According to a recent poll commissioned by Auto Europe, people play an average of 1.470 games of I Spy during their lifetime. That is a lot of I Spy games. There are many more games that can keep kids and adults entertained during car journeys. Below you can find some of our personal favourites.
Games/activities for kids
When you are on a long road trip the best way to keep kids entertained is by playing games, after all, we do not want our kids to get bored and cause havoc. Although I Spy can be fun, it’s good to also play other games as a variation. Find our best five games and activities to play with children below.
1. Travel-sized board games
Take the board games that you normally love to play at home! Sold in travel-size everywhere, and perfect for on the go. There is nothing like a classical game to make time go faster. Timeless favourites are Scrabble, Taboo and card games. It is important to create a good environment to play the game in the car. Usually, the armrest in the middle of the backseat can function as a perfect table for your kids. The good thing about travel-sized board games is that you can play them at your destination as well, so that your kids always have a nice game to play!
2. A portable DVD player
Kids’ are captivated by TV and music. No matter if you are for or against kids watching TV, it keeps children entertained for several hours, allowing you to focus on the road and traffic. A portable DVD players and a couple of DVD’s can temper-down any annoyed or bored kid with ease. Portable DVD players can be purchased at your local electronics store or you can choose to install them directly at the back of the front seats.
3. Educational quiz
There is no better way to keep your kids busy and in the meantime feed them some information than an educational quiz. Depending on what you want to quiz them about, this might need some preparation but you can also free-flow it. You can take some pre-written cards, or even a guidebook would do. One of the most popular topics for a quiz is about your destination. If done right you can keep your children busy and in the meantime they learn. It’s a win-win situation as the kids will get more excited about the destination.
4. The alphabet game
This golden oldie will keep your kids occupied for hours! The rules of the game are simple. You have to find a sign, a road sign or a building sign starting with letters in order of the alphabet. So you start to look for the letter “A” to letter the letter “Z”. The sign has to start with the letter of the alphabet without exceptions. In case the sign has multiple words in it, example: Dairy Queen, you can use it for the letter “D” and for the letter “Q”. The least common and therefore the most letters to complete are the letters J, Q, X and Z. The first player to find all the letters of the Alphabet is the winner.
5. Dots and Boxes / Pigs in a Pen
Perfect for long trips and requiring nothing more than a pencil and a roster sheet of paper. Normally played with two players, but can also be played with more, depending on the size of the sheet of paper. The game starts with an empty grid of dots. Each player, in turn can connect two dots by making a vertical or horizontal stripe. The player, who completes a box/pen, puts their initial and takes another turn. The player with the most boxes wins.
Games/activities for Adults
Not just kids can get bored on long car journeys. When you are going on a road trip with friends or go on holiday with your partner it still happens that you run out of things to do and you get bored. Find our five suggestions for games and activities to play below to make time go faster!
1. While you were sleeping
The rules are simple and require passengers to fall asleep at some point during the travel. Once the passenger wakes up, create a story, and try to make them believe that story. Each person takes turns to add to the made up story. The point-system is easy. If the passenger believes the story, each of the story tellers get 3 points. If the sleeping passenger fools the car and joins in their story correctly they steal all of the points. There are point deductions, if someone breaks character. The person with the most points when you get to the destination wins.
2. Read a book/watch a movie
Reading a book or watching a movie is not just a great way to pass the time for kids, but adults as well. Time flies when you read an interesting book or watch a great movie. Prepare for long trips by packing your favourite movies or new ones that you haven’t watched. Make sure to bring more than one book or movie to prevent you from being bored.
3. Did you hear that?
A very simple, but fun game usually played with two people. The first, asking “Did you hear …. happened?”. If the respondent says correctly that it didn’t happen, that person gets two points. If the respondent says incorrectly that it didn’t happen, the questioner gets the two points, plus one extra. In case the respondent asks to tell them more, the points double at the end. Afterwards, you can switch and start again by asking “Did you hear …. happened?”.
4. Fortunately, Unfortunately
Another fun game is “Fortunately, Unfortunately” another simple but hilarious game. The rules are simple and can be played with an infinite amount of players. Counter clockwise you make a statement. The first starts with fortunately, followed by the next person starting a sentence with unfortunately, about that situation. Example: Fortunately, this will be my first visit to Canada. Unfortunately, it is raining there constantly. Fortunately, I brought a pink umbrella. Unfortunately you hate pink etc. Make it as creative as possible for the funniest results.
5. Guess Who? 10 Questions
A well-known alternative to the “I Spy” game. Guess who that person is thinking of within 10 questions and you win. One passenger thinks of a famous or familiar person. The rest of the car can ask questions trying to figure out who that person has in mind (total of 10 questions). If the famous person is guessed, the passenger that guessed it gets one point and starts another round. If the famous person is not guessed, the passenger can think of another person and gets one point.