Anyone who has driven long distances with kids in the car knows that it can be a special brand of torture. After all, kids are strapped into their seats with nothing to do and no place to go. Complaining and whining is sure to result and before long, everyone is miserable.
Before you set off for your next trip, prepare yourself with some games to occupy the kids. You’ll be sure to enjoy the ride!
5 Road Trip Games for Kids
For All Ages
1. Play Favorites
If it’s a long, multi-day trip, give each family member the task of deciding what their favorites were for each day you travel. For example, what was your favorite moment? Landmark? Restaurant?
If it’s a shorter drive, you can change the game to general favorites, such as favorite ice cream flavors, best movie of all time, etc. You may be surprised at all the cool things you learn about each other.
2. I Spy…
I spy with my little eye… something that’s round and blue. This classic car ride game can actually keep kids of all ages entertained for quite a bit. Let everyone take turns, and be creative.
For Kids Old Enough to Read and Write
3. Learn a Little (Secretly)
This one is great if you are driving long distances and have kids that are old enough to write.
Give each child a map of the area in which you’ll be driving. Everyone gets a marker to note your route as you go, plus a blank notebook in which they can take notes, draw pictures, and write down what they see.
You can also find guidebooks about many areas across the United States, so stock up on ones applicable to your travels. If you have another adult in the car, he or she can read aloud, or the kids can take turns reading sections about the area you’re passing through. See who can spot the landmark or item mentioned in the guidebook first!
4. The Name (or Noun) Game
Everyone can join in for this memory game! Pay close attention and test your own memory.
To start, one person calls out the first letter of the alphabet and assigns a noun to it (person, thing, place or idea). For example, “A is for “Alligator”. The next person must repeat what the previous person said, “A is for Alligator” and then start with the next letter of the alphabet, “and B is for Butter”.
The following person must say what the previous persons said and then continue with the next letter and so on. When you get to the last letter of the alphabet, “Z”, that person will have the big challenge of reciting all the previous letters and nouns. It’s fun, it tests everyone’s memory, and before you know it, you’ll be at your destination.
For the Teens
It’s an obvious one, but can definitely help to reinvigorate as the trip goes on, and people start to get grumpy.
If you don’t have a Spotify account, make sure to have a phone or mp3 player preloaded with with everyone’s favorite songs. It may even be fun to have each person burn a CD of their favorites before the drive.
See who can sing each song the best, loudest, funniest, whatever your family’s musical talent lends itself to. Your teenagers may complain at first, but they might just have to acknowledge that Eric Clapton or Inxs is cool after all. And you may find that a new appreciation for some of the popular teen music out there.
Long road trips can be difficult, no doubt about it. But if you prepare ahead of time with some fun games, you all might enjoy the whole trip more than you think.