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Christmas is also about travelling. Let´s make creative use of the time spent in the car while on the way to visit relatives and friends or when heading for mountain adventures. The whole family can have fun together, and you won’t even need tablets or audio fairy tales. What’s more, you can all train your brains with these wonderful mind-stimulating games.

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Keep your children busy – and happy! Mind games are an excellent way to train the little brain! Children will improve their memory and concentration skills while having fun at the same time. Such games are the best cure for travel sickness and boredom. Don't miss out on spending quality time with your family, which is priceless. Here are ten fun, gadget-free games to play with your kids in the car!

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MUSICAL CAROUSEL

One person hums the tune of a song or a melody from a fairytale, TV series or commercial and the others have to guess what the song is and where it’s from. If you want to stretch out the game, everyone can sing the song once it’s been guessed. For younger kids, hum the melody of a simple children’s song, for older ones, pick a harder tune or hum just a few tones of their beloved song.

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MINDREADING

Someone thinks of a thing and the others ask questions to find out what it is. Younger players should think of something that they see around them; for example, a cloud, tree, house, car, seat or bag. Older kids could pick anything they know but don’t necessarily see; for instance, a waterslide, dog, closet, or swimming pool.

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IMAGINATION MASTERS

One of the players starts a story with a single sentence. The other players then add other sentences one-by-one. That way you can continue the game until you’re really happy with the entire storyline. Older kids and the adults playing the game should make sure that their sentences add a new dimension to the story. The younger kids should be helped along a bit with their sentences. Instead of just expecting their contribution, try asking them a question to encourage a logical response or help them by starting a sentence and letting them finish.

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ONE, TWO, THREE, …

All players count the cars you see that are the same make and model as your own. You might even spot one that’s the exact same color! One way to build on the game, especially with young kids, is to find a car on the road that is bigger, smaller, longer, shorter, lighter, or darker than yours! Older children will love counting and observing different brands and types of cars.

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MEMORIZE THIS!

The first player begins with the letter A and has to say a word that starts with that letter, for example, apple. The second to go says a word that starts with B, like banana. In this way the players go through all the letters of the alphabet, while repeating all of the words that have already been said. The winner is the player who goes the longest. Or don’t even compete and just have fun! To make it more challenging for older kids, you could mix up the letters and not follow the order of the alphabet, while younger childen will be perfectly happy with finding words that start with a certain letter or syllable.

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VERBAL PANTOMIME

Someone mouths a word without actually saying it out loud and the other players guess the word. The adults should pick more expressive words, such as mama, telephone, banana, and table, especially if they’re playing with younger children, while older ones should be able to make out the correct words even if they’re complicated.

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RHYME ALL THE TIME

Make up your own travel anthem! The first player says a word or phrase and the next player must find an appropriate rhyme. With younger kids, you could come up with rhymes for basic words and keep the game going until someone can’t think of another rhyme. With older ones, however, make it a bit complicated. They are truly capable of composing a rhymed poem if they try and are appropriately stimulated.

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EXPERTS

Pick a theme, such as fruit, cartoons, or animals. If it’s fruit, one person might say ‘banana’, the second ‘apple’, the third ‘pineapple’ and so on. When a player has run out of ideas, you could say they’re out, or choose another theme. Take it easy on the younger players by letting them get a couple of guesses wrong before they’re kicked out of the game or choose a theme they know well: for example, types of clothes you wear. For older children, you might even succeed with conceptual themes like emotions.

 

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STONEFACE

Choose a player who has to keep a straight face for the whole game. The others then have to come up with a silly answer for him to use when he responds to their questions. For instance, if we ask an older child who his best friend is, he might have to answer “The neighbor’s cow.” As soon as the Stoneface cracks a smile or starts laughing, it’s another player’s turn. With younger Stoneface kids, you could just make faces or tickle them a bit. Laughter is guaranteed!

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WORD CHAINS

One player says a word and the next player must think of a word that starts with the last letter of the first word: for example, giraffe-elevator-road. You could say that all of the words must be from one common theme, like animals, trees or types of food. Older kids could use car brands, countries of the world or cities and smaller children could just find an object, animal or something else that is similar to the picked word: for example, cat-lion-leopard.

Get more tips for your family trips here!

Download our Simply Clever list of games
to keep handy in the car and have fun!