Car games for children - a hubbers guide
Thanks to our Bub Hub members for reminiscing with us!!
This less boring version of 'cricket' is perfect for long trips on country roads. Each 'player' takes turns being 'up to bat'. Runs are scored each time a car passes on the opposite side of the road.
Depending on how you play, each 'type' or 'colour' of vehicle scores a different amount of runs.
For example, you could score as follows:
Semis, road trains and large trucks = 6 runs
Medium trucks, cars with caravans or trailers = 4 runs
4x4s, vans = 2 runs
Regular cars = 1 runs
Red cars = out
The person with the highest score after a set number of overs (depending on how long the trip is) is the winner.
Hubber tip: "Best played on country roads, it can get quite frantic when passing through a town. The best bit is when you get a string of red cars and everyone is out for a duck." - Narribri
This game does require a bit of pre-planning. Do up some cards, like regular bingo but instead of numbers have a range of different colours on them.
When you pass a car of that colour you cross it off until you get the whole card crossed off ... then you shout 'BINGO', just like Nana does every Saturday!
Instead of colours you could play using different modes of transport, and use drawings if your kids can't read yet.
Hubber tip: "Red and white are common .. but green/brown can take AGES before you find them!" - veve
Quick version: "Each person has a different colour car they have to watch out for and the first to get to 5 or 10 wins" - EliG
The Mintie Wrapper Game
There's not much to explain with this game... but it is an excellent way to keep the kids quiet for a long while.
First give them a Mintie (the chewing alone will give you at least 5 mins of peace) ... then get them to tear the wrapper carefully to make one long piece. The passenger with the longest wrapper wins!
Hubbers tip: '(We use) Mintie or Fantale wrappers ... once we had eaten the lolly first!" - One of THOSE mums!
There are a few different versions of Spotto doing the rounds among Bub Hub members. But they all have the same aim ... everyone looks for the same item and whoever sees it first yells "Spotto". You can keep a tally to determine the winner at the end of the drive.
Items could include: personalised number plates, makes of cars, car colours, certain letters on number plates etc etc.
Variations on the 'spotting things' themes are: first person to see a semi-trailer has to say "I see a semi-trailer ... semi-trailer I see" quickly before anyone else. Or if you spot a white horse you say "Ping ... I see a white horse" to get a treat. First to see a windmill has to yell 'windmill' before anyone else. First to see a number plate from each Australian state and territory. First to spot a car with one headlight only. First to spot a magpie etc.
Hubbers tip: We played Spotto! Mum and dad would write out a list of things we had to find and we'd yell out "Spotto" when we spotted something on the list! It was funny when we had to spot a lady in a hat ... we had the car windows down and would all scream "SPOTTO!!" and the poor lady would nearly jump out of her clothes!! - from one of our lovely Facebook fans!
The Number Plate Game
This one is for older kids (and an M-rated version could occupy a carload of adults on long drives).
Basically you see a number plate and you make up a funny/clever phrase using the letters. No one really wins, it is just good for a laugh.
Hubbers tip: For example, 856 EEL elephants eating lollipops - loving5. Or LIR would be Lauren is racing! That was my old cars letters :) haha - Atlantic Puffin
A variation for younger kids: We also played the number plate game, where you go through the alphabet and find the next letter, so if you saw NAY-123, you have the A, then the next number plate has to have a B, etc etc, or even numbers, 0-9. - from one of our lovely Facebook fans
An oldie but a goodie. The rules are: one person has to choose something they see (eg. a cow) then say "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'C'". The first person to guess right wins, and then it is their turn.
Hubbers tip: "It can get a little boring if you're driving along long roads where its only really trees/sky and what you can see in the car ... so we also play "I DON'T spy with my little eye ... ", which opens up the options. Has to be something you CAN'T see (dinosaur, monster, people who aren't in the car etc) - veve
The Alphabet Game
There are a few alphabet games out there. For example, you could name all the boys names starting with 'G', or a girls' name for every letter of the alphabet.
Then there are alphabet/memory games like: "I went to the shops and I bought a ..." or "I went to the zoo I saw an anteater ...". Then the next person has to remember what was said before and continue with the next letter of the alphabet.
Hubbers tip: We used to go through the alphabet and had to find things starting with each letter. - One of THOSE mums!
Don't tell the kids about these games
Punch Buggy and Pinch Mini: Basically if you see a VW Beetle then you say "Punch buggy" and punch the person next to you. It you spot a Mini ... you say "Pinch mini" and pinch them.
Hubbers tip: We played Punch Buggy but it can get pretty aggressive, so we weren't allowed to play it much as kids (there used to be a car rental place on the Sunshine Coast that ONLY rented out vdubs, so when we went past it, the thumps in the car were pretty ... well .. full on). - veve
Corners: This can also be quite violet and wouldn't be good if there are carseats in the back. Basically each time you turn a corner you all squash the person on that side of the car. I have seen legs up on the windows to ensure a good 'squashing'.
"Corners isn't the best game for the real little ones though, and horrible if your stuck in the middle seat!" - from one of our unreal Facebook fans
And if you're ever in the UK
We love this game from CMCandAmelia, who grew up in the UK. It probably won't be as fun in Oz as most country pubs are just named after the town.
The Pub Game: Take it in turns (ie the next pub is yours then the passenger is next). You get how ever many points the number of legs the name of the pub had. Eg The Man and his Dog = 6 points, The Elephant and Wheelbarrow = 4 points.
New-school ways to entertain the kids
And don't forget all the new technology that can help entertain the kids in the car!
We have a variety of CDs. No kids music as such but my child is a little rock chick lol. We have all sorts. We have metal an punk rock mainly. - swimmingupstream
Headrest DVD players. About $250 and an hour to install, and the best investment I can think of for all day car trips. - DaddyLarge
DS is 19 months and has just started staying awake for long trips. I just pop in a Wiggles DVD and I don't hear a peep out of DS the whole way. - BRBgoneinsane
My DS has a Hipod booster, which has speakers in the headrest, (which) means everyone else in the car doesn't have to hear what he is watching. - ~Mands~
Leap Pad stuff is amazing for long trips and we listen to a looooot of CDs. - peanutbutter&jelly
A massive thanks to the BH members who shared their favourite car games with us: veve, One of THOSE mums!, narribri, loving5, EliG, Atlantic Puffin, CMCandAmelia, thekittysmum, swimmingupstream, peanutbutter&jelly, ~Mands~, BRBgoneinsane, DaddyLarge, Dreamscape and MsImpatient as well as all our fantastic Facebook fans!!
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