Are we there yet?!

  • Are we there yet?!

    Travelling long distances with kids in the car can make many parents want to scream and run away. Top it off with holiday traffic, petrol prices and year-end burn out and it’s enough to make any parent want to cancel the annual family holiday.

    You can’t blame the kids, because they’re kids and long distances are boring and annoying. (This is especially true for the youngest one, who always ends up sitting in the middle while the older siblings get comfy with their pillows and windows. You KNOW what I’m talking about.) You can’t blame the parents, either. Nagging, fighting, crying and that one car-sick kiddo can soon turn a promising holiday into a many-hour in-transit nightmare.

    While you can’t change the chaos on the road during the silly season, you can control what happens in your car by playing some fun games. And let’s face it, ‘I spy with my little eye’ is so 1980s!

    Seven games to keep you sane:

    1. The Alphabet Game: Starting with the letter A, get your kids to find words or objects starting with that letter. Go through the entire alphabet. You can also play this as a memory game. Example: Player one starts with ‘A is for angel’ and then the second player must remember what A was for and follow with B: ‘A is for angel, B is for banana.’ The third player follows suit: ‘A is for angel, B is for banana and C is for cattle.’ Keep playing until you’ve run out of letters … or patience.
    2. Group Storytelling: This is simple. Start a story by giving a couple of sentences, for example: ‘Not too long ago, in a country far away, there was a family stuck in a car, on their way to an adventure. But …’ The second player must now continue telling the story. Keep going until your story is complete … or the kids have fallen asleep.
    3. Name the Song: Remember Johan Stemmet’s famous TV series Noot vir Noot, where contestants had to guess the song? Make a playlist and do the same with your kids. Just don’t wear one of those horrible jackets like he used to. It’s uncalled for.
    4. Twenty Questions: Choose a famous person, landmark or object. The kids then get to ask 20 questions to try to figure out what or who you are thinking about. You’re only allowed to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This makes for a nice change to the usual ‘Are we there yet?’ that’s bound to come your way every hour.
    5. The List Game: Make up a list of objects to spot on the road. Give every kid their own list to check off every time they spot something. The items on the list can be anything from ‘cows’ and ‘railroad track’ to ‘person talking on their cellphone’. The first kid to complete their list wins an ice cream. Don’t play this game with the child that’s prone to get carsick, though! It won’t end well.
    6. The Radio Game: Hit the ‘scan’ button on your radio until it stops on a song. The first person to guess the song correctly wins a point. Another way to play the radio game is to get every passenger to choose a word. Turn the radio on, and the first person whose word gets spoken or sung, wins a point.
    7. Word Game: Choose a topic, for example: animals. The first player chooses an animal, for example ‘elephant’, the next person must then name an animal that starts with the last letter of the previous animal, for example ‘tiger’. Putting a time-limit on it makes it more exciting. The first person not able to name an animal or who runs out of time is eliminated. Continue until you are left with one winner.

    Want to know if your kids are enjoying the trip? Read ‘5 Signs your kids are loving their holiday.’For ideas on where to go for the holidays, visit ideaall Travel’s website for great self-drive package deals.