We all have memories of long road trips as children, having to put up with our parents’ music and staring out the window for hours waiting for the next bathroom stop. Fortunately there have been improvements since those days when all we had were a few sheets of paper, notebooks and the trusty Walkman. However, nothing beats preparation.
Keeping the kids (and adults) entertained remains one of the keys to a successful trip. If you have a list of games you can play, especially if you’re planning a vacation that includes long road trips, you’ll be one step ahead when the inevitable whining and “are we there yet?” begin. Below is a list of travel games and activities that are easy to explain, as short or as long as you like, and are sure to become talking points for years to come.
1. I spy
There’s no such thing as a long road trip without a game of I Spy, even if it only lasts a minute. This game can go on and on until a parent has enough to guess an abstract object that happened ten minutes ago. It will keep the kids entertained for a good amount of time if it’s clever. For those who were deprived of this great travel game, just say: “I see with my little eye, something that begins with “(Letter of the alphabet)” and your partner will have to look around and guess the object. You can make rules as you go, such as just outside the car, or not guessing the same object twice.
2. Who am I?
It’s pretty simple. He thinks of someone famous and can only answer yes or no to the questions everyone else in the car is asking him (One at a time). To vary it up a bit, you can just move to cartoon characters, movie stars, or someone who isn’t even famous at all. It only helps if everyone knows who it is. Whoever guesses the correct answer gets the next one. You can also guess animals or things, and change the question to ‘what am I?’
3. Treasure hunt
Have the children prepare these cards before the trip begins. This will add to the fun of playing. Draw or simply write the elements of the name, such as a yellow car, stop sign, gas station, etc., and then hand out five cards each during the ride. As soon as the element is detected, you move on to the next one. The first to finish their five cards wins. You can vary this game so that you only spot the types or colors of the cars, or more or fewer cards per game.
This is always a fun game to play with pencil and paper the only requirements. Someone calls out a street name (preferably more than four letters) and everyone has two minutes to write as many words as they can using the letters of that street name. After time is up, everyone adds up their scores to find the winner. To score, you get two points for each word but only one point if the word was used by someone else. It’s so much fun that you’ll want to keep playing every time you see a long street name.
5. Alphabet game.
This is a lot of fun, especially if you’re going through multiple cities and activities, not the long, lonely stretches. Everyone must find words that start with letters of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. The words can be on street or store signs, and whoever sees it first must claim it to let others know it was taken. First to reach Z wins.
This game that must be prepared before you go, but it is very easy to play. Simply draw grids for each person (other than the driver) with objects in the grids that you would normally see on a long drive, ie truck, cow, stop sign, etc. Use stickers to cover the square when the object has been discovered. It won’t be long before someone can yell bingo.
A designated person would begin by saying an animal of their choice, i.e. dog. Then the next one should say an animal starting with the last letter of that animal, i.e. goat. The next one should start with the letter T. Continue until someone can’t think of an animal and they are out. There are a number of variations of this game. You can start the same way, but you have to repeat the animals that have already been called, i.e. dog, goat, tiger, etc. Whoever forgets an animal is out of the game.
8. Game Bags
Every child loves to have a special bag with surprises. This is a great idea if you have time before the trip starts. Just fill it with a new pack of pencils, a small coloring book, a chocolate bar or lollipop, small games, torches, a piece of paper, just use your imagination and choose your time care.
disapprovingly when you hand it in, as it will be received well, especially if they are bored and start complaining
This is a lot of fun for the imagination. Each license plate you drive behind has three letters. Each passenger has to think of a different meaning of the three letters. There are so many combinations that you can go on for a while until someone gets tired of thinking. This is one of those travel games that starts and stops when you least expect it. It’s fun trying to beat each other to think of the meanings as some of them can be tricky, especially the V’s and Q’s.
This is an old favorite that we can’t forget. Just make a series of lines for each letter of a word or words of your choice. Then a designated passenger has to guess the letter that corresponds to his word. If they are wrong, you start drawing the executioner. This drawing consists of a straight vertical line, followed by a line to the right, then a hangman’s noose and a stickman figure. The goal is to guess the word before the last stretch is drawn.
11. Dictionary Game
Another pun, but it’s the perfect time when there are no other distractions except the passing scenery. Just pick an unusual word from the dictionary, and everyone has to write their own definition. All definitions are read, and everyone must guess which one is correct. The results are hilarious as you guess the wrong meanings and finally read the actual definition. Assign a point to whoever guesses its meaning.
Always bring a pack of cards when you travel. Not only is it a well-loved card game, but it is also easily played with most fellow travelers, there are adaptations to make it more exciting. Instead of Snap, you can say a different word… or you can say Snap, then a new word each time to help test your memory. Inevitably, you will remember another card game and time will fly by before you know it. It’s a good idea to bring a travel table for games like this.
Everybody knows how to play scrabble. Look out for a magnetic travel version of scrabble, which will be a worthwhile investment in family fun. This will give you at least an hour of enjoyment during your trip. It is not recommended to bring a non-magnetized game, as the pieces will inevitably be lost. Another game that you can play with Scrabble is to make up as many words as you can with a designated time limit. It’s faster and more fun.
14. Rock, Paper, Scissors
This needs to be included as it is played all over the world. Do we need an explanation? Just say “rock paper scissors” and then your hands will seal your fate. Scissors have two extended fingers and three closed ones. The paper is extended by hand, and the stone is hand in fist. If both players have the same, you start over. Scissors and rock mean win rock as scissors are blunt. Paper and stone win as paper covers rock. You can go on and on. It’s a lot of fun, especially when you get faster.
15. Mobile phone games
It’s the century we live in now, every second person has a mobile phone, and they all have games on them. So if your mobile is working, why not let someone have some contests on the game panel? These are addictive so you may need a time limit depending on how many phones are owned.
How well do you know each other? Depending on the age range of each person in the vehicle, they each take turns asking someone a question about themselves. Then, after about ten questions have been asked, you have to repeat as many answers as you can remember. He will learn a lot about the other, especially with questions like, “where were you born?” and ‘where did you go to school?’ Find out who in the car has been listening, as someone will inevitably remember all the questions that were asked.
17. Tongue twister
Try as many tongue twisters as you can, and create your own version. This is great fun for the whole family. You can even buy board games with tongue twisters already printed on cards. Only bring the cards with you when you’ve run out of other ways to kill time.
This is a great way to make the most of the passing scenery. You may discover a budding artist or two while appreciating the artwork of others. Allot five or ten minutes to sketch the first thing you see out the window. It could be a simple sketch of a tree or a bridge. When time is up, everyone must show their drawings. Another game is one person starting their drawing, and others have to be the first to guess what it is. Children will love the opportunity to be creative, especially if you buy them a small sketchbook. This is ideal for any age group.
This list would not be complete without singing. Use the radio/cd player as a backup while you try to remember your favorite songs and their lyrics. Another great idea is to browse your local radio stations until you find a song you like. Each person has to choose a song that the rest of the group has to listen to. make up your own words
ras for the melodies. You will find after this you will hum the rest of the trip.
20. Memory game
Find a number of small items around the car or next stop, i.e. tape, coin, phone, etc. and place them on a tray or travel bench so everyone (except the driver) can memorize them. Then cover them with a towel or cloth. Then everyone has to write down as many items as they can remember. The winner is the person who has remembered the most items.
21. Travel Journal
Although it’s not a game, it’s an essential if your child can write, and also for anyone who likes to record special holiday moments. Encourage them to keep whatever they want, including admission passes or flowers. At the end of the trip, photos and images collected along the way are included, and you’ll have lasting handwritten travel memories.
This should be more than enough to help you keep crying and smiling. And, if you have an accident, you can count on us at any time!