What do you do while driving

The 10 best games for long car journeys

The kids often get bored on long car journeys. When they're not busy, they start moaning, whining, and arguing with each other. This is particularly annoying for those who are behind the wheel. Games provide distraction and fun while driving.

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1. Urban-rural flow

The great-great-grandparents played the classic among knowledge and quiz games in the late 19th century. Necessary utensils for each participant are a blank sheet of A4 paper and a pen. The game encompasses three areas: city, country, river, but can be expanded to include many more categories such as name, occupation, plant, animal, instrument, item of clothing, celebrity, film or song title, etc. Before the game, the terms such as Divided into tables in the example scheme:

When the table is ready, the game can start. To do this, the letter with which all terms in the table begin is determined. One of the players mentally recites the alphabet, and when someone else calls "stop", everyone starts to write. If the stop occurs e.g. at the letter G, all searched terms must now begin with this letter. Whoever finishes first calls “done”. Now everyone stops writing. Alternatively, you can set a period of five minutes in advance and use your smartphone as a stopwatch. If terms appear several times when reading and comparing terms, five points are awarded, ten points if only one is mentioned. Example: If more than one person mentions Greece for the letter G, there are five points. If only one person names Ghana or Georgia, there are ten points. If a player is the only one who knows the correct answer in a category, he will receive five bonus points. The game can be played until the alphabet is through. The winner is whoever has the most points in the end.

Tip: The tables for the game can be made on the computer before the trip and copied several times. Here you can download our template to play for free.

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2. Continue telling the story

For this very entertaining game, several sheets of paper are cut into approx. 50 cards the size of a credit card. Alternatively, small index cards are also possible. A word or phrase is now written on each card, such as buy, take an exam, travel the world, moon, mafia, win the lottery, hunt for criminals, cycle, speedboat, have a quirk, New York, bank robbery or whatever comes to mind. The game starts with a sentence that one of the parents thinks up. My favorite sentence has always been: “There was a little bear once living in the Canadian wilderness, and one day ......” Child 1 draws the first card and continues the story with the word that is on the card. If, for example, it says “win the lottery”, the story could go on like this: “... and one day the little bear won the lottery”. Child 2 draws the next card and continues. This is how the funniest and most incredible stories come about. Each card is only used once.

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3. Guess melodies or films / series

A parent or one of the children begins to hum a familiar melody (e.g. the soundtrack of a film, the theme music of a television series, a pop song, hit song, rap, nursery rhyme, etc.). The others have to guess the melody or the film or series title. Whoever guesses it first receives one point and is next in line. Whoever has collected the most points at the end of the game receives a small reward at the nearest petrol station.

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4. Fortune telling

Before leaving, each child receives a piece of paper that is divided into two columns and on which several terms are written one below the other, such as:

The list can be continued as desired (e.g. car with a green roof, hole in the road, construction site, pig transporter, etc.). During the trip, the kids have to keep their eyes open and when they discover one of the things, put a cross in the right column. For every true discovery there is one point, for difficult predictions such as “six cows in a meadow” two points. The child who has the most points in the end is the fortune teller king or the fortune teller queen and receives a prize.

Tip: Before the trip, pack little things like surprise eggs, gummy bears or the children's favorite snack as "game prizes" - that saves money at the petrol station!

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5. Place signs game

On the trip on vacation you drive past all kinds of places, in the direction of Denmark for example in Flensburg. The aim of this game is to collect other place names that begin with "F", such as Freiburg, Frankfurt, Fulda, but cities abroad such as Florence or Ferrara can also be named. Each of the children names a place until no one else can think of anything. When the next place-name sign appears, the game continues.

It doesn't necessarily have to be place-name signs, it can also be signs on the motorway that give an indication of how far it is to X, Y or Z. In this case there are several place names to choose from. The kids write down the places and cities that occur to them for the corresponding letter. If you have the highest number of towns on your list, you get a big one at the next gas station, the loser a small one.

Tip: Take notes or small writing pads with you for this and the next game.

6. Find words on license plates

In this game, the kids have to discover license plates from which words emerge, such as LA-NG, KA-TZ, DU-MM or KI-NO and write them down. The winner is whoever has found the most.

Alternatively, you can create funny sentences from the individual letters, such as KA-TZ: Katharina and the A.ffe tadvertise Zumba. DU-MM: You and I screw up. The more nonsensical, the funnier.

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7. All-vacation-question-answer game

One of the children starts and says the alphabet until someone calls "stop". All answers to the questions that are now asked, such as “Where are you going?”, Must begin with the letter with which the stop test is made. If the letter is “N”, the answer could be “Nordsee” or “Norderney”. It doesn't have to be the family's actual vacation spot. The answer to the next question “What are you doing there” would be e.g. “Play netball”, Nordic walking ”or“ nothing ”. “What's in your suitcase?” Possible answer: “New clothes”, “Nothing to wear”, “The bowl for the dog” etc. If the child doesn't know the answer, it's the turn of the rest of the family. When the questions are through, a new letter is chosen.

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8. Word to word

This game has been enjoyed for ages while driving cars and trains. It's fun for kids and adults alike. One parent starts by saying a two-syllable word such as “Bahncourt". One of the kids now has to find a new word with the second syllable of the word. This could "courtcastle ”. Then could Castlefollow away and then pathtrain, thereupon traincompartment and compartmentspace, etc. The game continues until the kids can't think of any more words. Then a new word is played from the beginning (e.g. motorway → railroad track → track bed → sofa bed → sofa cushions etc.).

9. Who am I?

This classic game is great fun. One of the children, father or mother, thinks of a famous person, and the others have to find out who it is by asking 10-15 questions. Examples of questions: "Is it a woman?", "Does she sing?", "Is he an actor", etc. The questions can only be answered with "Yes" or "No". Everyone can ask questions until a "no" follows. Only then is it the next player's turn and may ask his questions. If you find out who the person you're looking for is, you get a point and can come up with a new celebrity for the others to guess.

Alternatively, you can also take someone from the relatives. Examples of questions: “Is he related to mom or dad?”, “Does she often visit?” “Is he old?” Etc. The winner is whoever has guessed the most people at the end of the game.

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10. Fortunately, unfortunately .....

This game is guaranteed not to get boring. Someone in the car starts with a sentence that begins with "fortunately" or "fortunately". The next one continues the sentence with "unfortunately" or "unfortunately". Both parts of the sentence should be about holidays, but not necessarily about your own travel destination. The story must go on, no matter how nonsensical it sounds. For example, someone starts with the sentence: "Fortunately, I'm on my way to Italy ..." the next one continues with: "... but unfortunately I left my suitcase at home". The story could be continued like this: "Fortunately, my swimsuit from my last visit to the swimming pool was still in the trunk", "Unfortunately it is forbidden to enter restaurants in bathing suits". “Fortunately there are beach restaurants in Italy” “... but unfortunately not where I booked”. "Luckily there is a kitchenette in my hotel room ..." etc. The more nonsensical the story continues, the more laughter there is in the car and time flies by.


Do you know any other games that are good for those long car journeys?

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