Keep the kiddies from squabbles, tantrums, and the perennial favourite – boredom – on your next road trip with our top ten road games for kids.
These games are guaranteed to keep the whole car entertained until you reach your next destination.
Are we there yet?
1. I Spy: a classic game that is easily altered to suit younger or older kids by changing the kind of clue. Each player takes a turn picking an object they can see and providing a clue – “I spy with my little eye, something …” The player fills in the blank with a colour, the first letter of the “spied” object, or any description. For example, you might say “I spy something blue.” If it is a landmark you are thinking of, make sure that will be within view for awhile (like a mountain).
2. Twenty Questions: each player takes a turn choosing an object, plant or animal to ‘be’. They are then asked, “Are you Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral” – animal – including us humans; vegetable – plants, flowers, etc; or mineral – inanimate objects such as a diamond or a chair. The rest of the players then must guess what you are based on asking 20 yes or no questions. If they cannot guess, you go again!
3. I’m going on a picnic: This alphabet-based memory game is great for kids aged 5 and up. The game can be played with as few as two players, but it’s more fun when the whole family joins in. The first player says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” followed by something that begins with A, such as apples. The second player repeats what the first person said, but adds something that begins with B. So she might say “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples and bananas.” And so on with C, D, and the rest of the alphabet. If someone forgets an item, she is out. To be fair, feel free to be lenient and give hints to younger players. The last player to be able to recite all the items on the list wins.
4. Fortunately/Unfortunately: While you’re taking a road trip, your kids are a captive audience. Take the opportunity while you have their attention to challenge them to think positively by playing Fortunately-Unfortunately. In this game, one person will make an unfortunate statement, and then another player will counter the statement with a positive response. Fortunately-Unfortunately presents endless possibilities for creativity and positive thinking. For example, one player could make the statement, “Unfortunately, a lion is going to attack us.” A second player would counter with a more fortunate statement such as “Fortunately, I took lion taming lessons.” The more exaggerated and silly the statements are, the better!
5. One, Two, Three: Players look for multiples of items, beginning with one. For example, someone might say, “I see one road sign.” Then another person might say, “I see two birds.” Next might be, “I see three clouds,” and so on up to ten. Objects must be counted in the natural order of the numbers in this road trip game.
6. The Alphabet Game: Each child starts with the letter ‘A’ and must find this letter anywhere outside of the car, like on a building, a road sign, a commercial vehicle, etc. without using license plates. They must state where the letter is so that others in the vehicle can see it. Other participants cannot use the same letter for themselves. Move throughout the whole alphabet, and the first person to ‘Z’ is the ultimate alphabet game winner!
7. Road Trip Bingo: Before you start your trip, come up with a list of things you might see on the road. Put them into a bingo matrix and print out a copy for everyone in the car. Each time a player spots one of the bingo items, they must say Bingo and have it verified by another player. They then cross it off. The first person to get them all wins! Feel free to make the bingo items as difficult or as easy as you like to suit players. Clues can be things like a cow, a bright orange car, or even a duck!
8. Guess Who: This game works like celebrity heads. From a deck of possible choices, each player is given an identity that is revealed to all other players – but not to them. Players then go around the car asking yes/no questions to the rest of the players about who they are. If they get a “yes” response they can ask another question. If the answer is “no”, it is the next players turn to ask questions. The first perso0n to guess their character wins!
9. Team Storytelling: This is a great creative game for the whole family. One at a time, each player makes up one sentence of a story and says it out loud. The next player continues the same story and it goes on until “the End.” Make it more difficult by making a rule that each line must rhyme!
10. Name that Tune: In this road trip game, one person picks a song and sings the song one note at a time until someone guesses it.