We may not be flying with our kids for a while but these travel games are perfect for in the car, on public transport or if you are waiting for an appointment. We also play one of these regularly at dinner time to keep everyone involved in the conversation, and to practise listening to each other respectfully and taking turns.
The best thing is that you don’t need anything to play these games and some of them the kids can even play on their own. You probably know most of them but some may have been forgotten over the years.
Car Cricket: Travelling in the car, (or in a bus), somewhere? Why not play this classic game. Different families may have different rules but basically various coloured cars stand for a certain amount of runs, (for example, yellow is one run, blue is two runs) and a particular coloured car means that you have been bowled out. Work out the rules for your family and get playing!
“I’m going to a party and I’m taking a. . .”: There are various versions but this one is probably easiest when played as a memory game. One person starts saying that they are going to a party and taking a certain thing. The next person has to repeat that and then add another thing they are taking. This continues with each person adding a new item to the list and having to remember all the items already said each time.
Find the Alphabet: I have vivid memories of playing this every time we took the hour long trip to visit my cousins and grandparents on the other side of the city. We would have to find the letters of the alphabet in order as we drove. You can find the letters on signs, number plates or anywhere else you can spot along the way until the alphabet is completed.
The Ants Go Marching: This song can be lots of fun as you all take turns finding rhymes for each number. “The ants go marching one by one. Hurrah, hurrah. The ants go marching one by one. Hurrah, hurrah. The ants go marching one by one, the little stopped to suck his thumb‘, for example. Then move on to ‘marching two by two’ and say what the little one stopped to do that rhymes with two. I’m sure the kids will come up with some good ones.
Twenty One: My kids learnt this one at school. The object is to not be the person who says ‘twenty one’. Each person can say up to three numbers for their turn. The numbers need to keep going up. So the first person might say, ‘1, 2,’ then the second person, ‘3, 4, 5’ and then next person, ‘6’. This continues up until ’21’. The person who says 21 is the loser.
The Alphabet Game: Choose a category and then take turns going through the alphabet. For example, if the category is animals, the first person might say ‘Alligator’; the second person, ‘Bear’; and the third person, ‘Cheetah’. Or you might have each person say an animal for A, B, C and so on. Other favourite categories are: places, names and food.
The Guessing Game: This is our current family fave and we played this a lot when travelling. One person thinks of a person, animal or food (etc), and tells everyone what the category is. Then everyone takes turns asking a question to narrow down what it is. A ‘yes’ to a question means that person gets another guess. A ‘no’ means it is the next person’s turn. Continue until the person, animal, food is guessed!
I Spy With My Little Eye: This classic game is a great one for people of all ages. Traditionally, one person says ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with’ and then says the first letter of what they are spying for people to guess. For younger kids you can say ‘something the colour . . .’
Actor/Movie Game: This is a great one for older children. One person says two actors and a movie they are from, (for example, Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes, Romeo and Juliet). Then the next person playing has to say one of those actors to pair with a different actor and movie, (for example, Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic). You continue on in with the game in this way.
99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall: Get the kids to practise counting backwards with a rendition of ’99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall’ or sub in your fave single synonym drink. If you are unfamiliar with the song, it goes like this: ’99 bottles of milk on the wall, 99 bottles of milk. Take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of milk on the wall.”
Have we missed one of your favourite travel games?