Keeping the Kids Entertained in the Car

If car journeys bring to mind that oh-so-familiar ‘are we there yet?’ coming from the backseat, then you’re in need of some inspiration for car-friendly activities! Here are a few of our favourites!


No props needed for this one! So those impromptu trips that you didn’t have time to pack for? No problem. The whole family can get involved with this one. Turn on the radio and sing along to the latest pop songs, or go acapella with some nursery rhymes or other kids’ songs! Can’t think of any great sing-along songs? Here are a few reminders, some for the toddlers, and some for all of you: 
  • Old King Cole
  • Bananas in Pyjamas 
  • Three Blind Mice 
  • Sing a Song of Sixpence 
  • Grand Old Duke of York 
  • Let It Go 
  • 99 Green Bottles 
  • Sweet Home Alabama 
  • I Will Survive 
  • Old MacDonald 
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It 
  • Wheels on the Bus 
Not up for a sing-along? Stick a kids’ CD in the player, or connect your iPod, and enjoy the peace. Amazon has a great selection of CDs to choose from.

Car Games
  • I Spy: This one’s a classic, and kids can play it for hours. There are games and books that you can buy to use as prompts, but it works just as well without!
  • Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: In case you don’t know this one, this is how it goes. On your turn, you think of an object or creature. Others then questions in order to figure out what it is that you’re thinking of, starting with ‘animal, vegetable, or mineral?’ To make it a little harder, you can always limit the number of questions or restrict them to ‘yes or no’ questions only!
  • Car-spotting: Pick a colour or type of car, and choose a funny word to shout when you find it. You might choose red, and your word might be cricket. If you pick a few, you’ll end up with a pretty lively car!
  • Bingo: You can make up bingo sheets before you leave, using just a computer and a printer – or even just a pen and paper! Create a bingo sheet full of different items that you’re likely to see during the journey. Depending on ages, they could range from easy, such as a red car, to a little trickier, such a certain type of tree.
  • The Shopping List: One person starts a sentence with ‘I went to the shop and I bought…’ and lists an item of their choice. The next person does the same thing, but has to remember what was on the previous person’s list. The longer this goes on, the longer the list gets, and it can be pretty funny trying to remember!
  • Buzzwords: At the beginning of the journey, pick a few buzzwords. They can be anything, from ‘music’ to ‘John’ to ‘chair’. Whenever anyone hears or sees them, they shout the word ‘buzz’. They might be on the radio, in conversation, or on signs outside.        

Consoles, tablets & gadgets
If your kids have any portable consoles or a tablet, pre-load some games or TV shows on there for them to watch. These work particularly well for evening journeys where you want everyone to start winding down.

You might be driving or prone to travel sickness, so reading a book to your kids isn’t the ideal way to keep them entertained during a long car journey. But audiobooks do that job for you, complete with character voices and sound effects. They’re available on CD or via apps, which are often free, at least for a trial period. 
Toys & travel games
Bring toys for the little ones, and travel-sized board games for the older kids. Most popular games, from Noughts & Crosses to Snakes & Ladders, are available in travel packs, which are usually smaller than normal and often have magnetic pieces so that the game isn’t lost every time you go over a bump!

Interesting Stops
Nothing breaks up a long drive better than actually breaking it up. Stop occasionally for more than a toilet break. Depending on your route, you might be able to take a quick walk, or get the bikes out for ten minutes if you have them with you. Whatever it is, a bit of fresh air and leg-stretching goes a long way!