Today’s guest blog is from the fab people behind the Top Ten In-Car Games Guide, with tips on how to make the long summer car journeys that little bit easier
“I’m bored!” “I want to get out the car” “When are we eating lunch?” “I need the toilet” “What does that sign say?” “Stop hitting me!!!’ “I feel sick…” *Cue sobbing child*
I had these typical car complaints in my head when my husband Greg suggested a trip to Bournemouth beach with our five-year-old twins (and the dog of course). Admittedly, I couldn’t help but wince a bit at the thought. Past experiences of taking the kids on any car journey, even 20 minutes down the road to see my parents, had resulted in bawling, fighting and the standard “Are we nearly there yet” chant.
Friends with portable DVD players say they’re good for those who are old enough to understand how to use it, but with a hefty price tag for a decent make (one that won’t crash half way through Finding Nemo – more sobbing occurs) we didn’t want to fork out for two pieces of equipment we knew would be thrown, bashed and incite questions as to why the film had started from the beginning again.
So we decided to take it back to basics with traditional games like iSpy and… well, that was the problem. It’s the only one we could really remember. So the day before our trip we decided to have a trial run in the car to Sainsbury’s. At first it seemed to keep them occupied, but five turns later it appeared to be Game Over and looking in the rear view mirror I saw Tom begin to wriggle in his booster seat, pulling at the straps, and a certain look glazing over his eyes…
The thought of the looming drive to Bournemouth with just the one game available sent me into a slight panic behind the wheel. Out of the sheer desperation, I appealed to Greg to “DO SOMETHING!!!” Back at home, Greg’s searched for more in-car games to play during our trip. We came across a handy “Top Ten In-Car Game Guide”, which had colourful pictures and easy to follow instructions.
With our printout and a bagful of sweets and snacks at the ready, we hit the two and a half hour road trip to Bournemouth and tried out a selection of games:
- Duck: This one involved a bit of silly fun involving ducking down every time you head under a bridge. We soon adapted this to involve road signs due to a lack of regular bridges on the motorway, so the kids enjoyed keeping their eyes peeled for signs and being the first to duck when they spotted a sign. Impartial judging from Greg and I was essential however, as Tom and James were both adamant they were the first to duck each time.
- Think of an Animal: Everyone in the car thought of an animal and we all took turns to guess what it was, but we could only answer yes or no we had to make a guess after 10 questions. We soon realised that sweets made worthwhile prizes, with 1st and 2nd places both receiving an award! My boys are five and have mastered quite an extensive knowledge of animals (mainly dinosaurs), but for younger children you may be a bit restricted to those of the farmyard variety.
- Counting Cars: Both kids chose a colour and counted the number of cars in their colour that passed us in the opposite direction. The first one to 10 was the winner and then they could change colour. This was their favourite as they know colours even better than words and seemed to be the most effective, as they were happy to keep their eyes on the road in their bid to come out top. It also helped with their counting skills, but Greg kept a tally on the back of a receipt to avoid arguments.
Over an hour later we were still on the look out for bridges (signs) to duck under, red cars to count and thinking of the all the zoo animals to guess. To keep up momentum, Greg continued dishing out the goodies as prizes and the overall winner of each game would be awarded with a “special” prize on arrival of Bournemouth beach…a souvenir from the gift shop!
Next month, it’s off to Devon for a break. I think we’ll mix it up a bit and try out pub cricket and the Eddy Stobart game!
The ‘Top Ten In-Car Game Guide’ from carhiremarket.com is available to download at http://www.carhiremarket.com/top-ten-in-car-games.aspx and offers some quick and convenient ways to ensure your kids and family are entertained, without plugging in DVD or electronic entertainment.