Picture of Some Simple Travel Games for Car and Train Journeys
As a parent, I have found that the worst part of travelling has been bored children.

They have an in-car DVD player (a gift from their grandparents), and their hand-held game-consoles, but every so often they decide they want to do something else.

Here are a few of the things we do.

Step 1: I-Spy

Picture of I-Spy
A long-term favourite that is even older than I am.

The driver starts, calling out the ritual chant;

I spy,
With my little eye,
Something beginning with...

The rest of the passengers then keep guessing things until somebody guesses correctly, or they all give up. If somebody guesses correctly, it is their turn. If everybody gives up, the driver (or whoever said the rhyme) takes another turn.

Points may be awarded, or small sweets (this is a great way to make a bag of M&Ms last a lot longer than usual).


Allowances must be made, of course, for the age of the contestants. You could say Something beginning with a "wuh" sound, or you could say Something green. At the other end of the scale, you say Something cuboid" or "Something with four stomachs."

If you have small passengers, try and avoid objects that will disappear from view quickly. If you have quick-witted passengers, then you can concentrate on those same objects.
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papergeek3 months ago


Kiteman (author)  papergeek3 months ago

Thank you!

ilpug4 years ago
My science teacher has a game he calls "inky-pinky."

(i will endeavor to make it less corny, because the way he play it makes me feel like i am three)

Works with any number of players, but I assume that the more the merrier (although a whole busload might be pushing it).

Someone starts by thinking of two words with the same number of syllables that have the same phonetic ending. A good example of this would be "spice mice." (you can use more than two words to make it tougher.)

That person then thinks of a clue to the word combo, and tells it to the other players, who try to guess. The person should also tell the other players how many syllables the words have combined A good example of a clue for "spice mice" would be "rodents that make you sneeze." the more outlandish the word combo, the more fun.

The first to guess correctly thinks of their own word combo, and the next round begins.

This can go on for HOURS.
Falafel is really, really, good. I don't know what it's made from.
Crushed Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans
tqwerty4 years ago

I WIN!!!
I was on a plane once and my father showed me how to play sprouts. It goes like this (this is more of a strategy and logic game, so maybe kids a bit older):

Two players take a pen and some paper and draw three or more small circles (the more circles there are the harder the gameplay is). To start, one player connects two circles with a line, in any direction or orientation, as long as it doesn't go through a circle. The player then draws another circle on the line he just drew. Players keep doing this back and forth. The lines cannot cross, and a circle cannot be connected to more than three lines (if the circle is on a line, then it is considered connected to two lines). Whoever makes the last move is the winner.

Hope I did an okay job of explaining that.

Kiteman (author)  dungeon runner5 years ago
Maybe you should post that as an instructable, with scans of the moves of a real match?
Hey, thanks for the great idea! I've just posted it here:


Wow, my first instructable!
Leave a comment!

xerxesx205 years ago
Thanks Kiteman for another excellent instructable. (The following works for most non-motorway travel, from town to town, or village to village.) Don't forget car "cricket" whereby each player takes a turn and upon seeing a pub sign, you score a "run" for each limb of the name of a pub. Zero for the Nags Head, One for the One Legged Sheep, Two for the Hunters Arms, Three for the Three Legged Cow.. etc etc. (Sorry for being a bit "creative" with the names of pubs, but I couldn't think of anything for some numbers, if it's a herd EG: The Sheperds Flock, go with how many beasty-creatures there are on the sign, or a pre-determined number, to keep it fair) Upon scoring or not, the sight of a pub means the score (or no additional score), is noted down and the next player (clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation) has their turn, they have their turn.. repeat, repeat. When the destination is reached, or everybody is bored of it the player with the most "runs" wins. (If repeating the journey often, one can cheat/help the kiddie that always seems to lose, let them go first, starting with the correct pub to guarantee winning. The game is after all, sequence based and one can quickly learn the correct sequence.) I do so hope that load of text is understandable!
Kiteman (author)  xerxesx205 years ago
That's cool, thanks.
thanks a lot for this instructable! now we all have somethign to do in the car !!!!!!!!!!
Kiteman (author)  the Masteria6 years ago
You're welcome.
rachel7 years ago
Falafel is a middle eastern food made of fried-ness. You put them in a pita shell with cucumber and such. Tasty.
well it sounds that way!
Kiteman (author)  rachel7 years ago
Sort of a vegetarian heart-attck sandwich, then?
Labot20017 years ago
Great car games, Kiteman! What about "Guess Who?" The first person thinks of any person, animal, character, etc, and everyone else asks questions to try to guess who the person is.
Kiteman (author)  Labot20017 years ago
Twenty questions!

#1 son has one of those 20Q toys, the little plastic balls that play 20 questions with you, but it never took off as a family game chez Kite.
weere do you by them!!!!!
Kiteman (author)  the Masteria6 years ago
Toy shops sell them, as does Amazon.
Yeah! I have one of those; "Guess Who" is the same concept.
HOW about would you rather..
another one goes like this... you take a small piece of paper. then one person writes down who. it can be anything. then they fold the part were it is writen. pass it to the person on your right no peeking!!!!! then write with whom. then pass it again. then write were. pass it... write when. pass it, then write what they did. Pass it, then unfold the paper and read the sentance. you can play with about 3-5 people. but this game only works with people who can write.
Wafflicious6 years ago
i like car count!.... everyone in the car chooses a color... then everone counts the amount of cars of there color.. they have to count out lowd to avoid cheaters! this game is best for 2-4 ppl =)
I just punch my brother in the face and knock him out cold. Then we can draw on him. Just kidding, nice job. +5/5 stars. +1 vote.
Nevermind. +1 vote when the voting starts. ;-)
how old is your bro
16 or 15.
Bran7 years ago
Did you draw the body of the first robot on the last step? It looks surprisingly familiar....;-) Great job!
Da_Fudge Bran7 years ago
I was just gonna say the same thing.....
Kiteman (author)  Da_Fudge7 years ago
Hmm? I don't know what you mean?

(Actually, #2 son rather keen on Robot - his favourite tees are his Robot ones)
? How did #2 get robot tees? From Daddy?
Kiteman (author)  Lithium Rain7 years ago
We won the family prize in the Launch It contest.
However did I miss that? Congratulations to the Kitefamily!
oh cool
nerdnurture7 years ago
These are great ideas! We play "Guess What Harry Potter Character I'm Thinking Of" - it's basically 20 questions or something like that. Or just take turns naming a Harry Potter character. You would be amazed at how many characters there are. We can play for like an hour straight. It sure beats "Guess What Dinosaur I'm Thinking Of" (my 6 year old's favorite). WTH is an ornithomimus anyway? I suck at that game... LOL. Nice instructable!
Kiteman (author)  nerdnurture7 years ago
ornithomimus is the ostrich-looking one ("er... they're flocking this way!")
ROFLOL, I loved Jurassic Park...as I guess you can see from my avatar...
Kiteman (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
(Thanks for the nice comment, BTW)
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