‘Retro’ games to play on long car journeys

Help with school holidays from Logbook Loans…

We are living in uncertain times. The school Easter holidays are approaching, but there is also the possibility that schools will close earlier for public health reasons. Travel and social contact are also being limited. So it’s even more important that if you do need to make a car journey with young children during this time that you do all that you can to make it an enjoyable experience and relieve any anxieties that they may have.

Many families tend to fall back on devices whilst travelling, but these may not be the best answer at the moment as metal surfaces can harbour germs for several days. So ideally you don’t want to be passing devices between different family members.

So a fun alternative is to go back to basics and play some good old-fashioned car games. At Logbook Loans we’ve been digging around to find some games that all the family can enjoy. 

Here are six of the best:


I Spy

This is probably the best known car game of all, and very easy to play. All it involves is one person choosing an object in secret, then saying “I spy with my little eye something beginning with …”. They say the first letter(s) of the object and everyone else has to try and guess what that object is. The person that guesses correctly then takes the next turn.


Count the objects

This is a slightly more structured version of I Spy. Firstly you all agree on a category of item that you are going to look for on your journey. For example, red cars, horses or service station signs. Then throughout the trip, everyone has to keep count of the number of this object that they see, and the person with the highest score at the end of the trip wins. 


Road Trip Bingo

This one needs a bit of advance preparation. Type a list of items that you are confident that you will pass on your journey. Items can be road-related such as traffic lights, bridges or garages, or more scenic such as castles, rivers or sheep. The aim is for the kids to tick off every item that they see on the journey and see who gets the most. It’s also a great way of getting them to be interested in the scenery around them.


The Name Game

This is a good word game for all the family. First choose a category of item, for example countries, cities, sports, bands, TV shows, animals or Disney characters. The first player has to name an item then the next player has to find one that starts with the last letter of the previous player’s item. 

For example, if you had chosen Disney characters then someone might say Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) and the next person could then choose Elsa (from Frozen). Play continues to rotate round until one player can’t think of anything, in which case the previous player wins.


Twenty Questions / Animal, Vegetable or Mineral

Another popular game is Twenty Questions – also known as Animal, Vegetable or Mineral. One person thinks of an item – which does not have to be in the car – then tells the others whether it is animal, vegetable or mineral. The rest of the players then take turns asking up to twenty questions to work out the answer. The winner is either the person who guesses correctly in under 20 questions, or the person who chose the item if the others do not guess it within their 20 allowed questions.


The Memory Game

Last but not least, there are various versions of the memory game. The most common begins with the first player saying “I went shopping and I bought ….”. The next player has to repeat the first player’s item and add one of their own. And the game keeps going round. If someone makes a mistake they are out, and the last person in is the winner.

To make it more difficult, you can add a rule that the items have to be in alphabetical order. So, for example, the first player may say “I went shopping and I bought apples”, the second may then say “I went shopping and I bought apples and bread”, the third may then add “I went shopping and I bought apples and bread and cake”  – and so on.

Other popular versions of the game start with “I’m going on a trip and I’m going to pack…”, and “I went to the zoo and I saw…”. Or you could make up your own version to fit in with the interests of your family.


We hope that the above ideas help you to make any essential family journeys just that little bit more enjoyable in these difficult times.

Check back here soon for more motoring and lifestyle tips from Logbook Loans.