Summer Fun – Games to play when traveling with kids

car journeyWhatever you have planned for your family summer holiday and however you will travel – by car, bus, plane or train – there are often long stretches on your journey where there is a risk of the kids muttering the phrases which can strike fear into every mum and dad ‘Are we nearly there yet? We’re booooored’

To help ease your pain we have put our heads together here at Team Netmums to share some ideas for family games to play whilst traveling to help pass the time and make your journey easier. It’s a mix of old favourites and games with new twists – all road (or rail/air) tested by Team Netmums.


Travel bingo

Before you go print off some travel bingo sheets. Tailor them to what you might reasonably expect to see on your journey and the children’s job is to spot the items on their sheet and tick them off as they do. You can throw in a few challenges to mix things up a it ‘Spot something beginning with the letter ‘W’, ‘Spot something with more than 6 windows’ etc…

20 Questions / Who Am I?

One player chooses one thing they can see (in the airport/on the journey) or thinks of a famous person (real or from a film/book etc) and the rest of the family only have 20 questions between them to try to work out the answer. Questions can only be answered with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

The endless alphabetalphabet

There are a few variations of this alphabet game. A simple version is to choose a category (e.g. animals) and try to think of an animal beginning with every letter of the alphabet from A-Z (lots of cheating can be allowed for the letter ‘X’!). For a longer challenge, write on a sheet of paper write the letters a-z and then everyone thinks of a category each and write these at the top of the page. The challenge is to think of as many things from each category beginning with all the letters of the alphabet in a certain time limit. At the end of the time, read out your answers – you don’t get any points if you get an answer the same as anyone else and get bonus points if you think of something no-one else did.

The pub legs game

This one is great for car journeys where you will be passing through lots of towns or villages. Take turns and when you spot a pub you get awarded points for how many legs are in the pub name. So if a pub is called ‘The Jolly Sailor’ you get 2 points as a sailor has 2 legs but if you pass ‘The Horse and Hare’ on your turn you get 8 points as both animals together have 8 legs.

I packed my suitcase…suitcase

An old favourite. Take it in turns to say ‘I packed my suitcase and put in a ….’ (choosing a funny object you packed) and the next person has to remember all the objects so far then add another of their own as the list gets longer and longer.

Begin where you end game

Pick a category (e.g ‘animals’) and one person starts by calling out the name of an animal (e.g. cat). The next player has to think of an animal beginning with the last letter of that animal (so in this case ‘T’ – they could say ‘tiger’) and you carry on until you get bored or can think of no more!.

Keep on singing

Pick a tune that everyone knows and get the whole family singing along. Then turn the music off but everyone has to keep singing. 10 Seconds or so later turn the tune back on and if you are still in time and in tune with the music you have won! Great fun and not as simple as it sounds.

Tap the tunesinging

Take it in turns to tap out the beat of a song – using your arms, feet and tapping the seats, roof, floor etc. The rest of the car has to guess which tune you are tapping. You can also play this game by humming the tunes.

Adverbial answers

One person has to put their hands over their ears and whilst they are not listening the rest of the family picks and adverb (‘angrily’ ‘shyly’ ‘dementedly’ etc). The player who was not listening then has to ask each member of the family questions and they have to answer in the manner of the chosen adverb. Play continues until the person guesses which adverb you all chose. Silly fun and a good one for older kids.

Make a mapmap

Hand out  sheets of paper, crayons or felt pens and perhaps little stickers or cut-outs of items such as trees, houses, traffic lights etc. Ask your children to make a map of their journey. They could also take snaps along the way with a phone camera or digital camera too.

The waving game

One for car journeys. Challenge the kids to wave at other passengers and see how many wave back  – simple, silly fun!

Sproutssprout game

Draw 3 small circles on a sheet of paper. The first player then draws a line between 2 of the circles (it cannot go through a circle). The next player draws a circle on that line. Then take turns to draw lines following these golden rules:

  • A circle cannot have more than three lines attached to it (if the circle in question is on a line, it is considered to have two lines).
  • Lines cannot cross (fun optional rule: if either player accidentally crosses a line, they automatically lose).
  •  A circle can also be connected to itself.

Play until one player is unable to make a move and the last move-maker is the winner.

This pictures shows the first 5 moves in a game of sprouts.


If all these fail start a game of ‘Who can stay quiet the longest?’. Has to be worth a try in your hour of need surely?

Happy holidays everyone!


Read more on traveling with children and get top tips for packing and making sure you’re all organised before you go. Help your kids get the most out of their holiday and make sure you have a lovely well-deserved family break!

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Mums, Summer, Team Netmums and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Summer Fun – Games to play when traveling with kids

  1. Liz Allan says:

    Fantastic ideas! Will definitely use some of them rather than playing 57 rounds of eye spy on our next car trip. Travel bingo will make a nice alternative. My favourite would have to be Pub Legs, but unfortunately it wouldn’t work too well in Australia!

  2. zanuda says:

    Does anybody take real (physical – yes, I know, made up mind games a real too 🙂 and sometimes even more fun) games to the road? If you do which one do you take? Electronic, board, quiz, card games, some of the activity books with a little bit of everything? If you do, you have a chance to win one of those games here:

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