Road trips can be a lot of fun, but can also be very long if you travel with children. Children have high energy levels and need to be entertained while sitting still in the back seat. If they are not being over-talkative, they are fighting with their siblings or yelling for attention. Try these vacation car games if you travel with children to keep them focused enough that everyone can enjoy the road trip.
Memories And Vocabulary
To sharpen your child’s memories and vocabulary, play “I went camping and brought…” The first person that will start the game will say, “I went camping and brought…” and then they fill in the blank with a noun that starts with an A, like apples. The next one continues by saying, “I went camping and brought an apple and…” and they fill in the blank with a noun that starts with a B, like a balloon. The game is continued until you reach Z. The object of the game is to remember each item brought on the camping trip in order. To keep the spirit light and ensure the game is fun and not just competitive, you can always help your children with clues.
The License Plate Game
The license plate game is one of the most traditional road trip games. The object of the game is to find all the letters of the alphabet on license plates of other cars on the road. You may take turns to find every other letter or you can race to see who finishes the alphabet first. If there are not many cars on the road, consider expanding the search area to include billboards and other signs.
Common word searches will always keep a child entertained in the car. If you do not want to purchase books, you can always print some off the internet for a whole lot cheaper. This vacation car game not only keeps your child occupied, but it helps them exercise their brain, which is, of course, a plus.
Car bingo is becoming more and more popular. This road trip game involves a bingo board and playing chips. The squares of the board are decorated with items you would see on the road. Examples are, a semi-truck, a cow, a stop sign, a green mini-van, and an out-of-state license plate. Your children will compete to get bingo first. These games are becoming more available at stores, but you can also make your versions at home before you leave. If you make this vacation car game, consider a magnetic board to prevent the pieces from falling off your kid’s lap.
Geography The Fun Way
You reteach geography lessons the kids have already learned at school by playing ‘Geography the fun way.’ Get one kid to start the game by naming any place in the world, England for example. The next child to play will have to think of a place that starts with the last letter of the previous word, so after England, one would need to think of a place such as Denmark. Keep playing until everyone is stumped and can’t take the game any further. This game can change in topic, you could always ask for names of people, animals, etc.
Start with the one kid naming a grocery item. The next child must repeat the first item and then add one. The person after that adds their grocery item but must repeat all items from the top of the list. Continue until one person messes up. If you mess up, you’re out. The game continues until there’s only one player left. This is great memory training for kids.
Card games may seem old hat but never underestimate their ability to keep kids occupied. Play Fish, Old Maid, or Rummy. Check out your local toy store for card games suitable for kids.
If you happen to be driving along rural countryside, you have a great opportunity to play Animal Count. Kids get bored when there’s not much to see, so have them eagerly playing a different type of I spy. Cats on porches, birds in trees, cows in paddocks, ducks in ponds, and so forth. Any type of animal is acceptable. If there are not many animals, change the game to I see a post box or I see a red car.
Play On Words
Give the kids a pencil and paper and have them write down words to describe what they can see from the car. Candy stores, post offices, billboards, restaurants, museums, parks, bumper stickers, and so on. After five minutes of observation have each child write a story incorporating these words. When they are all finished have the child sing the story instead of reading it to you. This will be such fun.
Kids will be eager to play scavenger hunts. Make a list of items for each child to find as you travel along the road. A windmill, brown cow, a horse, bridge, vegetable garden, wheelbarrow, etc.
Play The Banana Car Game
Ask the kids to single out every yellow car they see. If a big yellow bus passes give the first child to yell out “banana” an extra point. You could always change this to the tomato game and have them look for red cars.
Are We There Yet?
Kids easily get annoyed with being tied down by their seatbelt in the back seat, so they continuously ask, “Are we there yet?” Turn this vexing question into a fun game. As you are traveling, pick out landmarks or cities along your route. Everyone guesses what time you will reach that landmark or city and the closest guess is the winner.
Traveling with kids on a road trip can be quite difficult. Use these vacation car games to focus their energy and to keep them entertained. They will not only behave while they have fun, but they will also exercise their brains. It is a win-win situation.
With just a little creativity, a lot of imagination, and a positive attitude, your road trip with kids can go off without a hitch.