The balik kampung and vacation season will soon be upon us, and we all know that long car rides and kids don’t go well together. When the restlessness hits, it might be useful to keep an arsenal of games to play in the car to help make the time go by faster. After all, there’s only so much screen time the children can enjoy before they start asking, ‘Are we there yet?’ With any of these 17 engaging games to play in the car, you won’t be hearing that dreaded question so soon.
No-Frills Games To Play In The Car
Easy verbal games if you forgot to pack the toys.
1. Car Counting Game
Of all games to play in the car, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. Parents pick a certain type of vehicle to look out for on the road (for example, blue cars, pick-up trucks or cars with bumper stickers), and the first person to see 10 of them wins.
2. Licence Plate Game
Everyone in the car tries to spot licence plates from different states, and there will be a variety on the road during the balik kampung exodus. Whoever calls out a state’s licence plate first scores a point. The person who scores the most points by the ride’s end is the winner.
3. Alphabet Game
This is another fun family road trip game! One family member chooses the left-hand side of the road and another the right. The aim is to spot all letters of the alphabet in order, from words that appear on road signs, billboards or licence plates on the respective sides of the road. The person who spots the entire alphabet first wins.
4. Twenty Questions
This is a guessing game where one person thinks of a thing, place or person. The other players take turns to ask a total of 20 yes-or-no questions to figure out the word. Each player then gets one attempt to make a guess, and the player who gets it right wins.
5. Word Follow-Up
The first player calls out a word, and the next player’s word must start with the last letter of the previous player’s word. Repeated words are not allowed. For an added challenge, you can set a theme, such as country or food names, before you start. This game is slightly more challenging, so keep in mind that this may not suit preschoolers.
Product-Based Games To Play In The Car
Portable and fun boredom busters.
1. Travel Bingo
Why settle for a boring balik kampung drive when you can turn familiar sights like birds, buses and traffic lights into an interactive game of Bingo? Search for free travel Bingo printables online or get a Bingo set that’s easy to carry around on a family trip.
2. Pictionary On The Window
Surely, the kids will get a kick out of playing Pictionary or tic tac toe on the car windows? With washable window markers, they can draw to their hearts’ content! And before you freak out, the ink wipes off easily from windows and washes off from clothes and skin.
3. Magnetic Board Games
How about some old-school magnetic board games to play in the car en route to your destination? A game of chess, checkers or othello will definitely get the kids’ brain juices flowing. Since the pieces attach magnetically to the board, the game can go on even when the ride gets bumpy.
4. Conversation Starter Cards
When things get quiet on a family road trip, bring out the Our Moments cards for kids. They’re great conversation starters that can encourage open communication between parent and child.
5. Sensory Ball
Who says you can’t play catch in the car? Textured sensory balls (at least the ones without spikes) are soft, easy to catch and not likely to hurt anyone or break anything. They’re safe bets for playing a gentle and civil game of catch on your balik kampung car ride.
6. Magic Beans Puzzle
When the little ones are not in the mood for interactive games, this double-sided handheld puzzle will provide some stimulating me-time. It’s similar to Rubik’s cube in that the colourful ‘magic beans’ are randomly scrambled then rearranged so that each side is filled with a single colour of beans.
7. Brain Quest
Brain Quest flashcards will liven up an uneventful balik kampung journey with fast-paced quizzes. Let the little ones test each other on general knowledge, while having fun at the same time. Just be sure to get an age-appropriate set, as these educational flashcards are available in various age groups from two to six years old.
8. Travel Scrabble
If your kids enjoy Wordle, chances are, they’d enjoy Scrabble too. It remains one of the most popular word games to play, so why not try it in the car? Travel Scrabble is a portable version that comes with a grid that keeps the tiles in place. Be warned – it will unleash some serious competition in any family trip!
9. Pop It Board
Pop It boards make for therapeutic games to play in the car, especially when the children are getting restless and anxious from the long journey. These boards are wildly popular as the repetitive act and sound of popping the ‘bubbles’ are said to relieve stress. What’s more, the silicone board is waterproof, and can be conveniently rolled up and kept away in your bag.
10. Memory Game
The memory game gets an update with this compact and colourful device. The device flashes a sequence of lights and sounds that the player has to remember and repeat. It can turn competitive too, if the children take turns playing on one device. The person who goes the longest without missing a sequence wins!
No family balik kampung trip would be complete without this classic card game! The simple gameplay is easy to grasp and fun for players of almost any age. Best of all, it’s not all that messy to play in cars.
Suitable for kids aged six and above, the tangram is a puzzle that requires players to rearrange the seven geometrical pieces into various shapes. It’s a great game for kids to play in the car, especially when you need some peace and quiet, since it will require concentration and creative thinking.
Make Your Balik Kampung Journey And Family Trip Exciting Again With These Entertaining Games
Here’s hoping that these games to play in the car will keep the kids’ restlessness at bay and bring on peals of laughter. If they’d rather keep to themselves, these story books might help stave off boredom. And if they’re plain hangry, packing some healthy snacks for the road may just do the trick. Good luck, and have a safe journey to your kampungs and holiday destinations!
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