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15 Ways to Entertain Children in the Car

We've all been there. They finally grow out of the 'crying in the back' baby stage of travelling and next comes 'are we nearly there yet?' for the next 12 years.

Here are 15 tried and tested ideas to keep children occupied in the car.

1. Scavenger Hunt

You can make your own using different road signs and vehicles, or download our Car Scavenger Hunt below.

2. Hunt The Cars

Ask 'how quickly can you find 5 blue cars?' When they have found 5 (or more) of one colour, switch for another colour.

3. I Spy

You can adapt this depending on the age of your child. I spy something ‘red’ works just as well as I spy something beginning with ’s’. You can change this to letter names, shapes or descriptions too.

4. Music

Listen to the radio and pick a keyword. The first person to hear the keyword wins and chooses the next word.

5. Back-seat photographer

Using either a phone, tablet or camera, ask your child to take photographs from the back of the car. Explain that they have a different view to the driver and that they are the back seat photographer.

6.Mess-free Colouring

We bought our pack from Home Bargains and it contains a variety of pictures and special pens that only mark the paper in the pack. No more worrying that the car seat might get covered in felt pen. I keep these in the car all the time incase of emergencies but they’re also great for journeys.

7. Snack Time

Does this one need any explanation?

8. Reg Plate Numbers

Starting at zero ask your child to find a 0 on a number plate. When they have found this ask them to find a 1 and so on.

9. Secret Mission

Before the journey, give each person something obscure to look out for but don't tell anyone else. For example, an aerial disguised as a tree or a yellow car with two dogs inside. Each passenger gets 5 points for finding/completing their mission.

10. The Alphabet Game

First find something beginning with A, then B and so on.

11. In the car I packed…my pyjamas.

The next person repeats and then continues. For example ‘In the car I packed my pyjamas and a box of toys.’ How long can you keep the game going for before someone forgets?

12. Tally Chart Animals

Give your child a piece of paper and ask them to tally the number of sheets, cows and horses as they drive by. How many can they find by the end of the journey?

13. Screentime

You can play every game under the sun but sometimes you just need to concentrate on where you’re going and have 5 minutes peace. We like CBeebies for programmes and the paintz app for drawing.

14. Top 5 Game

Select your own topics I.e top 5 TV shows, top 5 foods and ask each passenger to list their own before moving onto the next topic.

15. Traffic Light Game

When you get to the red lights ask ‘how many red things can you think of before the lights change?’

What are your top tips for travelling with children? Pop them in the comments below to help another family :)

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