“It’s about the journey, not the destination.” That was written by someone who didn’t have a child or more in tow. For the rest of us here are some games to make it through 30 minutes. After that, you’re on your own!
A long time family favourite. First person that sees a yellow car gets a point. And that’s about as complicated as it gets. There are variations. Bonus points if you see a yellow mini but you have to shout “yellow mini” There are extra special bonus points if you see an old style mini, for that you excitedly shout “yellow mini mini!” It’s a simple game but keeps them amused. Mine liked to up the ante by adding a punch everytime they saw a yellow car, at the beginning, it was mildly annoying. However, the years passed and the other day my six foot tall, surfy rugby playing 15 year old, excitedly punched me in the arm whilst I was doing 70mph on the M5, shouting YELLOW MINI MINI!!!!! Who says playing rugby doesn’t affect your brains?
This is our goto game. It actually keeps everyone quiet for ages. Driver or co-pilot names five things to look out for. When someone spots one they get a point and the person in charge adds something new to look out for. The winner is the first to five points. It’s so simple, lasts ages and generally gets repeated straight away. We generally start off with things like, church, wind turbine, dog, yellow car, boat, post box and so on.
Each car that passes is a point. A motorbike is four points. A lorry is six points. A caravan means you’ve been bowled out. It doesn’t have to be a motorbike for four points etc, but decide what all the various things are worth first. Like real cricket, this game can get very complicated and is best suited to children that enjoy the spirit of the law rather than trying to use the law to ground their opponent into the dirt. Also clarify if a motorhome is a car, a lorry or a caravan. The winner is the first to 100 or is still breathing. As I said this works really well in some cars, I’ve heard of families that play this for hours. We can barely manage three rounds before all out war between the highway lawyers ensues, “the back windows are blacked out, that makes it a van!” ” the car turned left before we properly passed it” “overtaking doesn’t count” etc etc etc. This doesn’t work so well on dual carriageways or motorways, too much passing traffic.
Well, we all know how this one works. Not so awesome if spelling isn’t someone’s strong suit, or reality.
Finally, when all else fails…
Audio Books, movies, music, earphones.
Do not expect them to share. They are incapable of sharing 1cm of seat beyond “their” seat, do you really think they will be able to share an actual screen???
All posts are written by Liz Hurley, author of SCRIBBLES FROM THE EDGE and LOSING IT IN CORNWALL These collections of her columns written for the Cornish Guardian, are availble from Amazon as e-books or paperbacks as well as from Hurley Books.