family and kids

28 May 8 Games to Keep the Kids Quiet when Driving

ARE WE THERE YET?!

So, the car is packed, the kids are belted up and the playlist is ready to go! The countdown is over and the holidays are here…nothing short of a roadside emergency or restless backseat passengers are going to spoil the mood while driving in Europe. Let’s make sure there are no bumps in the road! We’ve compiled our favourite list of family games to keep the kids quiet in the car – a mix of new and old – to help you on your way.

I Spy: “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘S’…” That’s right, silence! A simple game that will keep passengers occupied for as long as your little eyes can spy. The rules are simple, your child spies, gives the first letter of the word and away you go!

Spot the Car: It can be as tricky as finding a yellow Lamborghini or a white Herbie, or as easy as spotting a silver station-wagon or black Astra. The first person to 10 wins!

Rock, paper, scissors: On the count of three, the fist decides if it’s going to be flat (paper); fisted (rock) or index and middle finger shaped in a V (scissors). Rock beats scissors; scissors beats paper and paper beats rock. The first to three points is crowned the winner!

20 Questions: “Are we there yet?!” Let’s give the children other questions to ask! Let’s say Mum goes first – she thinks of something within a category – animal, vegetable, place or thing? This is always the first question. The rest of the family then asks pointed questions to identify the ‘something’…like ‘does it bark?; can you peel it?; is it in Europe?’ Mum can only answer with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Luckily for everyone involved, only 20 questions can be asked!

Celebrity heads: The props for this one includes post-it notes and pens, but it’s worth the preparation! A celebrity’s name is written on a post-it and placed on the forehead of others in the car. Everyone takes turns asking questions: ‘Am I a man?; Am I a singer?; Do I live in Ireland?; Am I human? (Someone may have got Shrek) which can only be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses. Happy hours ensue!

Thumb Wrestling: Be prepared for a few kicks in the back of your car-seat for this game! A little more active but bound to expend some energy. A two-player game where the fingers interlock in a fist, leaving the thumb free to fight! “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb-war!” The aim is to lock down your opponent’s thumb for longer than three seconds without causing bodily harm. A few shrieks mean this game is going a treat!

I went to the shops and I bought: This is an old classic but guaranteed to keep you on your toes! The first person starts with “I went to the shop and I bought some apples…” Each player takes their turn to add to the shopping list, making their way through the alphabet but recalling the previous items each time. It’s a brain twister, but great fun!

Songs: No one ever tires of a good aul sing-song! A mixed tape of golden oldies; campfire favourites or new chart toppers. For a twist; you can play ‘Name that Tune’…Warm up the vocal chords and hum; whistle or beat box your chosen tune and let the others guess…the winner is up next.

There you have it, eight simple games that are bound to guarantee hours of entertainment followed by peace and quiet for you and your family while driving in Europe!

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Barry Aldworth
AldworthB@theaa.ie