You’re packing up the car and you know the drive ahead is going to be a long one. While most people may groan about a lengthy amount of time spent in the car, you don’t have to! Road trip games can be a huge help when the distance for travel is considerable. It may be easier (at first) to throw an electronic device like a tablet or phone towards your child but spending quality time with them is extremely good for them and for the family as a whole.
Long before you could watch movies in the car or have video games at your fingertips we relied heavily on road trip games. For many of us, these simple games played with our family on long drives are some of our fondest memories. That’s because it promotes a bond between parent and child that outlasts this day, or this week, or even this year. It lasts a lifetime. Aside from strengthing family ties, you’ll also be encouraging academic development and imperative social skills. Any game that gives you the opportunity to think of a word with a certain letter, seek out a visual number, or even the simple act of waiting for your turn? These are all great examples of chances to flex those mind muscles.
Can’t remember your favorite road trip games? No problem! Here are a few to get you started towards a fun, family drive! Let the road trip games begin!
1Find the Letter, Color, or Number:
Simple enough, right? Try to go in alphabetical order and let them shout out the word they see the letter in! Locate the colors in a rainbow on city signs, billboards, or license plates. You can even have a contest to see who can count or find the highest number throughout the drive! Not only does this keep them looking out the window instead of at a screen but it also helps with observation skills, reading, and counting.
2Name That Tune:
Everyone has a favorite playlist while they’re driving. Mix it up and hit that shuffle button and see who can guess the song first! Keep score, or don’t! Either way, make sure to have an enthusiastic sing-a-long to each song together! Road trip games don’t necessarily need to have a winner, you just need to have fun!
3Would You Rather:
You can prepare ahead of time and look online for specific questions, grab a card set or just make up your own! Would you rather kiss a frog or live in a tower? Would you rather eat booger ice cream or a donut filled with slime? The sillier the better! Let their imaginations run wild coming up with funny to ask the rest of group.
4License Plate Search:
This one is a crowd-pleaser! Simply look at the license plates of cars around you and if it’s NOT a plate from the state you’re currently in, touch the top of the ceiling and shout it out! If you cross state lines and someone calls out the state you’re in, you get to make them do something silly! Have them sing a nursery rhyme opera style or do their best Kermit the Frog impression. This also gives you a great chance to explain what or why certain things are on different license plates. Do you know why Florida has oranges on their license plate? Or why Utah has the mountains or the red arch? It’s the perfect segway into U.S. trivia and helps them remember the states easier than they normally would!
5Car Color Count:
Think you know what color most cars are? Think again! Have your kids draw a car in every color they can think of and keep a tally of what car colors they see on the road. Once you stop for gas or at a rest stop, see what color is the winner! Want to take it up a notch? Let the kids pick a treat from the convenience store, but only if it’s the winning color! Road trip games that come with treats? The kids will eat it up!
6Miles of Smiles:
Don’t be shy! This game is goofiness at it’s finest. As you pass a car on the road everyone puts on their cheesiest grins and waves enthusiastically at the passengers in the car next to them! Hold it for as long as you can, even when they look at you in confusion. It may be silly but it will ensure your car erupts in laughter.
Ok music lovers! This one’s for you! The first person starts by singing a line from a song, the next person has to sing a new line from a different song, and on and on. While it seems an easy feat it gets increasingly more difficult the more you hear other tunes. Remember how you couldn’t get that one song out of your head for a week? Now try hearing ten songs in succession while trying to come up with one someone hasn’t already sung! As far as road trip games go, this one is tough but hilarious!
Read More: Top Gifts for People Who Travel
It’s an oldie but a goodie! Just goes to show that road trip games don’t have to be complicated to be fun! Pick a person, an item or a place and let people ask questions about it. They need to choose their questions wisely though because they only get 21!
Story Mash-Up is one of those road trip games that can get silly in a hurry–and that’s what makes it fun! Start off with an easy intro like: “Once upon a time, there lived a….,” and then pass the turn to someone else. Each person adds to the story for as long as possible before closing it off with, “and they lived happily ever after.” If you can get through this version of road trip games without laughing you might be missing a funny bone!
10I’m going on vacation and I’m packing:
This memory game gets more challenging the longer you play it! It begins with, “I’m going on vacation and I’m packing…a swimsuit.” The next person up has to start the same way and say what the person before them is packing before adding their own. As the list gets longer, the belongings tend to get sillier and before long you’ve got quite a suitcase packed up for vacation!
11Hot Word + Cold Word:
One of our favorite road trip games is Hot Word & Cold Word. Someone will choose a “hot word,” and everyone has to try to add it to the conversation as many times as they can. Choosing a ridiculous word such as, “Lollygag,” or, “Indubitably,” makes every situation much more interesting. Additionally, a “cold word,” can be chosen and this word is off-limits. If you catch someone saying the “cold word,” you can make them do something goofy!
One minute may not seem very long but it can start to with this game! The person next to you will give you a topic and your job is to talk about it for one complete minute. You won’t believe the straws you’ll grasp to talk about mundane things like, paper bags, when you have to speak about it for a full 60 seconds.
13Ice Cream Sundae:
Now that you’re experienced with car color why not make a sundae? First find a white car to be your ice cream cone, next comes a brown car for your scoop of chocolate ice cream, sprinkles on top can be any bright color like green or yellow, and finally a red car for cherry on top!
14I have 5 Cows!:
As silly as it sounds, this road trip game is the cream of the crop. Whenever you come across cows, quickly count them and shout out, “I have X-amount cow!” If you pass a cemetery you have to subtract 10 cows. If you see a horse you can add one half of a cow. Whoever has the most cows when the car stops is the Cow King or Queen! Counting skills and bragging rights? Watch the competitiveness emerge!
15The Name Game:
With over 750 million names in the world, this game should be a breeze but beware! It can get tricky! Start with the letter A and go through the alphabet. Each letter is a turn and a name starting with that letter must be said. Watch out for X’s and Z’s!
We know it can be tough. Listening to your children watch “Toy Story,” for the 11th time in a row can cause anyone to hit their limit. Luckily, you’re now well-armed with simple and fun road trip games to keep everyone entertained! The sky’s the limit with traveling when you have these games in your arsenal!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Eating Healthy on Long Road Trips.
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