How to entertain kids on a train

Image: Getty | Words: Sara Conway

We step on a train and dream of buying tea and cake. Maybe reading a book or having a little snooze. Then we remember we have children. And we think of all the things we’ll need to do to fill this two-hour journey…

But with these easy 5 minute games to keep children busy on the train, we may be able to have our cake and eat it. They’re easy to play on the go, on long journeys, or even on the bus. Just remember to bring paper and pens.

1) Take photos: all you need is your mobile phone

For this instant fun idea, hand over your mobile phone. Then challenge your child to be a photographer and take pictures of interesting things out of the window. Cows, sheep, houses, trees, other trains… and yes, selfies are allowed. If they’re happy, we’re happy. Now where’s that tea trolley?

2) Create a postcard: a creative activity to encourage writing

Tell your child to make a postcard for Grandma, a friend from nursery or a teddy that’s still at home. Your child draws a picture on one side of a piece of paper and writes (or draws) a message on the back. Why not post it when you got off the train?

If your kids love creative activities, check out this round up of over 100 crafts.

3) Play train bingo: a fun spotting game

Draw a quick grid of six squares for each child on your journey and tell them what to write (or draw) in each square. (See the lists below.) Now tell your kids to look around them and cross off everything they spot. The winner is the first to cross off a row. Then carry on to see who can spot a full house.

(Use these suggestions or make up your own):

4) Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Play a fun play clay modelling game.

Bring play clay on the train or plane and challenge your kids to make different objects for you to guess what they are.

Don’t miss more fun with play clay, including how to make your own.

5) Daydream believer: all you need is the clouds (pretty much guaranteed in good old Blighty)

Tell your child to look for pictures in the clouds. When they’re bored of that, they can draw a picture of the clouds.

We’d love to hear how you survived a journey with your kids. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @5minutefun.