Fun & Games - How to Use Summer Journeys for Family Bonding

Jack Dreyer | Friday 4th August 2023 3:00pm

Image of kids playing games on devices in the back of a car.

Although some parents may view the car journey to their summer holiday destination purely as something to endure and look for ways to keep the children as quiet as possible, research shows that this approach may lead to families missing out valuable bonding time.

Kwik Fit commissioned researchers to ask people what they most enjoyed about their childhood car journeys. The researchers found that people had the most positive memories about group activities -such as playing games, singing together, or simply chatting - rather than spending time on their own pursuits. Despite their own experiences though, a quarter of parents of under 16s say they spend less time doing family activities on journeys than they did with their own parents.

While it’s tempting for family members to get into the car and plug their headphones in as soon as they set off, child psychologist Professor Sam Wass thinks that families who spend their journeys in their individual bubbles are missing out. The professor, known for his work on Channel 4’s The Secret Lives of 4 and 5-Year-Olds, said: “Family activities, such as playing I Spy and singing along together to the radio, may be seen by some parents as a way to kill time on a car journey. But in fact, research now suggests that they can benefit your family dynamic and help spark a feeling of togetherness and shared understanding as you head off together on holiday.”

I-Spy remains an easy, and favourite, for families looking a car game to play, but to help families on the journeys this summer, we have launched a car games guide to provide some alternatives. You can find it here:

Professor Wass says: “Doing things together – such as everyone joining in a game of I Spy – is proven to be effective for improving social dynamics within the family unit. So when everyone is in the car at the same time, it’s a perfect opportunity for families to naturally build togetherness.”

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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