I've just come back from the annual girls holiday and about to leave for the family holiday, this time on a long drive.  I had an interesting debate about the use of IPAD with a girlfriend as we now live outside the UK and often embark on long car journeys as well as frequent plane journeys.  Whilst some felt the iPad was not needed, it does have it's place.  In the UK we travel was limited as we were basically on an island, and in Switzerland we regularly drive to France, Italy, Austria, Germany and even Denmark, journeys can vary from 1 hour to 24 hours.  

We actually have a healthy mix of games, nursery rhymes and iPad, but to pay homage to the old school games that we played  as kids on those holiday journeys, here were my top favourites.

I Spy with my Little Eye

I spy is one of those games that you can do anywhere, improving grammar and cognitive ability. The number of players are unlimited, but there is one person who picks an object without saying what it is apart from the first letter. “ I spy with my little eye something beginning with ….” The person then has to guess the object. For example ‘T’ and the object they have to guess is “tree”

Hang Man

Is a game you can play anywhere and with unlimited players. It can be used to improve grammar, cognitive ability, spelling and even languages. The word does not have to be one that is seen but one person picks a word and then draws underscores for the number of letters in the game. The players have a limited amount of attempts to try and work out the word, the attempts are limited to drawing each part of the hang man so the base, leg, and arm of the hanging apparatus, and then each body part of a man. When a correct letter is guessed it is written in the space and then when a false letter is guessed it is written down but crossed out. In a car this game has limitations, as it is difficult for the driver to participate but great for the plane.


A pack of pens, pencils or crayons and a colouring pad go a long way.

Card Games

Multiple games can be taught from Snap, Slap Jack, Rummy to Black Jack.

The Alphabet Game

A good game to play in the car is the alphabet game where kids have to spot license plates A-Z in order.

The Animal Game

This game can be played on any mode of transport. One-player names an animal, and the other players have to name an animal that begins with the same letter. For example, Aardvark and Antelope. This game can be used to develop different languages, for example, “Schwein und Schlanger”

Draw and Guess

Pictionary was one of my favourite games growing up and seems to have gone out of circulation, but we still have our vintage box game. On the go on the plane we can still play with a simple piece of paper. Where one person try’s to draw what the object, country or thing that they have in mind and the others have to guess.

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