I may not have left the UK in a few years, but I have managed to do a fair bit of travelling in my life. And I know that you all have your iPods, Nintendo DS and fancy phones, but sometimes the batteries run out. Sometimes, it’s illegal to use them because you’re the one driving. Sometimes it just seems boring AND anti-social. What happens when you get delayed in an airport, stuck in a traffic jam or the kids get bored?
Well, I got crowned the Queen of car games last weekend, and I’m hear to share my faves with you!
All you need for this is one writing implement and a bit of paper. You do rows of dots. Each person draws a line between two dots horizontally or vertically on each turn. If you make a square, you get your initials, and another turn. You want to make sure your opponents can’t make a square (or chains of squares) on their turn. We played it lots on the trains to and from London back in April, and it’s one we did a lot in airports and on planes when I was a kiddle!
2. Noughts and Crosses
easy to do in small patches of the blank paper around your ‘squares’!
3. The Radio Game
This is one we played as it got later and we got tireder on our road trip back from Cornwall. The idea is that you ask the radio a question, hit ‘search’ for stations on the radio, and whatever music or waffle comes out the first station it lands on is your answer.
My friend Althea asked the Radio what they’d discussed at the G8 summit while we’d been away, and the answer from the radio? Timbaland singing “You tell me that you need me / Then you go and cut me down, but wait / You tell me that you’re sorry / Didn’t think I’d turn around and say / That it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late / I said it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late“. And no, I’m not making that up. The radio said I’d meet an Australian husband while being deported from Spain and Portugal. We also asked the radio how we should greet our friend’s mother when she answered the door to us on arrival at her home. The radio started playing a Jazz band. We obliged with our imaginary piano, double bass, saxophone and drumkit.
This also works well if you put your iPod songs on shuffle!
4. Etch-a-Sketch pictionary
One of my friends got me pocket etch-a-sketch before I went to South Africa so we had something to do on the 12 hour plane ride.
God bless them. I confess that because my friends slept on the plane (it was an overnight flight) we didn’t use it, but we DID try it out while delayed due to thunderstorms at London Heathrow.
This etch-a-sketch also went with my friends to India, and also kept us entertained on our Cornish road trip adventure. The game we played was that one person in the backseat told the other person in the backseat what to draw, and the people in the front had to guess what it was meant to be and vice versa.
We had a cow pat, a canoe, a puddle of pee, a castle, a chocolate bar, a dragon…the possibilities are endless!
5. Silly pictures
Sometimes when your friends can’t be there in person you bring a laminated version of them on sticks and they can get up to all sorts of mischief on the road…
6. The Alphabet Game
What do you do when you don’t have paper, a pen and that train ride seems to be taking forever or you get stuck in a traffic jam? Well, you do the alphabet game!
It goes something like this ‘A’ my name is ………. and my husband/wife’s name is…………….., we live in ………. and we like to eat ……………. (next person could say B my name is Bertha and my husband’s name is Bob. We live in Blackpool and we like to eat burgers).
If you do that a few times and you’re still in a traffic jam, you can change it up by doing something like ‘A’ my name is Althea, my husband’s name is Bert. We live in Cairo and we like to eat Dates. And if you’re still not moving you can change it up by saying your name, where you live, what you do for a job and what you like to sell. (C my name is Caroline, I live in Cumbernauld, I’m a carpenter and I like to sell coffins).
And if all else fails….
7. I spy.
I’ve discovered it’s fun to pick something really obvious you can see everywhere. Like ‘branches’ when the road is lined with trees. It took them FOREVER to get that one. Tee hee.
And so friends, there you are. My main travel games. Of course, really when all else fails, I bring out the campfire songs. Mini Kahuna has gotten really good at some of them thanks to me travelling with them to church on Sundays over the last few months.
Plus my friends are now cottoned on to the fact that most Eddie Stobart trucks have been christened with names printed on their driver doors. 3 more people trying not to crash the car as they check out that truck’s name as they overtake on the motorway…