Eliminate School Run Stress With These 8 Fun Games

Sponsored Post

What’s the school run like for you? We have a habit of running late so it usually consists of me pleading, urging, cajoling, shouting, pulling, merrily encouraging (!) my kids to walk the 1.5 mile uphill journey to school… and desperately hoping that the teacher is still stood at the door as we belt around the corner!

This week, my 2yo managed to walk the whole way for the first time. Whilst I’m really proud of her (that’s a 3 mile round trip!), there’s also part of me that knows the school run is going to be even more stressful challenging from now on… I now have to get TWO children up that hill!

I have learnt that the best way to get kids walking (and at a decent speed) is to give them something else to think about. So this got me thinking about all the techniques I use to keep my kids motivated and / or distracted when we’re on the school run.

8 games to play on the school run

Number Spotting

Shout out a number and the first person to find that number (on a door or a bin or a car registration plate, etc) gets to choose the next number. You can also try this with letters or colours.


Yes folks – I am that person who has a song for every occasion! Current school run favourites include The Sun Has Got His Hat On (wishful thinking!), You Are My Sunshine and My Napsack On My Back (valderiiiiii, valderaaaaa).

Top tip: if you sing faster, they’ll walk faster!

Bug Safari

This one is a little time consuming so is generally limited to the walk home. Bascially, you go hunting for bugs and snap a photo of any that you find. Bonus points if it’s a bug you haven’t yet spotted on the journey.

Ladybird on leaf school run games


You can’t beat a good old-fashioned race to get the kids moving. Think running races, jumping races, skipping races, one-eye-closed races – wherever your imagination takes you! I definitely recommend donning some athletic wear for this one though – those patent leather stilettos just aren’t going to cut it! Fabletics has some really cute, affordable options which would be perfect!


I-Spy is a classic. And it’s very apt for the school run because you’re thinking about letters (give yourself a gold star, mummy!)

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with [insert first letter of item]

If you’ve got little ones with you, you can use colours instead.

I spy, with my little eye, something coloured [insert colour of item]

Car Cricket

Take it in turns to “bat”. The batter scores a point for every car that goes past with a 0 in the number plate. If a car goes past without a 0, that person is out and it becomes the next person’s turn.

Don’t Step On The Cracks

I think every child has played this game on the school run at some point! You have to make sure you don’t stand on any of the cracks between the paving stones. I can tell you from experience that this game is particularly challenging if you’re trying to push a buggy at the same time!

Flag stones school run games

Scavenger Hunt

This is another one best kept to the trip home. Decide on a category of things that need to be collected and the person who has the most at the end, wins. Here are some examples:

  • Sticks
  • Stones
  • Conkers
  • Leaves
  • Things beginning with the letter T
  • Things coloured blue

Top tip: You might want to provide bags to put the items in if you don’t want to end up carrying everything yourself.


What is your school run like? Do you take the car or do you walk? How many kids do you have in tow? What tips do you have for getting to school on time? Let me know in the comments section below!

This post is sponsored by Fabletics

Lucy At Home

3 Little Buttons

Hot Pink Wellingtons

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mummy in a Tutu


Add yours
  1. 1

    Love it Lucy…yes I’m a grandma who sings songs with her little grandsons as we walk or do a myriad things.

    Alexa-simplelife visiting from Sydney, Australia

  2. 4

    This is great. There are SOME mornings in our house…well, I won’t say more 🙂 I’m afraid our games a tiny bit more pedestrian. I’m Thinking of An Animal features (with variation I’m Thinking of a Person).
    Because my daughter is very artistic and loves design, sometimes, I can chivvy her along by asking her to describe her Dream Bedroom, House, Wedding Dress, whatever to me. It’s a great distractor and only requires periodic uh-huh’s from me! #BlogCrush

  3. 6
    Kristie - Mammaprada

    This is so sweet. I’ve been wondering when I can ditch the buggy and get my almost 2yr old daughter to walk to school with me! At the moment, there’s lots of races, being given collections of stones and lavender from my son. And at one point on the way home he hides in the same place every day and I have to wait til he’s ready so he can jump out and surprise me! We will miss these times one day! #BlogCrush xx

  4. 11
    Rhyming with Wine

    Fab ideas here Lucy! I think I’ll need them when we start our school runs in September. We tend to race to the next lamp post where they fill up their shoes with pretend petrol for a few seconds while I catch up and they can then race again to the next one. Love the idea of car cricket. I’ll be trying that one! Thanks for hosting #blogcrush x

  5. 13
    Lisa Pomerantz

    All fantastic ideas! My Mrs., she does the school run as my work is in the other direction. I am certain she is very grateful that we are on summer break! I will be sharing these ideas with her too! She goes by car, so we have to implement a few other ideas too! #BlogCrush <3

  6. 16

    What a great way to liven up any walk with little ones! Our threenager loves a singalong so that already happens, not that I’m allowed to join in. “Don’t sing it Daddy!” #BlogCrush

  7. 19
    Sam - Stressy Mama

    What a fab list of ideas. My daughter goes to nursery a couple of days a week and we struggle being ready to leave on time, and the journey takes longer these days because of the little games we play on the way. Playing the games does make the walk there a little more fun though. #TriumphantTales

  8. 20
    The Squirmy Popple

    Some great ideas! Our nursery run is…challenging. It involves a 20 minute train followed by a 15 minute walk – well, I walk. The toddler gets carried.

    I brings lots of books and snacks to entertain her on the train, which makes things easier. I’m kind of dreading the day when she decides that she wants to do the walk herself. It will be great for my back, but it will take ages to get there! #DreamTeam

  9. 23
    Meals and Makes

    Great ideas! My daughters are on a constant bug hunt so we have this one covered but I like the number game! Thanks. #SharingtheBlogLove

  10. 27
    Imperfect Mum

    Your school run sounds amazing! I’d only add go on the scooter! When mine were little a scooter or balance bike speeded up the trip. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

    • 28
      Lucy At Home

      We’ve not attempted scooters yet – my 2yo hasn’t mastered the steering yet so I end up having to run next to her so that I can steer it! Haha. Exhausting! But yes this will definitely be an option in the future I hope

  11. 29

    I always race Leo to pre school, we are always running late and if I didn’t racw him then we’d never get there. I spy is a good one too..I don’t know how you manage 1.5m up a hill every day!!xx #blogcrush

  12. 30
    Rachel - Mummahub

    Brilliant ideas. We do some of these on dog walks. I had three to battle the school run with (2 at school). They’re pretty good walkers so once were out of the house they’re fine. It’s the leaving the house bit we struggle with sometimes. Not sure how many times I have to yell about getting shoes on.

  13. 35
    Mrs Mummy Harris

    we’re not quite at the school run stage yet, but a car journey that he doesn’t want to take involves listening to Little Mix on repeat! I love the idea of avoiding the cracks, was a game I played when I was younger!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow

  14. 37
    Laura - dear bear and beany

    Thankfully we only live 5 minutes from school. But before we moved at Christmas we were further away and had to drive. Playing games was the only way to get through it! I love the sound of car cricket I’ve not heard that one before. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

+ Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.