There’s nothing that makes a car ride to the campsite go quicker than a good game that gets everyone involved. Here are eight road trip games that will entertain the whole family during the ride – some even the driver can join in. Instead of each passenger in their own world of screens and ear buds, these are games played together – with words, interaction, and laughter!
License Plate Game
This is a road trip classic. All you need is either a print out of a USA map, a list of all the state names (in alphabetical order helps), or “official” license plate bingo boards. Everyone working together to name all 50 states and write them down in alphabetical order can take up a good chunk of drive time. The object is to find as many different state license plates as you can. The one who can check off license plates from the most states wins.
For a game that’s about as old as the pyramids, 20 Questions still has a place in entertaining a car full of kids. All you have to do is think of an object that is at least something your kids have heard of such as a cup. The best question to start off the guessing is to ask, “Is it an animal, mineral or vegetable?” From there on, only questions that can be answered “yes” or “no” are fair game. The point is to guess the object before the group reaches 20 questions. If they can’t guess what the thing is by that point, the answerer wins. If they can guess by question 20, the questioners win!
The Alphabet Game
One of the most classic road trip games that doesn’t take any “equipment” is the alphabet game. Using your final destination for the car ride, the first player says, “I’m going to (fill in the destination), and I’m taking an (something that starts with “a” like aardvark.) The next player says, “I’m going to “destination” and I’m taking an aardvark and a (something that starts with “b” like “bicycle”). Each player continues by repeating the list and adding an object that starts with the next letter until one of them leaves something out of the list or can’t remember. Then they are “out” until the next game. The player who can go the longest with all the correct items in the list is the winner of that round.
Roll of Tape
This is simple. Kids love tape. They love to stick it to everything, including themselves. So, what better way to entertain preschool children than by handing them a roll of masking tape and letting them go bonkers? If you’re lucky they might even enjoy taping their lips shut for a few minutes. However, make sure it’s inexpensive masking tape that doesn’t stick very well. No duct tape!
This lovely game allows your family to look on the bright side of everything. All you need is your brain and some vocal chords. Someone starts by stating a scenario such as, “Unfortunately, a giant alligator is coming our way.” And the other person says, “Fortunately, it doesn’t eat people who can touch their tongue to their nose like me.” Or “Fortunately, I brought my Alligator repellant.” There are no losers in this game because the object is to enjoy coming up with the craziest situations and laughing a whole lot.
Lines and Dots
Remember playing this in middle school? Now you can teach this wonderful game to your kids. You need a piece of paper and a writing device. First make a grid of dots. Then take turns drawing a horizontal or vertical line connecting two dots for their turn, no diagonal lines. If someone makes a square with their turn they write their initial in the middle and take another turn. The one with the most squares when all the dots are turned into squares wins.
Aluminum Foil Art
Here’s another easy one for the kids. Hand a good-sized sheet of aluminum foil to each kid and let them go. Younger kids might need suggestions on making something. Good things to make include necklaces, crowns, masks, flowers, or animals. The more intricate you can get them to be, the longer the game will last! The sky is the limit in creativity, because seriously, who can make sky with aluminum foil. That would just be silly.
These fill-in-the-blank books have been around since 1958. One person holds the book with the story and has the writing utensil. The story has a bunch of blanks that need to be filled. The ones not holding the story will be asked in turn to provide random words to fill in the blanks. (It’s a stealth-teaching tool because you get to teach the kids the difference between nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.) The result is a nonsensical story that will make the whole car laugh when it’s read aloud. It never gets old and is one of our favorite road trip games for all ages.