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Great 'Free Car Journey Games' Hunt

59 replies 49.3K views
MSE Update, 24 June 2014: We're revisiting this Great Hunt. What free or low-cost tricks do you have to keep your children amused on a long trip? From playing I-Spy to giving them books to read, we want to tap into MoneySavers' collective knowledge. Read on to see what was said last time, or click 'reply' to add your tip...

Great 'Free Car Journey Games' Hunt

It’s summer, you’ve a long journey with your partner or the kids planned – so it's time to play I-Spy, “I went to market” or what else. We thought we’d tap MoneySavers for your car games (included is Martin’s made up scrabble-buzz game).

Here’s an example:

Martin’s Scrabble-Buzz game

As Mrs. MSE and I are major Scrabble fans, I made up this game for when we’re stuck in the car, you may hate it, but we love it.

· Step 1: Picking the ‘tiles’: This is easy, one person starts by saying any letter. Then the other person(s) picks one and you alternate until you’ve got seven

· Step 2: The game. As soon as the seventh letter is said – the aim is to come up with the longest word possible.

The first person to get a seven letter word wins, yet if you don’t think there is one, you can say “Buzz” and name a word of less than seven letters. After which (provided it’s an acceptable word) the other person then has one minute to come up with any longer word to win. If not the person who buzzed is the winner of that round.

Note: The person who picks the seventh letter has an advantage if they pick that letter in their head, they think of the word before telling it, so the seventh letter must always be named instantly.”

Please post your own games by hitting the reply button.

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  • I've never posted on a thread here, but here goes....

    we have two pre-school children (2 and 4) and Martin's game sounds great but it's a bit beyond them atm. :rotfl:

    What we do when the kids start to get a bit fed up is spot cars of a specific colour - it has to be an unusual colour, i.e. pink, or guess what is inside of a lorry depending on the colour of it. For example a green lorry (has to be a big cargo carrying type) could carry apples, but my son might say snot (!!).

    I'm looking forward to seeing what other people post as we've a 5 hour drive to look forward to in a couple of weeks!

  • edited 6 August 2010 at 4:45PM
    babyshoesbabyshoes Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 6 August 2010 at 4:45PM
    Making up words or phrases using the letters in numberplates around you. When you are stuck on the back of a motorbike for hours in the freezing rain, it is about the only distraction available, apart from making up silly songs and singing them out loud....
    Trust me - I'm NOT a doctor!
  • TarryTarry Forumite
    11.2K posts
    babyshoes wrote: »
    Making up words or phrases using the letters in numberplates around you. When you are stuck on the back of a motorbike for hours in the freezing rain, it is about the only distraction available, apart from making up silly songs and singing them out loud....

    I've done that :o I can't drive and I amuse myself at guessing what country each numberplate comes from :o And guess what the lorry is carrying especially if it's foreign. I sound very sad, but motorways are boring, and I feel carsick if I try to read, and can't sleep on moving vehicles as likewise I feel ill, so it stops me going mad. :o I'm a very sad person or amused :o
    The Very Right Honourable Lady Tarry of the Alphabetty thread
    -I just love finding bargains and saving money
    I love to travel as much as I can when I can
    Life has a way to test you, it's how you deal with this that matters
  • First time poster, long time reader :j

    Our 3 are 8,10 n 14 on journeys the kids take it in turn making a sentance from the 3 letters on the nearest car eg. PL08 ABC would be anythin like ' A Big Cat' 'Another Brown Cow' etc.
  • When my children were younger we would go up to Great Yarmouth which was about 5 hrs from here we would do the usual singsong, Eye spy, but their favorite game was snooker this is played the same way but using cars instead of balls each person takes a turn 1st you have to find the 10 reds then you must find the colours but you have to find a red before you find the colour ie red,yellow,red green,red,brown etc if after five mins you cant spot your car then your are given a white which is -4 points and miss a go. the children loved it and it would pass a lot of time. As they got older they would make tournaments .:j
  • This is a game to fill hours and it's a twist on 20 questions that I made up so that my 5 and 3 year old could play.

    We still play this now that they are 7 and 5!

    "I'm thinking of a (insert something - animal, dinosaur, place, food) in my head, can you guess what the (something) might be?" to a jaunty little tune.

    We don't have a limit on the number of questions but it can be quite tricky, esp when my 5 year old comes up with a particularly obscure dinosaur - pachycephalosaurus anyone? :D

    We also play Mr Miggins went to the (greengrocers, toy shop, supermarket, to a party etc etc). sometimes we do it alphabetically, sometimes it just has to be really descriptive (ie super fast, extra large sausage making machine).

    I'll be looking to see other good ideas!
  • With one 10 yr old daughter who seems incapable of travelling quietly, we have had many of these over the years! Here is a selection of current faves:

    Red car game - each person keeps track of number of cars seen of a certain colour. Good for local drives, the more side roads and driveways the better.

    The car game - take it in turns to yell out the make of the next car approaching you (or overtaking on dual carriageways). Gets pretty hectic in busy traffic conditions. Have now officially become a car nerd! Make up your own rules - we now seem to have more than there are makes of car eg Fiat and you're out, Dad always out on Vauxhall, extra points for minis etc

    Food lorries - pretty simple but great for boring motorway journeys. First to shout out name of next approaching supermarket lorry. Often include non-supermarket eg Warburtons bread, Walkers crisps.

    Muddle - bit like I-spy but with more imagination. One person starts with 'I spy with my little eye something beginning with muddle' and silently says alphabet until the other person says stop. He calls out the letter and the others have have a set amount of time to think up most imaginative thing they have seen in that time, and submit that to the 'muddler' who awards points as he/she thinks fit. If you can spin it out to 5 mins a round it's agreat way of giving the driver some much needed peace.

    First to see - also can be fairly quiet so a great favourite with adults. Someone sets the task (eg first to see 3 yellow cars, a boat, a dog) and winner chooses next.

    3 names - drives me crazy but DD loves it (can't see boys enjoying it though!). First person thinks of categories (eg a baby girl kitten, a male dolphin, a boy dalmation ) and everyone has to give them names taken from signs they see as you drive past - bizzare, but works for us in (extremely) small doses.
  • edited 6 August 2010 at 4:46PM
    mummypopsmummypops Forumite
    77 posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 6 August 2010 at 4:46PM
    Car Bingo!!:j
    This has been the most entertaining game we have ever played and its very simple and suitable for all ages.

    Start your journey by thinking of 5 or 10 things to find, this could be person walking a dog, police car, boat, horse, pub, yellow car.... etc and then spend your journey trying to find them. The first person to identify something on the list then crosses it of their list but everyone else still has to find it. The aim is the first person to cross off everything on the list.

    You can make this simple or as creative as you need to and often items depend on the type of journey you are making. With an 11 and a 6 yr old, we are finding things such as an emergency vehicle without flashing lights....... someone riding a pushbike with a shopping bag.....

    I should say this does get competitive and no matter who says " I don't want to play" they just can't help themselves but to join in.:T

    I hope this helps, Happy Driving.......
  • chilli.chilli. Forumite
    14 posts

    As in post number 9, we play car bingo but I print out different bingo cards for each family member. These cards have small images which makes it more appealing to younger children.

    It helps if you know the journey, then you can add things like orange elephant, dinosaur and giant wickerman, which are all things we see on our journey from the south west.

    Our children are no longer small (17, 15 & 9) but I'll still print out some cards for our 6 hour journey we have coming up.

    I'm looking forward to hearing some new ideas.

    Happy Holidays everyone
  • GezzieGezzie Forumite
    5 posts
    Hi - First time post!

    I have tried travel bingo too - its excellent for my 7 year old lad!
    If you go onto the Cadbury world website, into planning your visit and into fun packs, you can download some ready printed sheets - along wiith other things to colour and do. This is designed to accompany a trip there (Which is great) but would work well on its own

    Happy travelling! :)
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