Guide To In-Car Entertainment

As summer approaches, many families will be planning long journeys through the UK and further afield to for their holidays. Here at we know that keeping children happy on a long car journey can be a challenge, for even the most experienced of parents. Many drivers will have gadgets and toys on hand to help with this but there may come a time when the electronic game is out of batteries, the last DVD has been watched or the children simply need a more old fashioned form of entertainment!

With situations like these in mind, has put together a series of exciting games and activities which are aimed at children who are old enough to read (although there are a few things in there for younger children and there is no reason these games can’t be played by adults too!). All of which could help to prevent your children from asking the dreaded question “Are we nearly there yet?” too early in the journey.

Preparing for your trip:

It always helps to be prepared, so, to get the most out of these games we suggest that you have the following in your car:

  • Pillows and blankets – Sitting in a car for a long time can be uncomfortable; why not make it more comfortable? You never know, the children might just drift off to sleep giving you some peace for a while.
  • Blank paper – Useful for keeping scores for some of the games we have and for freehand drawing.
  • Pens, pencils, colouring pencils, crayons, pencil sharpeners and rubbers.
  • Sweets – Good for prizes (and equally useful as rewards for good behaviour).
  • If your children are a bit older, why not provide them with a map so they can keep tabs on where they are and how far they have come and how far they still have to go?

Print off the official set of games and activities by clicking here

Feel free to print off as many as you like!

Word Games:

Along with the printable things to do, there are a number of word games that you can have fun with too, here are the instructions below:

Granny went to market – A simple memory game where players take it in turns to recount granny’s shopping list and add a new item on as the list passes between players. Each player starts the list with the phrase “Granny went to the market and bought…” and every time play passes to the next person a new item needs to be added.

For example, the game could start as follows:

  • Player 1: “Granny went to market and bought a teddy bear”.
  • Player 2: “Granny went to market and bought a teddy bear and a bottle of shampoo”.
  • The player who is next in the round has to repeat all the previous items and add another one on.

Play continues until someone fails to recall the whole list.

If you have younger children, or some players are finding it too challenging you can set it up to follow the alphabet, meaning that the first item on granny’s shopping list begins with A, the second B and so on.

The 'Horsebox' Game

The children keep an eye on the traffic, if one of them spots a horsebox (or another similarly rare vehicle which can be decided before the game starts) they score a point. At the end of the journey the points are tallied up and the winner is the one who spotted the most horseboxes. The beauty of this game is that other games can be played at the same time.

The Connections Game

One player states the name of a famous person or well known fictional character and the next player has to name another whose first name starts with the first letter of the pervious person’s last name. For example, if player says Brian Ferry the next person could say Fernando Torres and the next person Tom Sawyer and so on. The game stops when someone draws a blank! If the famous person has only one name like Prince the following player uses the last letter of their name. If you have more than two people playing the game you can make things more interesting by switching direction if someone uses a person whose first and last name share the same first letter (like Michael McIntrye) or if someone has a hyphenated name (like Camilla Parker-Bowles or Helen Bonham Carter).

The Association Game

One player says a word and the next player has to say a word associated with the first word. For example, one player might say sheep and the next player could reply with wool or farmer, or anything else thought to be associated with sheep. The rules can also be reversed to make it so the next word is not associated, making it the disassociation game! (It is harder than you think).

The Number Plates Game

Each player works their way through the alphabet, ticking off the letters as they spot a car with a number plate which begins with that letter. If they spot a number plate beginning with A they can tick off the A and move on to looking for cars beginning with B and so on, the winner is the one who reaches the end of the alphabet first. But note! The letters I, Q, U and Z are exempt.

Good luck! We hope our Tiger games and activities make the prospect of a long journey with children more fun. If you have any other great games that have provided hours of entertainment on long journeys do let us know your ideas.

Have Fun!

16/07/2012 08:30:47 Mike

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