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Top Ten Old School Family Car Games

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July 25, 2012
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Parents experience some trepidation when piling children into the car for a journey of any length – children quickly get bored, and long trips especially can deteriorate into a miserable, bad-tempered experience – unless you do a certain amount of forward planning.

In these days of iPods, iPads and hand-held gaming consoles things have got a lot easier but sometimes you can’t beat good old-school games to get the family chatting and laughing while the miles tick away. Here Adrian Flux Insurance Services looks at the top ten games that have stood the test of time.

Friend or Foe is probably the most common and the most irritating game. It’s where children wave at people in passing cars and if they wave back they are a friend, and if they don’t, they are foe.

When I went to the Car Boot Sale is a variation on the old ,when I went to market’ game. The game weeds out those with a poor memory. The first player says “when I went to the car boot I picked up an aardvark, the second player then repeats this and adds another item and so on. If you forget an item, you’re out.

Link Words is a category game. Once a category is chosen, such as footballers, the first player says a name, for example ‘Lampard’ and the next player has to think of a footballer that starts with the last letter  of that name, so they could say ‘Defoe’, then the next ‘Earnshaw’ and so on.Terrace Chants is a useful reference site to settle arguments.

I Spy is one of the simplest games around and known by all. Someone starts off by choosing an object and saying, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with ….”, the others then have to guess the object.  You do need to choose an object that can be seen at all times to avoid a huge shouting match.

Treasure Hunt needs some preparation by making a list of things to be seen on your journey that can be ticked off as they are spotted along the way. If you can’t be bothered putting together a list, then I-Spy Books, which were first published in 1948, and have recently returned to the shelves provide a ready-made alternative. There are now 37 titles in print that also cover holiday activities such as On the Seashore as well as On a Road Trip.

Rock Paper Scissors, a game for two players, is another old favourite that doesn’t need any preparation or any special equipment, just a couple of players, each with a free hand. There is even a Rock Paper Scissors Society that has tips on how to win. For anyone who doesn’t know how to play this game of bluff and skill, the UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships website has some simple rules.

Silence of the Lambs is usually a short game which, unlike the film of the same name doesn’t involve cannibalism. Simply offer a treat as a prize for whoever can stay quiet the longest. It might be advisable to put a minimum time requirement on this one, or else you will need a humungous bag of treats!

Who am I couldn’t be easier. One member of the family thinks of a well-known person and the others have to guess who it is by asking up to 20 questions.

Fizz Buzz is the age-old numbers game, deceptively simple but fiendishly difficult. This one is especially popular with maths freaks as it requires a working knowledge of your multiplication tables.  Players start counting from one and on every multiple of five say fizz and of seven say buzz. When someone makes a mistake they are out. Details of the rules can be found on Classic Games and Puzzles.

Number Plate Bingo requires some Bingo Cards. Players look out of the window and cross off the numbers on their cards. Double figures require seeing that sequence of numbers. The winner is the first one to complete their card.

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