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Kids vote for top 10 games to play in the car

Survey reveals what games children love to play in the car – and it’s not on their iPads!

As thousands of families hit the road for Easter getaways, we've researched the top 10 games that children love to play in the car and found they often had more fun playing them than using their tablets and smartphones.  Our research found that traditional family games such as I Spy and First One to See were just as popular amongst the under 10s as technology, even with today’s tablet-generation.

"The car is the perfect time for parents to put technology in the boot and spend some quality family time together. Concentrating on a digital device, whilst in transit, can contribute to travel sickness, eye strain and headaches - so its sensible to limit screen time and get back to basics with some fun (and sometimes noisy) games that children will love. The route to our holiday destination should form part of the excitement and build up - helping to create memories that last a lifetime. Our top ten games are really simple and kids loved them – reinforcing lo-tech fun can be had by all." Amy Smith, Carfinance247

Here's our handy guide on how to play:

1) I-Spy

Pick an object or person and give fellow players the first letter - then it's up to them to use their powers of deduction to find the answer.

2) First One to See / The Eddie Stobart Game

Apparent under many guises but the principal remains the same - the first one to spot a pre-defined object wins.  

3) The Name Game

Name as many celebrities as possible.  The next person’s answer must always start with the first letter of the surname of the previous player’s answer.  For example Lewis Hamilton could be followed by Harry Styles, Harry Styles by Scott Mills and so on.

This game can be adapted according to a child’s age and interests – try naming Premier League footballers, pop stars, cartoon or Disney characters.

4) Little Lie Detectors

Tell a true story and tell a lie – the rest of your companions must guess which is genuine.

5)   In-Car Tennis 

Each player picks a colour– every time you overtake a car of that colour you score points as you would in a game of tennis. Game, set and match.

6) Story by Committee

This game tells a cumulative tale with everyone’s input.  The first player starts with, ‘Once upon a time’, then each person in turn adds a new line to the story.  It can be as silly, wacky and imaginative as you like.

7) Who Can Scream the Loudest

An ear piercing and window shattering contest where volume is the only winning factor (well it was a survey for kids!) - perhaps best saved for when the car is stationary such as in heavy traffic or service station stop offs (if your ears can take it). 

8) Backseat Bingo

Give youngsters a ‘bingo’ card containing pictures of items they could see en-route: road signs, types of car, animals and landmarks. Arm them with a ‘dauber’ or a bag of pennies to cover the pictures when they spot them. Just as with traditional bingo, the first to cover all the images in a straight line wins a prize, and a full house wins a bigger prize. Creative parents could make their own, but there are lots of online resources that offer free printables.

9) Travel Treasure Hunt

Where this takes a little time and preparation, parents will reap the rewards of their efforts on this in car voyage of discovery. Ahead of the trip, research landmarks along the way and create a quiz themed around them.  Kids can solve clues and riddles, answer general knowledge questions and could even win mystery prizes along the way.

10)  Magic Markers 

Unleash your kids’ creativity by handing them a chalk pen and letting them go wild on the back windows  Non-toxic, odour free and most importantly wipe clean from non-porous surfaces, these magical markers are the perfect partner for a long ride, allowing little Picasso’s to create mini (and temporary) masterpieces as you drive. 

There are just two rules: never colour in the full window and always wipe the windows clean straight away to save the decorative designs from impairing the driver’s vision. asked 1098 parents of children under 10 to complete an online poll with their children during February 2016.  It also road tested the top ten family games with a group of 25 children and found that 92% rated them as good as, or better than playing on tablets or smartphones.

Image: Dollar Photo Club

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