PARENTS

The Best...Car Games For Long Journeys

11/11/2009 15:59 | Updated 22 May 2015

Whether you're travelling abroad or opting for a staycation this year, chances are your summer holiday may involve more than a few hours driving on the motorway. Which will in turn involve fending off repeated cries of "Are we nearly there yet?".

Your children may be all kitted out with gadgets and gizmos, but when these lose their appeal, you can't beat a good old fashioned in-car word game.

Maria McCarthy is the author of The Girls' Guide to Losing her L Plates, and she's now followed this up with The Girls' Car Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About Life on the Road.

This is her guide to the best games you can play to while away the miles:

Maria says: Car games like these can work really well in short bursts:

Last letter

A round robin game. First choose a category – for example , animals, TV programmes, or countries. Then each player must suggest a word in that category from the last letter of the previous word. So if 'dog' was the opener, then the next player could go for 'giraffe. If you can't think of one you're eliminated, and the winner is the last person left.

Pub cricket

You can't play it on the motorway – but it's good if you're going through towns and villages.

Form two teams – one team takes the left hand side of the road, the other the right – for each side – score one run for every foot or paw implied in the name – up to a maximum of 6 – so (for instance) a Queen Victoria scores two, a 'Dog and Duck' scores 6,. Lose a wicket for each name with no foot or paws, like for example, 'The Rising Sun'. The game stops when one team has lost ten wickets. The the winning team is the one with the most runs at that point...

Twenty questions

One player thinks of a famous person, place or thing. Everyone else is allowed to ask that player 20 questions which can only be answered 'yes' or 'no'. Whoever guesses correctly gets a turn to think up the next challenge.

Driving bingo

Every player gets a type of bingo sheet with words describing the sort of things that might be seen on the journey – pub, church, river, tractor, monument etc. The first person to tick all the words wins.

Number plate numbers

A simple addition game where one player shouts out the numbers on a passing number plate and the others add them up. The winner is the player who's given the most correct answers, quickest, by the end of the journey.

I spy

You've got to have a few rounds of I Spy on a long family car journey – it's as traditional as reading out awful cracker jokes over Christmas dinner.

And finally, a perennial favourite with parents

The quiet game

a prize for whoever can stay quiet the longest

The Girls' Car Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About Life on the Road by Maria McCarthy is published on the 20th of August and available here from Amazon

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