The games people play
Keep the kids entertained on the drive from A to B without a smartphone in sight
FOR those the same age as me (let’s not get too specific, 30-ish plus will put you in the same bracket), our childhoods were years spent without digital devices. Many of you may have regaled your children with tales of road trips taken without smartphones and tablets to entertain. Once they recovered from their horror, I am sure a few of them gripped their dear devices a little closer. Others may not have believed it at all.
But as the school holidays loom and many families take to the open road on holiday, Weekend has thought up some old-fashioned road trip games that might come in handy.
Fun with number plates
Number plates are not just for police officers to keep track of our regos, or companies to keep track of drivers and their unpaid tolls.
More for country roads, this number plate game allows three participants to test out their maths skills.
Choose who will take the first number on the plates, who will take the second and who will take the third.
When the first car on the opposite side is in sight, players have their first number. When the second car is in sight, they must add their first number and the number from the second vehicle together.
Add the third vehicle’s number on to the total, and so on. It does work on the honesty system to some extent – if you do add a number to your total incorrectly you are out.
It’s a game best not tried on busy highways unless there are three maths geniuses in the car.
Another oldie but goodie is the letters game.
Choose a theme (names, colours etc) and the driver chooses a letter from a number plate in front of them.
Then the passengers, in a round robin, use the letter to name as many things as possible in the theme (so if the category is names and the letter is ‘A’, Adam and Alice are correct answers).
Players are out once they cannot think up an answer for the letter.
A good one for the littlies. Participants choose a colour and then keep a tally of the number of vehicles that pass them in that colour.
This game can be played between towns, or for a certain number of kilometres, and the one with the biggest tally at the end wins.
This one needs writing material, but the kids choose categories (cities, animals, foods, television shows etc) and then someone not participating in the game chooses a letter.
They must then fill out the categories by that letter (so ‘H’ is Houston, horse and House Rules).
Depending on the number of categories and the age of the players, a time limit can help move things along.
This game really can entertain for an hour or more if players choose 15 categories and elect to go through the alphabet.
Trivia... without the smartphone
A great game that may ignite some discussion. One person in the car is elected trivia master (and keeper of the smartphones).
They make up questions, and hold everyone else’s phone so there is no cheating. Create teams, or play individually, and write answers down. The most correct answers wins. What are your favourite road trip games? Email newsregionalmedia.com.au or leave comments on the story at our website.
◗ Pull out a few old-fashioned road trip games for the school holidays and watch the kids squirm without their devices.