For those who enjoy travelling, it can be a blissful experience. But sometimes long-haul journeys can be tiresome for the most well-heeled traveler. Most will turn to their mobiles or tablets to watch a movie or play a game. If adults can get restless during these trips, one can only imagine what can happen to children. Their attention spans are short enough without the added dimensions of cramped spaces and what seems to be an endless supply of free time. As easy as it would be to give your children a gadget and be done with it, that’s not the healthiest option available to deal with their boredom.
One of the best ways to make journeys a little less tiresome for children is by playing games. These games should be simple yet engaging enough to keep them occupied. Here is a list of some games that you can play with your children on your next trip. Also ensure that you have small gifts ready for those who win the games!
Guess that country
This is a simple yet highly engaging game, which will test your child’s knowledge of geography. One player needs to think about a country and the others need to guess the country through a series of questions. You will have to set a limit to the number of questions or keep a time limit to make the game interesting. The child who chose the country can reply to the said questions with either a hot or cold depending on how close or far the others are from getting the right answer. The person who guesses correctly can think of the next country.
Fun with licence plates
You will need some pens and paper for this one. There are a few games you can play around licence plates while travelling. Here is the first one - get the children to jot down all the licence plate numbers they see and the one with the most number of plates, wins. That’s a simple one. Another game is where the children will have to guess the capital of the state from where the license plate originated. You can also make them write down as many words as they can with the first letter of the license plate. Give the children a minute or so and whoever comes up with the most words gets the most points. You can play multiple rounds of this game.
Road Trip Bingo
Here is a fun Do-It-Yourself (DIY) game for your journey. Bingo is a beloved game the world over. You can make your own travel bingo to keep the children from getting antsy. Before you start on the trip, make multiple bingo sheets with the images of all the potential objects that you could come across during your journey. Just ensure that you place the images in such a way that you don’t wind up with multiple winners at the same time. Pass these sheets on to your children at the beginning of the trip and ask them to make the objects as they see them. Then watch the magic unfold!
The Quiet Game
Dealing with over enthusiastic children who are chattering away and ruining the fun of your trip? Well, this one will quieten them for a few minutes at least. When you think you just cannot take it any longer, propose the quiet game and appeal to the children’s competitive side. Tell them that whoever remains quiet for the longest will win this game. This will buy you some peace and quiet for some time.
This is a classic game to play while on a trip. One of you can spot an object and say “I spy with my little eye something beginning with/something that has…” and give a clue about the said object. It is up to the others to figure out what the object may be. The person who guesses correctly starts the next round. If no one can guess the object, the person who spotted the object gets another chance. But be mindful of the object you pick as it should be in the children’s line of vision for some time for them to get to the right answer.
Yet another engaging game that will ensure that your children have a fun trip. Players will have to pick a famous personality and the other participants will have to guess who this person is by asking 20 questions. You must set the ground rules early on and ensure that the players don’t pick someone that the other participants are not aware of.
Children can get grumpy during trips. There is no two ways about it. But if you are a smart parent you will realise that your tiny human is just being a human, and deal with the grumpiness accordingly. There is no need to reprimand your children for their restlessness. Instead, be armed with a battery of simple yet effective games and the children will not keep asking you “are we there yet?” the next time you go on a family vacation. If all goes well, these trips will become a beautiful part of the children’s memories.