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Car games for family road trips

O2 Drive

Four favourite car games for family road trips

“Are we nearly there yet?” 

Sound familiar? With school holidays never far away, you’ve got the mixed blessings of your next family road trip to look forward to. Download some games or an audio story onto the kids’ tablet and you can keep them entertained for hours. 

But if you’d rather get your kids to interact with each other rather than with a screen, there are plenty of ways to stop them getting bored. Turn a long journey into quality family time with these no-tech car games. You might just enjoy the throwback to your own childhood travels too.

1. Pub cricket

This one’s great for motorway-free journeys. You take turns to spot pub signs. Score a point for each leg in the name: The White Horse (four), The Five Lions (a game-changing twenty), The Fox and Hounds (how many hounds?). Your turn ends when you see a pub with 'Arms' in the title. Whoever spots the most legs wins. 

2. I spy

The best known of all back-seat games is an oldie but a goodie – and it's actually a novelty activity for kids. The best bit is that you can play it anywhere – whether you’re on the motorway, filling up the petrol tank, or queuing for snacks at the service station.

3. Granny went to market

It’s the classic memory game. Granny goes to market and buys all kinds of weird and wonderful items. You’ll get to add things to the list beginning with each letter of the alphabet – but each player needs to recite all the different items in order. It’s great for passengers, but not recommended when you’re concentrating on the road.

4. Car bingo

The kids look out for things and mark them off their list. This needs a bit of planning if you want to create nice scorecards for them. But you can always just scribble a list of items on the back of an envelope. It adds a bit of excitement to long journeys, with the kids suddenly looking out for things like roadworks, one way signs and caravans.

Just because it’s low-tech in the back of the car, it doesn’t have to be in the front. The O2 Drive app uses GPS to help you find a parking spot for an even easier family road trip. Download O2 Drive for iOS or Android.