A great family road trip can be a dream, but it can also be a recipe for disaster. If you’re not prepared to keep kids entertained, the car ride itself could be enough to drive everyone crazy! Luckily, there are lots of ways to make the whole experience more fun for everyone. Here are 10 games that your kids will love playing during long trips—and we’ve got tips on how to play them anywhere and everywhere.
I Spy is a great game to play in the car. It’s a game of observation, memory, creativity, fun, teamwork and strategy. As you travel down the road you can spot things that will help your fellow players guess what you are thinking about. You may find it helpful to include some things that are easy to see from your location in relation to other objects on the roadway like “I spy something blue” or “I spy something red”.
This game is a classic and it’s one that most kids love. When they’re bigger, a group of kids can play tag or chase in the yard. When they’re smaller, tag or chase is usually played indoors, with one child “it” trying to tag another child before he or she tags someone else first.
Tag is also part of hide and seek; when you are “it,” you try to find the other players who are hiding from you. It’s great for building coordination skills because it needs fast reflexes to be able to catch another player when he/she runs away from you!
License Plate Bingo
License Plate Bingo is a fun and simple game for kids to play, especially in the car. You can create your own license plate cards by printing off images from Google Images or other websites, or you can buy official license plate bingo cards online.
To play the game, each player gets a card with all fifty states on it (or whatever country you’re traveling through—some countries have more than one province or state). The goal of this game is for each player to find an image of each state and mark it off their card as they see it. The first person to get all fifty states won! Or if you have multiple players playing at once, whoever has collected most images gets awarded first place!
GPS Search Game
- How to Play:
- Use your GPS as a timer, and set it for something like 30 minutes. Everyone gets one minute at a time to say something that is true about the place you’re passing through. Here are some ideas for things to say:
- City name
- State name
- Purpose of roadside attraction (e.g., Dinosaur Park, Space Shuttle) or random information about the area (e.g., It’s the home of John Smith, who invented peanut butter in 1892) -The closest city nearby with a famous landmark (e.g., Chicago is 2 miles away from here) -A fact about something else you see in front of you (e.g., That museum has an exhibit on how dinosaurs lived millions of years ago)
Road Trip Trivia
- You should know the answers to these questions.
- Make it a competition.
- Keep it fun and light.
- Have a good mix of questions that are easy, hard and in between, so everyone can win at least some of them. If you make it too easy or too hard for anyone, no one will want to play anymore and then you will be stuck with nothing else to do on your road trip!
In the countdown game, you will have to count down from 99 to 1. Once you reached 1, ask your child if they want another round of the game or not. It’s that simple!
The countdown game can get a bit boring after a while and you may be looking for something else to do with your kids in the car. Here are some other ideas:
- You could make up a rhyme or chant together and see who can remember it longer than anyone else
- You could play “I Spy” where one person chooses an object and then everyone has to guess what it is by asking “yes” or “no” questions until someone guesses correctly
- You could sing songs together (even if it sounds terrible) because singing always makes people happy
Paper football is a fun game that can be played anywhere, even in the car during long road trips!
Step 1: Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half, then halfway again. Fold a corner down to form a triangle shape.
Step 2: Now open up the paper and fold it around into an accordion shape.
Step 3: Fold one side of the accordion over to form another triangle shape on the other side of your first folded triangle, then repeat with all 5 sides so that each side has two triangles showing when you look at them from above or below—like this (except not as pretty):
/ \ / \ / \ //\ //\\//
Step 4: Cut along each fold line so that all 6 sides are now separated by valley folds between each pair of triangles.
Step 5: Cut out each valley fold so they become creases/lines instead; this will make folding easier later on! You should end up with 12 strips total now instead of 6—they should look like diamond-shaped pieces with rounded corners when viewed from above or below
20 Questions is probably one of the most played games by children and adults. It’s easy to play, fun, and has a lot of variations. All you need is a group of people who know each other well enough that they can guess each other’s answers, which makes it great for road trips! You can even pair up with another family if you’re traveling together.
The Name Game
The Name Game
This is a classic game that I have played with my own kids and with children in the car. The object of the game is to get each person to say their own name, then the name of another player, and so on until everyone has said someone else’s name. It sounds simple but it can be very challenging!
I like playing this game because it helps teach children how to listen carefully and pay attention as well as encourages them to interact with each other in a fun way. If you are traveling in a car or van, take turns asking each other questions about where you’re going or what your favorite toys are etc so that you don’t get bored during long journeys!
The Quiet Game
The Quiet Game is one of the best games for traveling kids that I have ever played. It’s simple, easy to play and can be enjoyed by all ages. The rules are simple:
- When someone makes a sound, they lose a point
- If you lose all your points, then you’re out of the game
The first time we played this in our car was at night on our way back from visiting family. Our kids (ages 3 & 5) were getting restless so we decided to pull over and play this game together as a family. After about five minutes of playing it came down to just my husband and me; the kids had fallen asleep! This has happened several times since then too; but now instead of being annoyed by their interruptions during long car rides, we simply pull over and play The Quiet Game together as a family!
Always be prepared when you’re on a trip with kids who get car sick.
If you know you’re going to be traveling with a car sick kid, be sure to bring plenty of snacks. You can also make a special trip to your local dollar store before the trip and buy some toys that can be easily cleaned up or thrown out if they land in the car. If your child has trouble falling asleep in the car, pack an extra pillow and sleeping bag for them so they’ll feel more comfortable on their bed at home.
We hope this blog has given you some ideas for keeping your kids busy during long trips. While it can be hard to keep them occupied, we believe that these ten games are a great way to keep them entertained.