The winter school break is around the corner and if your family is driving to a holiday destination, classic car games may be the answer to make the trip go by much faster.

In between rest stops, mom and dad may hear the monotonous question: Are we there yet? If you have little ones, they will not necessarily understand when you say another two hours or 200km.

“There are various game consoles and interactive apps that can take away the boredom during a long road trip, but nothing comes close to car games that are fun, entertaining and can build young ones’ maths, imagination and storytelling skills,” says Francois Labuschagne, Product and Marketing Manager for Auto Mart.

Here are five classic games that can be played in the car and best of all, don’t require special materials:

  • I spy with my little eye: A firm family favourite for many years, this game starts with a family member spotting something, saying the line and completing it with a clue, usually a colour or the first letter of the object. Each person takes turns guessing the answer.

  • Alphabet memory game: A family member starts by saying an action, for example: I’m going to granny’s house and I’m taking…, completing the sentence with a word starting with the letter ‘a’. The second person then needs to say the same sentence, but has to follow up the ‘a’ word with a word starting with ‘b’, i.e. I’m going to granny’s house and I’m taking an apple, a banana etc. If someone forgets an item, he/she’s out. The last player to name all the items up to the last letter of the alphabet or until the letter where you’ve agreed to play, is the winner. You can play variations of this game by changing the words selected to countries, animals, sports and people’s names.

  • Car tennis: The aim is to spot different colours and types of vehicles. Mom and dad can set up a point system, for example a sedan car scores five points, a 4×4 10 points and a truck 20 points. Each child can get a different colour to spot and the one with the most points after a set amount of time is the winner.

  • 20 questions: A player thinks of a person, object or place and each of the other players gets a chance to ask a question to gather clues. After each answer, the player can guess the answer. The game carries on until someone guesses correctly.

  • Tell a group story: One player begins with the phrase, once upon a time, and then other players take turns adding a line to the story. Mom and dad can start the story with a funny and ridiculous beginning, for example, ‘once upon a time a flock of purple pigs flew over the house’. They can also call out random names of players so that the story isn’t built by going around in a circle. To keep the kids busy for longer, they can draw the story once it is finished.

“Playing these games will make the kilometres fly by and will also allow the family to bond while having fun,” he says.

If you do take cellphones and tablets on your trip to keep the kids entertained, remember that they’ll need charging. Similarly, if you’re using a GPS application on your phone to provide directions, a cellphone charger for the car will come in handy to keep the devices charged.

Besides car games, there are some general inspections to carry out on your car before you hit the road. “Check the oil, coolant, water, brake and hydraulic fluid levels when the engine is cold and when your car is parked on a level surface. At the same time make sure that the radiator and windscreen washer bottles have sufficient water,” says Labuschagne.

Confirm that the indicator and head lights are working and if you’re pulling a trailer, check its lights too. “Make sure you have the right equipment for an emergency, such as a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, emergency triangle, spare tyre, jump leads, jack, wheel spanner and a flashlight,” he says.

It is a good idea to join a roadside assistance service, not only will it provide support in the event of electrical and mechanical breakdowns, but some packages also include emergency medical rescues.

Visit Auto Mart for good deals on cars and bikes in your area or place an ad for free if you have a car or bike to sell.

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