In-car games to occupy children on long car journeys

The school holidays are a time that every schoolchild looks forward to, with several weeks of no school for most kids. The break is also a good opportunity for parents to take some time off work and spend a week or two with their children.

This means that there could be quite a few long hours in the car for some families, with everyone getting a bit bored.

Keeping the children entertained on a long car journey can be tricky, but there are plenty of in-car games to keep the whole family entertained, that don't cost a penny.

Arms and legs
This is a fun game that will test your child's maths skills, as well as passing the time. Each side of the car makes up a team, with each two keeping an eye out for pubs on their side of the road.

Points are awarded for the number of arms and legs that appear in the name of a pub. So, The Red Lion would score four – two arms and two legs. This is a competitive game that will have your children improving their numeracy without even noticing.

We all went shopping
This simple game is a car journey classic. Testing you and your children's memory skills, simply start by saying 'we all went shopping and bought a...', with each person adding an item to the list.

The longer the game goes on, the harder it gets to remember all the items on the shopping list, so remember to include some whacky suggestions to make it easier.

The number plate game
This game has been in use by parents around the world for years, and is a great way to spark a child's imagination. All you do is pick the last three letters of a passing car's number plate and then construct a story around the letters.

Use the first letter to decide the name of the main character, the second for an item in the story, and the third for what the character was doing. The stories your child comes up with will hopefully delight the whole family.

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