Remember our recent journey to the North East? And how we forgot to take with us all the electronic gizmos and gadgets that keep children (and adults) entertained these days?
Disaster? No, because, guess what? We had with us some even more revolutionary inventions...pencils, pens and paper!
Half way into the journey home, with books finished, newspapers read and picnics eaten, we started on the games and they occupied us from Derby to Bristol.
The kids have mostly outgrown I Spy. Phew! And Noughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe). Alleluia!
But we enjoyed:
and a game where you choose four categories (eg a food, a town, a country, an animal) and choose a letter. You then have to find a food, a town, a country and an animal beginning with that letter. A point is awarded for every correct word, and two points if you have a word that nobody else chose. Repeat with more letters until boredom sets in!
I was shocked at the bad parenting I uncovered when my children said they had never been shown how to play:
When we had exhausted these pencil and paper games, we played Twenty Questions and a Yes/No game. (One person asks another questions to which they must NEVER respond with a Yes or a No. If they do so, that round is over and the players swap roles.)
Now I know there are probably much more exciting activities on mobile phones and other electronic devices, but for me, these simple games win, hands down. We didn't have to worry about charging the pens or paper, or losing expensive pieces of kit! Moreover, the games were sociable; we could play them all together, at the same time, and amazingly, with nobody arguing.
The half term holiday is coming up and another long journey lies ahead of us, to the North West of England this time. I'm already thinking about what other games we can play whilst travelling and whilst on holiday.
We have this old charity shop find, but there's nothing less conducive to a fun game than having somebody reading the book, sieving out the good games from the bad, digesting the rules, and trying to explain it, all at the same time, whilst shouting over the noise of the motorway!
Instead of having to resort to my battered Book of Car Games, I'd love to know if you have any simple family favourites that you play with your children or grandchildren?