AA Car Care: How to keep the kids entertained on a road trip
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This summer is the perfect time to pack up the car and explore more of New Zealand. What’s more, AA Traveller has just unveiled a new list of Kiwi gems to inspire Kiwis to fall even more in love with this great place we call home.
From helping deliver mail in Pelorus Sound and finding archaeological relics at Rotorua’s Buried Village, to trying cable wakeboarding in Central Hawke’s Bay, there are so many unique and interesting experiences to discover.
But how to keep the kids entertained on your road trip? If your go-to remedy is to pass your child a tablet or smartphone, be warned – this can often lead to car sickness.
Here are some old fashioned games for passengers to play and help pass the time while on your road trip this summer.
Write a list of things for your children to spot outside their car window as you drive through our beautiful countryside.
It can be a good idea to agree to end the game either after a certain timeframe or upon arrival at your destination – this can be a great long game if you have lots of time to spare. Bonus points or prizes for crossing everything off the list or finding particularly hard to find items should keep all passengers engaged.
If your passengers are a variety of different ages, it’s good to combine a list of easy through to hard to find items to keep everyone entertained.
Here are some ideas for you to include on your search list for your next road trip:
Easy (1 point each)
Medium (2 points each)
- Public toilet
- Convertible car
- Police car
Hard (3 points each)
- EV charge station
- Speed camera
- Golf course
- Car towing a boat
Rock, paper, scissors
“Rock, paper, scissors” is the default method to solve dilemmas for millions across the globe, and researchers in Japan have even taught chimpanzees the rules. It can also be a good way to pass the time on a road trip.
The fast-paced game requires nothing but your hands, and is suitable for all ages.
In case you’ve been living on another planet and don’t know the rules, both players make either a rock (fist), paper (flat hand) or scissors (extended and open index and middle fingers) shapes behind their backs. One player says "rock, paper, scissors" and both players must show their choice of hand signal simultaneously. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper and paper beats rock.
To continue the longevity of the game, set rules like “best of 21” – first to 11 wins.
Number Plate Initials
In this game all you need to do is take the first two or three letters of a number plate and make a funny acronym out of it. For example, AWK123 could be “A Whinging Kid”.
For this game, it’s the sillier the better. Each person in the car should take turns, trying to better the last person.
The road trip classic, again, suitable for all ages. One person says “I spy with my little eye something that beings with (insert a letter of the alphabet)”. The other players then takes turns trying to guess what the item is. The person who guesses correctly then has the opportunity to continue the game.
Go on a picnic
This is a memory-based game. The first person starts the game by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m taking…” and then they name something that starts with an A (for example, apple).
The next player then repeats the sentence, including what the first person said, and adds something that starts with B. The game continues through the alphabet until someone makes a mistake.
Whether you are planning a road trip, or daydreaming about a getaway, don’t forgot to make sure your vehicle service and Warrant of Fitness are up to date before you go.
Visit your local AA Auto Centre or AA Approved Repairer and let the experts make sure your vehicle is Road trip ready.
AA Traveller’s new list of Kiwi Gems features fresh ideas and lesser-known spots that make our country really special, as well as new ways of approaching travel to familiar places.