On a recent rainy Sunday we introduced Charlie to a card game that we refer to as “Poop Head” although most people will know it by its PG-rated name. True to form, he now wants to play during breakfast, straight after school and after he’s put on his pyjamas every evening, and around 50% of my home life now seems to involve either shuffling or dealing out the cards! Same goes when we’re on the road! If you’re looking for some inspiration for travel games that will keep kids entertained when travelling keep reading!
Going by previous obsessions (UNO, Pokemon, whist), he’ll keep this up for a couple more months before losing interest entirely and move on to the next thing.
But it’s always been reassuring that something so simple and small as a pack of cards can keep him entertained for hours when we’re on the road. I like to let him play games on my phone as a reward for good behaviour only, and limit his screen time, so long journeys usually involve a trade-off, and more than a few hands of cards.
What games do you play with your kids when you’re travelling? Here’s some of our other favourites (at time of writing!)
This has been a regular feature of our family travels since Charlie was just three. I am still amazed actually that he picked it up and grasped the rules within such a short time, and was thrashing us both after one day. He still crows over the day he made Rob pick up 16 cards at one time. We’ve got through several packs since then – UNO was our constant companion throughout our RTW trip – and our current set of cards is pretty bashed out of shape, seawater-stained, and obviously what you’d call ‘well-loved’.
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A friend gave Rob this as a gift a few months ago. It’s a classic code-breaking game, very simple really but it requires a lot of logical thinking so you can’t play it with your mind on two things at once. Again Charlie was quick to get the basics down – one player creates a code of four coloured pegs, the other player has about 20 attempts to guess by assembling different combinations. It’s seriously addictive!
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We’ve had a few sets of Top Trumps over the years, including Toy Story, and a set of superhero cards that Rob made himself, but Charlie has always stuck with his dinosaurs. I love how he will happily curl up with his dino fact book for an hour, and how he has memorised all of the scores on his dino Top Trumps – kids have such incredible memories for stuff like this, but somehow always forget to brush their teeth until the 15th reminder.
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I picked this up before our recent ski holiday with Mark Warner, not realising that we would barely see anything of Charlie as he wanted to spend all his time with the kids’ club rather than his loving parents! This is like a hybrid of scrabble and Boggle. You get a set of letters each, and have to make as many interconnecting words as you can with them. Obviously C’s vocabulary is still fairly limited, but it’s still quite impressive, if that’s the word I want, to see how many unpleasant images he can conjure up from 21 letters.
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I hope this post helps you find great ways to keep your children entertained when travelling. If you have any more ideas please let us know below; we’re always really keen to find out new travel games!
nb: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy these fantastic games from us we will make a penny or two, but it won’t cost you any more.