Traveling with kids? Here are 8 great travel games to keep them occupied


It's not always easy traveling with little ones but there are ways to ease the journey home. Kids hate being bored so keeping them entertained will stop the wailing and nagging. Here are fun games to keep them entertained during the trip. SCAVENGER HUNT

Try this hunt with a difference. Before you leave, make a few picture-search maps – pages with pictures of items to be seen along your route – and pack a few for each child.

Kids with picture-search maps on car seat

You'll need

picture-search maps (see our example below)


crayons in various colours

stickers (optional)

Kids completing the picture-search maps on the back seat An example of a picture-search map

Here's how
Each child has a picture-search map clipped to a board. As soon as he or she sees something that appears on their map, they can paste a sticker next to the item or tick it off and colour it in. The child whose map is filled in first wins.


  •  Ideas for pictures when you travel by car, bus or train Farming implements, specific crops, animals, cars of a specific model/colour/type of licence plate, fast food chains, famous buildings, road signs.
  • Ideas for pictures when you travel by plane someone with two-tone hair, calculator, someone wearing a uniform, a dad with a baby, round glass frames, dessert, cooldrink can, iPod, someone sleeping, travel pillow, cloud, mountain, cellphone, sea, red tie.

Cape town number plate

  • Count from 0 to 100 (or from 100 to 0) in the correct order based on number combinations you see in the licence plates of passing cars. Move to the next number only when you see it on a licence plate and shout it out. Older children can count in twos, fives or tens to make it more interesting.

  • Search for the 26 letters of the alphabet in the correct order. Divide yourselves into two teams and have one team look for A-Z and the other Z-A. The winner is the team that finishes first.

  • Form words or phrases with all the letters ona number plate (in the order they appear). For example, the FSE in a number plate such as FSE 123 FS could be used to form the word “festive” or the phrase “feng shui experience”.

  • Look for a number plate from each of SA’s nine provinces within an hour. Split up into teamsvand assign points for each province’s plate. The rarer a province’s plate is in the area you’re in (for example, a KZN number plate in Cape Town), the more points awarded to the person who sees one. The winner is the person with the most points.
  • See whether you can spot number plates from the Western Cape in alphabetical order, or can name the city or town they apply to: CA (Cape Town), CAW (George), CL (Stellenbosch).
This is a wonderful toy because mom or dad in the passenger seat won’t have to turn around and stretch to pick up toys that have fallen on the floor.

Giraffe and elephant on green felt board

You'll need

large piece of cardboard

felt pieces in various colours

masking tape

pair of scissors

Here’s how

1 Cover the cardboard in felt, pull tight and stick down at the back with masking tape.

2 Cut various shapes out of the felt such as animals (see below), a tree with apples, parts of a face, a house or castle with separate doors, win­dows and towers. Now the kids can amuse themselves and tell stories while sticking down their felt pieces. Examples of felt animals Making the felt animals. CAR CRICKET

Everyone in the car has a turn to bat. To score runs, assign values to the types of vehicles you see on the road. The points could be assigned as follows:

  • Car 1 run
  • Car with trailer 2 runs
  •  Bus or truck 4 runs
  • Caravan 6 runs
The batsman keeps batting until a red car passes by. The next batsman takes over then. When someone scores 100 runs the game is over. Variation Each player must pick a car colour. When you see a car in your colour you get a point. When you see a caravan or trailer you lose a point. Police cars, ambulances and fire engines are worth 5 points each. The winner is the first person to reach 50.

Tomorrow: Try our recipes and let the kids make their own snacks for the road.

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