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As a child, I used to love long car journeys. Yes, really. I’ve always been a daydreamer and for me, staring out at the window and watching the world zoom pass, as well as singing a few songs at the top of my voice, reading a book and nodding off for an hour or so,  are my usual methods to battle the boredom on a road trip. And nothing much has changed since then.

On our recent trip driving across South Africa, the scenery was so spectacular that even Monkey managed to move his gaze from the iPad and marvel at all the amazing landscapes we were driving through. But while I can happily amuse myself on long car journeys, that doesn’t mean our family road trips haven’t gone without a hitch. They can become tedious, especially if you’re stuck in traffic which we always are when driving on the M6 to Manchester, and the kids can get cranky all too quickly.

So before you hit the road, make sure your car insurance is up to date, that you have breakdown cover in place – particularly if you’re driving abroad – plenty of snacks to feed the kids and a list of these games to play when in the car – because not only can every member of the family join in, but these are a great way for kids to put down those devices, too.

Best Games To Play When In The Car With Kids | My Travel Monkey

Best Games To Play When In The Car With Kids

Spot the banana

Monkey loves this game. He always chooses a ‘banana’, so we begin by trying to spot as many yellow vehicles as possible but inevitably, a ‘strawberry’ or a ‘blackberry’ soon comes into the equation. Who knew that ‘oranges’ are pretty hard to come by? The winner is the one who can spot the most of their colours.

I Spy

An oldie but a goodie, this is one of our favourite games to play when in the car. It’s also a great way for Monkey to try to find the most obscure and hidden objects – and he is delighted when both myself and his dad have to ask for clues or give up altogether!

Hold your breath

Okay, so while I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone passing out, this is at least a game whereby the kids will be quiet for about 20 seconds. Upon entering a tunnel, see who can hold their breath the longest before leaving the other side. The person who has done it in the best time is the winner!


If you’re listening to the radio, music or audiobooks this is a fun game and tests your concentration/listening skills. One person chooses a word – and when it comes up, they have to shout ‘buzz”. You can also include words on road signs, too.

Best Games To Play When In The Car With Kids | My Travel Monkey


One person begins by thinking of a name, film or object, and the rest of the family have to ask questions in order to guess who or what it is – but the only answers can be yes or no and you can only ask one question at a time. The first person to guess the right answer wins and gets to choose for the next round.

Carpool karaoke

Everyone loves to name that tune, but why not go one better and have an out and out karaoke session in the car? Choose some of your favourite tracks and just belt it out at the top of your voices. Everyone gets a turn to go solo and practice some songs together! This is also a great way to get the kids into music that you like, too!

* This post was written in collaboration with Aviva