the amount of time spent in the car on a road trip can get monotonous even for the adults in the family. If you’re bored of playing I Spy, here are some other fun car games you could try to pass the time:

1. 20 Questions

Someone has to think of something, which they must state to be an Animal, Vegetable or Mineral. Everyone else then has to guess what it is using a maximum of twenty questions – but they can only have ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. The first person to guess correctly within the twenty questions is the next person to answer the questions.

2. Registration plate words

Give the kids a pencil and paper and get them to look out for three-letter words spelled out on car registration plates. Whoever has jotted down the most by the end of the journey wins a prize.

3. The road trip challenge

Before you go, compile a list of things you might spot along the way, and allocate a certain number of points to each one. Include a few common things worth one point, such as bridges and service stations, and then a few trickier ones for five points, such as an ambulance, a pig farm or an airliner. Award ten points for things that they’re least likely to see, such as a Ferrari or windmill. They keep a tally of how many they’ve seen of each thing, and whoever collects the most points by the end of the journey wins a prize.

4. Spot a colour

Pick a more unusual colour – such as yellow or pink – and get the kids to call out each time they see it, whether it’s a car or something by the roadside. If you want to make it more challenging, you could get them to differentiate between different car models in their chosen colour.

5. The car logo game

Older children might enjoy focusing more on car brands than colours, so the object of this game is to spot as many different makes of car as possible. Print out sheets with car logos on first – like this one – and they can cross each one off as they see it.

6. Guess the theme tune

Take it in turns whistling or humming a theme tune from a film or television programme. Whoever correctly guesses where it’s from gets the next go.

7. The alphabet game

The aim of this game is to keep looking out of the car window and be the first to spot something beginning with every letter of the alphabet – for example, H for Helicopter. The first person to write down the complete alphabet wins.

8. Challenge for snacks

Ration out food for the journey by letting them have a healthy snack only at intervals determined by a challenge you set. For example, when they’ve counted ten bridges you’ve driven under, or ten green cars, they can have a strawberry.