Everyone loves going on holiday, what with the promise of sun-kissed beaches and warm summer events spent relaxing with the family.
Getting there, however, is invariably less fun – especially if you're travelling by car. Fear not, though, as a handy little book called 50 Fun Car Games for Kids is here to take the pressure off through a healthy dose of some good old fashioned family fun.
The prospect of trying to keep the kids entertained in a confined space while slogging down a busy motorway for hour after hour can make you wish you'd never left home in the first place, which is no way to kick off what's supposed to be a “relaxing break”.
What many parents do these days is let the kids watch cartoons or movies on their phones or tablets, but what about when the battery goes flat? And besides, what did parents use to do before today's modern gadgets came along?
The answer, of course, is you played games. Spotting different coloured cars... counting signs... playing “I spy”... it didn't really matter what the game was, it was about keeping everyone occupied while the miles went by.
And that's pretty much the point behind 50 Fun Car Games for Kids. It doesn't pretend to be anything fancy – it's simply a little booklet outlining some easy-to-play games you can play in the car to pass the time, with no fancy illustrations or anything like that.
The book contains 24 pages altogether, comprising an introduction page, a two-page contents list, descriptions of the games themselves and a couple of pages at the back to scribble on.
There doesn't seem to be any particular order to the games themselves. They just follow on, one after another, as the pages go by, and the only real visual element to speak of is a basic illustration of a car driving down an imaginary road that runs across the bottom of each page. That, along with the heading of each game, is coloured in pink, but aside from that it's just printed text on white pages. The glossy cover is attractive and the quality of the paper used is decent, so it should last a good few years tucked away in the glove compartment without any hassles.
So what about the games themselves? Well as you'd imagine it's a mixed bag. Some are word or alphabet games, some involve counting or identifying features on other cars or in towns you drive through, others still are guessing games where one person thinks of a place or word or song and the everyone else has to ask questions to find out what it is.
The games are primarily based specifically on you being in the car, but there are some more general favourites like “Paper Scissors Stone” or “Name That Tune”.
You do get the impression that some of the games are there just to make up the numbers – there are plenty of decent ones, but the well probably started running dry somewhere in the 30s and getting to the full 50 likely involved some lateral thinking.
But that's fine, really, as you're just as likely to use the ideas to springboard onto some other games of your own. The point is to help pass the time with a bit of harmless fun.
And unlike resorting to staring goggle-eyed at a screen for a few hours, it's fun that doesn't just involve the kids. It helps you pass the time too – even if it does mean you have to actually make a bit of effort.
In reality, 50 Fun Car Games for Kids would have been the perfect holiday companion to have in the car 10 years ago, but is probably too old fashioned to be a hands-down winner with the kids in this day and age. But it's free, doesn't take much room and gives you another option for keeping the kids in check as the miles roll by, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Where can I get it?
Potters Resort will be offering the 50 Fun Car Games For Kids book free to those who register on their website: 50 Things To Do. Remember to tick the box at the bottom, so you get your book sent out to you!
It's small, and light so can live in your cubbyhole
There's not much you couldn't find in a Google search, but it's still convenient when you want something on the go and don't want to spend time on your phone searching while the kids are fighting it out in the back
It's not an essential guide or anything but the 50 Car Games For Kids booklet is sweet, nice to have, and won't hurt to keep handy.