Long car journeys can be a bit of a drag for kids, particularly when all that holiday excitement begins to wane as those motorway miles start to clock up.
If you’re stuck in a jam and need some fresh ideas about how to entertain your backseat bairns, you’ve come to the right blog.
Our man, Mr Toad, has been trawling the Toadynet on wormy-G broadpond to pick out his top ten travel games for kids on car journeys…
10. Sussed (For Ages 6+)
Sussed is one of those simple/genius quiz games that will keep the whole family entertained for hours on end, a match for the most monotonous of car journeys. What’s particularly lovely about this game is the way it encourages face-to-face conversations, self-awareness and both empathetic and critical thinking. The game is based on over 200 scenarios and tests how well you think you know each other in a fun and imaginative way. It’s been recommended by the Good Toy Guide 2018, can be played by up to 10 players and is pocket-sized.
9. Bananagrams (For Ages 7+)
In at number nine is a close cousin of the classic board game, Scrabble. Bananagrams is a fun-filled educational word game that will keep your brains whirring on route to your dream holiday cottage. The questions is, when it comes to word-wizardry and vocab, who is Top Banana? Bananagrams fits snugly into the glovebox compartment and can be played by up to 6 players. The only slight snag is that you’ll each need something flat and hard to play on, a large hardcover book for example. Other than that, it’s a winner!
8. Story Cubes (For Ages 4+)
We absolutely love this brilliant little game designed to inspire storytelling. The game is run by two character cubes, two settings cubes and two situation cubes. Simply roll the dice and build your own whacky stories based on the picture prompts on each of the six faces, anything from a dog taking a rocket ride to the beach or a clown getting thunderstruck by a letter from the man in the moon. Let your imaginations run wild with this little gem of a travel game.
7. Shuffle Monopoly Deal (For Ages 8+)
Based on the all-time best-selling Monopoly board game, Shuffle Monopoly is all about ‘fast dealing card stealing’ fun. The aim of the game is to collect properties while at the same time stealing your opponent’s and growing your bank balance to become a real estate tycoon. All you have to do is play your cards right. Games usually last around twenty minutes and are suitable for 2-5 players. You can even download a free Shuffle App that adds more chance cards. This clever spin-off card game continues to gather rave reviews.
6. Magnetic Travel Chess (For Age 6+)
And now for the ‘king’ of all strategy games. We couldn’t have a Top Ten without chess being included somewhere. This ancient two-player game involves a board with 64 squares and 16 playing pieces each. Each piece can move in a different way around the board, the aim of the game being to checkmate your opponent’s king. The magnetic version of the board game is ideal for car journeys, and contests can last for hours on end.
5. Connect 4 (For Ages 6+)
It’s another classic board game slimmed down into a handy travel version. Connect 4 is a two-player ‘connection game’ in which players take turns dropping coloured discs into a suspended grid. The aim of the game is to connect four of your coloured discs in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. Games last for between five and ten minutes depending on how skilful the players are – fun guaranteed!
4. Pass the Pigs (For Ages 8+)
Pass the Pigs always ranks highly on the giggles factor. In essence, it’s a rolling game, only you use little pigs for dice. Players accumulate points depending on what positions the pigs land in, for example, roll a ‘Double Shoulder’ and you score 40 points, roll a ‘Pig Out’ and you lose all your points for that turn. This highly-addictive pocket-sized wonder will have you in fits of laughter as you argue over the angle of your snouts and trotters.
3. Battleship (For Ages 8+)
Another timeless classic! Battleship is a guessing game for two players, each taking turns to try and reveal the positions of each other’s ships by firing grid referenced ‘shots’ at each other. Players chart their opponent’s positions using a pencil or pegs, their objective being to obliterate each other’s fleet. Games can take up to half an hour and self-styled explosion sound effects are optional but highly recommended.
2. Guess Who? (For Ages 6+)
Has yours got a moustache? Does yours wear glasses? Is yours wearing a hat? All questions you’re likely to ask during a bout of Guess Who? The aim of this quirky two-player game is to discover the identity of your opponent’s character by asking a series of probing questions about their facial characteristics. There are 24 characters to choose from, the winning player having flipped down 23 of them to be left with only the correct identity. From Claire’s floral hat to Fran’s bushy eyebrows, you’ll love this investigative game of cartoon faces. Games usually last for around fifteen minutes.
1. Top Trumps (For Ages 3+)
And now for our Number One! After much deliberation I picked out a highly-versatile card game that’s been entertaining both young and old for generations. The beauty of Top Trumps is its variety of themes, anything from muscle cars to dinosaurs. To play the game you need at least two players. Shuffle and deal out the cards and then try to ‘trump’ your opponent(s) by choosing a winning value from your individual card categories, for example, when it comes to speed, a cheetah beats an armadillo, but not when it comes to body armour. The winner is the player who ends up with all the cards. Congratulations Top Trumps, legend of all card games.
When it comes to West Country holiday cottages, Toad Hall cannot be ‘Trumped’