School’s out for summer, and you might be busy getting ready for a big family holiday this summer. But although you’ll be looking forward to some time away in the sun, you might be wondering how you’ll possibly keep the kids entertained on the journey there.
Many parents facing a long car, train or plane journey struggle to keep their children occupied en route, and about whether their little ones will bother other passengers. But you can banish your fears this summer – we’ve put together our top travel games for kids, sure to keep them entertained for hours. The journey is sure to fly by for all of you, and you’ll arrive at your destination with everyone still smiling.
Memory games for kids
Memory games are a classic way to keep the whole family entertained – and what’s more, they don’t cost a penny! You’re sure to recall many from your own childhood, but here are a few of our favourites:
- The Minister’s Cat
Really easy for kids of all ages, The Minister’s Cat is an good way of developing your little one’s vocabulary. The first person begins by saying the phrase “The minister’s cat is…” and describes the cat using an adjective beginning with ‘a’, such as ‘adorable’. The next person repeats the phrase, but describes the cat using an adjective that begins with ‘b’, and it goes around the group until the whole alphabet has been completed.
- I Went on Holiday…
Another easy game for big or small groups, this one will help improve your child’s memory. The first player begins by saying “I went on holiday to…” and adds a country or city beginning with ‘A’, for instance ‘Amsterdam’. The second player repeats and also includes a place beginning with ‘B’, so: “I went on holiday to Amsterdam and Bolivia”. The game continues through the whole alphabet until someone can’t remember what came before – and then play starts all over again.
- Story Game
This is a great game for encouraging imaginative thinking in kids. The first player begins with a line of a story, for example “Once upon a time…” and the next player adds on to it, and so on. You can choose to set limits on the number of words each player can say, to encourage fair play, or you could introduce a rule whereby you can’t use the same word twice in a row.
- I Spy
A classic car game, this one really needs no introduction! It’s perfect for playing in cars or on trains, where there are plenty of things to see – although be careful that players don’t choose something which is out of sight within seconds!
- 20 Questions
A memory game in that children have to remember what questions have been asked (and the answers!), this classic game will also encourage their problem solving skills. One player chooses a subject, and the other players take it in turns to ask that player questions, with the aim of figuring out the subject. The questions can only be answered with “yes” or “no”, and the winner is the person who guesses the subject within 20 questions – and if no one guesses, the answerer gets to think of another subject for the next round.
Kids’ Travel Games
Memory games might not be enough to keep your little ones entertained for the entire journey, so it’s a good idea to pack some kids’ travel games too!
- If your child enjoys crafty activities, they’ll love it if you pack loom bands in their hand luggage. Keeping their hands busy and stimulating their minds, looming will help the journey fly by in no time.
- Play-Doh is another great activity which is easily transportable and will encourage your child’s creativity. Pack a couple of individual tubs or let them take on this activity backpack as their carry-on luggage. Filled with Play-Doh goodies, it’s bound to keep them quiet for a few hours.
- Top Trumps will easily fit in your little one’s hand luggage and is lots of fun for kids of all ages! We have a wide variety of packs to choose from depending on your favourite characters, from Monsters University Top Trumps to the Peppa Pig activity pack to help with memory, counting skills and observation.
- Travel Connect 4 is not only lots of fun to play whilst travelling, but it’ll keep them entertained all through the holiday, too.
- Whether on a bus, car, plane or train, you can’t go wrong with colouring in – why not pack a bag with some bright crayons, coloured pencils, colouring in books and stickers? Take along some blank paper as well, and either ask your little one to draw specific objects or let their imaginations run wild.
- Find audiobooks of their favourite stories to listen to in the car, or download them onto your phone or iPod if you’re taking the train or a plane. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the journey passes when you’re all enthralled by a good story.
- Create a car activity box filled with lots of goodies that will keep the kids entertained for hours. Pack it with colouring books, small soft toys, books, stickers, a favourite CD, playing cards or Uno, a couple of drinks and snacks, and they can dip in and out of each activity as they please.
- If you’re taking a very long journey, you might want to wrap up small treats like sweets or animal figures for the kids to open up at various points throughout the journey – but they only get to open it if they’re on their very best behaviour! You could also label each present with an activity they have to complete before they get to open it, such as finding a specific landmark or spotting a red car.
- If you’ll be travelling at night, pack all the bed time essentials in your bag to keep your little ones in a routine. Pop in a pair of pyjamas, their toothbrush and a blanket so they can stay cosy when they nod off to sleep.