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Schools will soon be breaking up for the summer and families will be on the move on and around London, going on fun days out or travelling to the airport, ready to go on holiday. It can be challenging to keep children amused on minicab journeys, so here are some useful ideas for games and activities to help the miles pass peacefully.

I Spy

At times, not much can beat the old classics. One player chooses something that they can see out of the car window. They then challenge the others in the game by telling them just the starting letter of their chosen object in the familiar phrase, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…”. The others have to guess what the object is, based on the letter they have been given. The winner then takes their turn to challenge the other players.

Number plate game

Take inspiration from the car number plates all around you to invent all kinds of games. For instance, set people the task of coming up with phrases using the letters on the plates. Or see who can find the highest number. Can you spot every single letter of the alphabet in the right order on cars that you pass before you reach your destination? Or look for plates that spell out funny names or abbreviations.

20 Questions

Another perennial favourite. Choose a theme, such as movies, sports or famous people and take turns to think of something or someone. Everyone must ask up to twenty questions to trey and guess the identity. To make it harder, answers can only be in the form of ‘yes’ or ‘no. The person who figures it out is the winner and takes the next turn, or if no one guesses correctly the person being asked the questions has another go.

Name that tune

This game relies on having a radio to hand. Ask your driver to turn it to a random music station and see how long it takes you to identify the tune being played. Or you could take it in turns to whistle or sing a tune for others to guess. Yet another variation could be to speak the lyrics of a song and the others have to guess the tune – and then sing it!

Map my route

This one will take some prior planning, but if you make a list of towns, landmarks or counties before you travel that you will pass through on your journey this can be used for all kinds of fun games. See who can be first to spot each one and mark them off in a game of ‘travel bingo. Encourage maths practise by having them work out how many miles there are between each one and how long it will take to travel between them. Inspire budding geographers or researchers by giving them a phone or tablet and having them look up interesting facts about any intriguing place names or local attractions along the route.

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