As any parent knows, road trips with children can be daunting to say the least. Stopping to use the bathroom, getting them back in the car, and surviving the almost constant chorus of ‘are we there yet?’ can begin to overwhelm the most experienced and patient parents. Luckily, there are ways to keep your kids happy and entertained on the even the longest trips and journeys. Playing games while riding in the car can not only serve as a nice distraction but can lead to some great family quality time while on the road as well. Below we’ll take a look at our five favorite car games for kids!
There are plenty of road trip games that are excellent for including the whole family in, and I, Spy is a classic when it comes to travel fun. The game is simple. Take turns ‘spying’ the object of your choosing. Offer clues to other players, such as ‘I spy something red’ until someone makes the correct guess about what it is you’re describing earning that player a point and the opportunity to spy something on their own. I, Spy can be played with a score system to determine a winner or without one for hours of fun. The only downside of playing on the road can be leaving your spied objects in the dust. Be sure to clarify that only things that cannot be driven past are eligible for spying.
The License Plate Game
The License Plate Game is another classic almost everyone has played on a family road trip or two. Again, the premise is simple. By observing license plates on different cars throughout your road trip see who can be the first person to find representations of all fifty states. The License Plate Game has been updated and modernized through the years and today there are many printable versions online. Some even offer maps for kids studying geography. If you’re looking to make an investment in your children’s on the road entertainment you can pick up some License Plate Bingo cards, a combination of the two classic games.
I’m Going on a Picnic
Another great option that is a perfect bonding experience for a family on the road, I’m Going on A Picnic is a simple, fun, and educational game for everyone. Starting with the first player taking the letter ‘A’ and telling what they are taking on the picnic. Other players follow suit with making their addition that begins with the letter that falls on their turn while in turn repeating all the other picnic supplies that have come before their letter. I’m Going on a Picnic is not only an excellent on the road distraction and family inclusive game but works great for enhancing memory, creativity, and cognitive skills.
Name That Tune
Name That Tune has become a staple of American gaming since long before the seminal 50’s TV show and can be a great way of sharing time with your kids during long travel times as well as teaching them about music and getting to know some of their favorite artists. The game begins by one player humming any song of their choosing and the rest of the players attempting to identify the song. From pop songs to gospel, theme songs to radio hits, any song can be chosen and a score is optional for longer play times.
Checkers or Chess
Though Checkers and Chess may seem like the opposite of travel games with their number of tiny pieces that have to stay on the board, many different game manufactures are now producing magnetic versions of the game perfect for on the road play. Both Checkers and Chess have a long, long history of play in America and can be used to teach children reasoning, adaptability, and strategy along with many other important lessons. Also a great game to engage more than one child in play, these games make the perfect ‘quiet driving’ tool for keeping kids quiet while you’re maneuvering your way through pesky traffic.
In conclusion, though these five are our favorite kid’s car games this is far from an ultimate listing and many other options exist for travel entertainment and fun. You could even make a game of making games with your children on the road. The possibilities are endless! In the end though, incorporating any or all of these games in your family drive time can cut down on boredom and save you from hearing those four words every parent dreads: “Are we there yet?”