I-Spy… is just one of many great car games you can play on family trips
Every parent dreads the words “Are we there yet?” But there are other ways to occupy your children en route beyond I Spy.
From car karaoke to pub cricket, here are the very best on-the-road and (mostly) screen-free family entertainment. These games are so much fun, in fact, that you may be tempted to take the Scenic Route just so you get some extra play in.
1 Car karaoke
Tee up a playlist of easily recognisable songs before the journey, eg, Wheels on the Bus etc. Each player must, in turn, sing along for the first few bars, at which point the designated DJ turns the volume off for the next few bars while the player carries on singing. If the singer manages to keep in time by the time the volume is turned back up, they score a point.
2 Pub cricket
Best for country roads. The first player to spot a roadside pub gets to open, and you score based on the name of the pub. It’s one point per limb. For example, the King’s Arms scores two – one point per arm – and the Red Lion scores four. You’re really in luck if you spot the Fox and Hounds.
But watch out: any pub with a bird in the title means you’re out. Fear the White Swan and dread the Dog and Duck. Whoever calls out “Howzat?” takes over.
You need to keep score, of course, and that’s where the All-New Renault Scénic’s aviation tables – available in Dynamique Nav models – come in so handy.
3 I Spy
It’s a timeless classic – and for a good reason. Better still, the All-New Renault Scénic’s panoramic sunroof, standard on the Dynamique S Nav, makes it even more fun and challenging. “I spy with my little eye something beginning with S” no longer has to refer to street, sister or steering wheel. Little clue: look up at that big blue thing.
4 Alphabet music
Yes, we want our children to spend less time on screens. But not always and certainly not when it is this much fun. With the Renault Scenic Dynamique Nav models having two USB Ports in the front, two in the rear and one in the boot, your phones, gizmos and tablets will never run out of juice.
So crank up your tunes. Youngest starts – with an artist or song starting with A. Then clockwise, the next player has to choose a B. You must not cut in without agreement – or you forfeit a go.
And when you get to Z, you have to go backwards. Double points for those whose artist and song both start with the same letter. A bonus point for anyone whose Q is not Queen or X is not XTC. Obviously.
Much more fun than it sounds and a fantastic family leveller. Better still, parents get to start. With a “fortunately”. For example, “Fortunately we’re off to Dorset on holiday.” Next player: “Unfortunately, there’s no Xbox.” Next: “Fortunately, we can swim in the sea.” And on we go. The beautiful thing: the unfortunatelys – even for the trickiest of teenagers – get ever harder.
6 Bus stop
This is a game of quick thinking. The driver picks three categories – say, countries, colours and animals. Once everyone is ready, the driver shouts out a letter and the players have to, as quickly as possible, write down one word from each category starting with that letter.
As a player, you’re not allowed to say anything until you’ve written down all three. But once you do – for example, Australia, amber and aardvark – you shout out “bus stop”.
You win three points. Everyone else only scores a point if they’ve written down an answer that nobody else has got. Change categories and letters each time. The first to 21 wins.