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Travel games for long journeys

May 11, 2017

Here is a little travel gift for all of you stuck in the car with children - The Five Best Games for Bored Children in Cars.


By Becky Sheaves

(I would like to point out here before we start that Cuckoo Down Farm is genuinely less than three hours from London, and a heck of a lot easier to get to than Cornwall or North Devon, although from time to time the traffic around Stonehenge can slow things down somewhat.If it's a Bank Holiday, we'd probably recommend going on the M4/M5 instead - slightly more miles, but a better road in heavy traffic. Anyway, I digress.)

In the meantime, here is a little travel gift for all of you stuck in the car with children - The Five Best Games for Bored Children in Cars.

1 Yellow Car

This is a simple but endlessly entertaining game. Everybody gazes out of the window and when you spot a yellow car, you shout “Yellow Car!” and punch everybody else in the car. Honestly, it is great fun. If it gets too painful – which it easily can -  you can play the Small Children’s Version, in which you hold hands with everyone whenever you see a yellow car. I did not invent this game but I did invent this adaptation, back when my son Luke got to about four and it all got so painful I was thinking I was going to have to ring MumLine.

2 White Van

This game is one of my own devising and is not only great fun but will give your children a thought-provoking insight into gender roles in today’s Britain. They can spot and claim white vans as they drive. You get one point per van unless the van is driven by a woman. In which case you get ten points. You will be surprised at how very rare those ten-pointers are these days.

3 No More Footballers

This is a tad more complicated but can absorb lots of time and works just as well on trains as in the car. You have to guess who the other person is “being”. So you start like this: “Are you Wayne Rooney?”

“No. No more footballers.”

“Are you The Queen?”

“No. No more royalty.”

“Are you David Attenborough.”

“No. No more people over 90.”

“Are you Prince Charles?”

“I said no more royalty!”

“Sorry. Are you Kim Kardashian.”

“No. No more Americans.”

And so it goes on until you work out that it is Red Rum or Mandy next door or Donald Trump - or whoever.

4 Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

You may remember this one but the oldies are still the best in my opinion. Off you go with:

“Guess what I am?” (remembering that you can only give a yes/no answer).

“Are you animal?”


“Are you vegetable?”


“Are you a tree?”


And so on until you figure out that they are a fox or a washing machine or whatever it is. One of our favourites is “A shrub” which nobody ever guesses. Oh, and you may well have to ban the virtual world. Our son Luke held out all the way from London to Wiltshire once without us guessing he was something called “Raspberry Pi” which is some sort of computer something or other. We also had to ban rare minerals when he was into the computer game Minecraft and he kept being “obsidian” which none of us had ever heard of, either. You’ll end up with your own rules.

5 I Spy for Babies

This is for the days when you’re travelling with a child of, say, three and under. I can’t promise that it will keep them entertained for hours but it can help in a meltdown emergency and give you five-ten minutes’ grace. Beyond that, there is always Disney on DVD and the eternal optimistic hope that, in a minute, they might drop off to sleep. Basically, you dispense with the tricky educational aspect of I Spy – having to know the 26 letters of the alphabet - and concentrate instead on the colours of the rainbow.

“I spy with my little eye, something that is the colour BLUE.”

“Is it Daddy’s jumper?”


“Is it the sky?”

“No. Anyway, the sky is white today with grey bits.”

“Ok. Is it your shoes?”


And there you have it, two minutes less of the journey to fill. Happy driving everyone.



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