Top Tips To Make Family Rides More Fun
Games and Rewards to Inspire Your Kids
While your child may love riding their bike, there comes a point when they may be either bored or tired. If you are doing a lot of cycling such as on a multi-day tour, you may need to include an incentive or two, or play games to pass the time.
Here are some ideas to help make your rides more fun which we have found work well.
Rewards for riding
Before you begin your ride, think about what your child likes and plan how you can dangle that carrot to make your ride more fun.
This is not a bribe. A bribe is something you offer in desperation when your child is having a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket, arms and legs flailing, crying and screaming at the top of their lungs, and you are trying to ignore the disapproving glare of the security guard.
A reward is an incentive to excel and progress further. It is a bonus for a job well done. A perk for doing better!
Ice cream or sweets at your destination or per X miles / kilometres ridden (more treats per kilometre). The added bonus here is that the sugar will fuel your child helping them to ride further! Make sure they brush their teeth when they get home.
Extra Screen Time
Most children use a tablet, phone or laptop – offer an additional X minutes on video games / YouTube / watching cartoons that night.
Stay Up Late (but not too late!)
Being allowed to stay up late was always a treat we looked forward to when we were little and the same applies now with your child.
Go out for dinner or have a takeaway – let your child choose what they want to do and eat!
Speaking of eating, you cannot go wrong with the cyclist’s favourite – cake! Coffee only for the adults though…
There is always something your child will want whether a sugary treat, the latest trending app, a film night (with their choice of film) or something else. Let your child earn it with a lengthy bike ride.
Visit A Friend
Could you include meeting up with one of your child’s friends on your cycling journey. Friends riding together will always ride further than they expected.
You know your child best – what does your child like and how far would they cycle to get it?!
Games to make rides more fun
Games are a great way to distract your children from how far they’ve cycled. By playing games as you ride your bikes, your children will always associate cycling with fun!
This is a game we came up with after watching the Cheese Shop sketch on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In the sketch, the customer asks for a type of cheese and the shopkeeper gives a reason why he hasn’t got it in stock. No cheese or reason is repeated. We swapped cheese for toys as it’s what the kids know. When they’re older we’ll use films or albums. E.g. “Do you have any toy soldiers?” – “Sorry, the dog chewed them up.” The game continues with the customer asking for products and the shopkeeper making excuses until someone repeats a previous product/excuse then that person is out. Swap over roles for a second match. A great game as the products and especially the excuses become more and more outlandish.
What am I?
The person who is ‘it’ gives a vague description and the rest have to guess what it is e.g. “You can’t see me, but can feel me; some days I am strong, some I am weak; I can whistle and whine. What am I?”
How many… can you see?
Simple counting game of a single object, animal or feature e.g. bridges, rabbits, horses, electricity pylons, etc.
Look out for X, Y and Z and first to ‘collect’ them all gets a point. You can have multiple rounds as long as you can think of things to look out for. A great game for learning more about the outdoors.
Do we really need to explain this game?!
I went to the shop and bought…
A memory game where each person has to remember the list of items that has gone before, e.g. first person says, “I went to the shop and bought a packet of spaghetti,” the second person repeats and adds, “I went to the shop and bought a packet of spaghetti and a yellow jumper,” and so on.
Two facts and a fib
One of your group says gives two true facts and one lie – all with a straight face!. It’s up to the other riders to decide which of the three statements is the lie.
Making your rides more fun doesn’t stop when you’re on a break. Play the Cloud game – what shapes can you see in the clouds e.g. a dragon, a pirate ship, a dog?
One person thinks of a person, place or object and the others have only twenty questions to discover what or who it is. Top tip: say the number before your question to help keep count.
Fortunately and Unfortunately
Create a story by each rider adding one sentence to the story. Each sentence alternates starting with ‘fortunately’ or ‘unfortunately’ – it gets funnier and funnier as you go on! E.g. first person: “Fortunately, the zoo was open, so we could visit the animals…”, second person: “Unfortunately, someone had left the lion cage open…”.
When riding through a long tunnel, like those on the Monsal Trail, see who can hold their breath the longest.
Each person counts bikes of their chosen colour within a time limit, the person with the highest number wins! Good on a busy trail.
The Minister’s Cat
A Victorian game where you add an adjective to describe the cat, each subsequent person adds a new adjective in alphabetical order e.g. start with “The minister’s cat is an angry cat”; the next person says e.g. “The minister’s cat is an angry cat and a beautiful cat” and so on.
The first person says a place name and the second player says a different place name beginning with the last letter of the previous place e.g. NottinghaM – ManchesteR – RochdalE – EdinburgH – Hemel HempsteaD – and so on.
Who can say tongue twisters the fastest? Here’s some to get you started:
- Red lorry, yellow lorry
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?
- How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
- She sells seashells by the seashore.
- Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?
Name That Tune
Hum a tune for others to guess.
Have Fun Cycling Further!
We hope you found this list of rewards and games useful. If you have any of your own that you’d like to share please add them in the comments below!
Stay safe and be responsible while playing games, looking out for other trail users, features and obstacles. Have fun!