Boredom busters: Christmas entertainment for long car journeys
Photography credits: ©iStock.com/FOTOGRAFIA INC.
It's nearly Christmas, meaning turkey, tinsel and - for many of us - travelling. In fact, precious festive time with loved ones drives over 9.9 million of us to hit the highways, with roads expected to be busiest this year at 11:42am on Christmas Eve.
It can be difficult to keep everyone happy on the journey when the car's jam-packed with presents and stories of Santa have got the kids excited. So, when you've exhausted chatting and snoozing (provided you're not driving, of course!), what else can you do to pass the time?
The radio game
For the times when you simply can't agree on what to listen to as a group, make it a game. The concept is simple: choose one radio station, and when a song starts, or you hear the cheery jingle of an advert, the first person to guess the song title or product wins! Set yourself challenges, see who can get to five correct guesses first, and let the fun commence. You could even let the driver be the impartial adjudicator, so as not to distract their attention from the road ahead.
The name game
Taking inspiration from the number plates around you, while you travel down the motorway, use the last three letters and see how many names you can make using them as initials. Include middle names, double-barrelled surnames and even throw a few nicknames into the mix, and see who can come up with the most elaborate and creative names! You can even add in a festive twist - little ones might even like to rename Santa's reindeer.
A family classic
After something a little different to keep the children entertained in the car this Christmas? How about a game of Monopoly? Simply download the official app dice, and pass your device around to play. Of course, this game discounts the driver - but again, it always helps to have someone impartial to help settle any trading-related disputes!
The alphabet game
Using your surroundings, take it in turns to go from A to Z, spotting something that begins with each letter. You can use signs, cars, roadside shops and other buildings, keeping an eye out as you travel! You'll be surprised at how many things you can spot - now just to find something for the letter X…
When a song everyone loves comes through the speakers, stretch out those vocal chords James Corden style. But instead of just having a big sing-song, make it a competitive sport - when someone stumbles on the words, they're out. Last person standing is the car-aoke king or queen!
The old faithful game of childhood memories, the game you can rely on - of course, it's I Spy. Make things challenging and pick a more abstract object - you could even choose colours or a festive emotion - give clues, or maybe don't! There are always more levels you can add to this game, so take it in turns to be the one who spies, and let the guessing commence! Tech-savvy little ones could even download their very own I Spy game app- perfect for keeping them occupied.
The old favourites
When all other ideas escape you, sometimes relying on the traditional travel toys is best. How about introducing a few classics such as a Rubik's Cube, a travel-size Connect Four, or even a magnetic Draughts board? Ideal puzzles for long journeys, they also make excellent stocking fillers!