6 Creative And Fun Road Trip Games For Kids That Will Keep Them Entertained For Hours!
We love road trips, and we constantly look out for new and unique road trip ideas.
Are you the same type too? And are you going on one with your kids soon?
Going on road trips with kids can be a logistical challenge, but equally challenging is how to keep them entertained for hours?
There are only so many times you can tell them to look at some view, or cows in the fields, and kids being kids, they are unlikely to be able to stay still for long.
If you are going on a road trip soon, check out these fun games shared with us by some family travel experts!
And before you go on a trip, be sure to check out this packing checklist as well as download a handy road trip food list here.
Let’s Zip Up and Road Trip!
What's covered in this post
Long road trips with children can be a real nightmare. It takes a lot of parental preparation and offspring collaboration to survive it and stay sane.
The ideal is to keep kids busy and happy.
When planning the trip, count in regular breaks for stretching legs, eating, and bathroom visits. In between the breaks, prepare a long list of activities that will be entertaining and fun for the little passengers.
Besides watching cartoons and movies, it’s a good idea to keep kids busy with creative games that only require some brainpower.
Our best and favourite road trip games are brain teasers and word puzzles. Someone makes up a puzzle such as this one: “It’s tall, thin and regular. What is it?”
The rest of the crew must guess and the one who finds the correct answer must continue and come up with a new puzzle.
Kids love these.
They usually make up crazy and fun puzzles.
Young children create cute puzzles like this one: “It’s red, round and green watermelon. What is it?” We all laugh and easily kill one hour of driving.
Another great and creative mental game is “name, city/country, animal and thing“.
Someone picks a random letter of the alphabet and then everybody must say one city starting with that letter, one name of a person, one animal, and one thing.
Let’s say we choose a letter P. Name would be ‘Peter’, city/country would be ‘Portugal’, an animal can be a ‘penguin’ and ‘pen’ for a thing.
Slavka from On2Continents.com
2. Number Plate Sentence
Embarking on a road trip brings about lots of excitement for the family, but we all know how kids can become bored very quickly and may not have the appreciation for the scenery around as you may have.
This boredom then turns to idle chit chat and conversations which you may not know how to entertain.
So here’s a great number plate game you can try.
If your kids are old enough then they can be the ones to point our a number plate and think about the letters, otherwise it is really just as much fun if you have to tell the kids the letters.
How does it work?
Fairly simply really, as you see a car pass by, the number plate will be a series of numbers of letters.
The aim of the game is to create an acceptable sentence with the words starting with the letters in the number plate, in the same order.
For example in the US you may have DHC 1234, so the kids will need to create a sentence using the letter DHC. maybe something like dogs hate cats.
In the UK number plates follow a pattern like MA12PRT, so a sentence could be My Aunt Played Rugby Today.
It is great for getting the kids to think creatively and have to bring their knowledge together to make a sentence that flows and works.
Manpreet from HelloManpreet
3. iSpy and Road Trip Bingo
We just spent two years travelling Australia in a Toyota Coaster bus with our two young sons who are just 4 and 6 years old.
When we started travelling our youngest was just about to turn 2 years old, so he was still very young and quite hard to entertain on long journeys!
He was still too young to have an iPad or tablet, and we were always very keen to find screen free entertainment ideas, so we managed to come up with some different games to keep them occupied.
One of the games that they have always loved playing is ‘I Spy’ – the traditional game where you say ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…..’ and use a letter.
As our boys still didn’t know their alphabet we substituted letters with colours – which they could both try and spot.
It’s such a simple game but one that everyone could play and have a turn at.
Another game we loved was ‘road trip bingo’.
We would give the boys things to find along the way – if we were organised enough we would stick pictures on to card for them to cross off, choosing things like an aeroplane, a red car, a truck, a kangaroo, a road sign etc, but if we hadn’t done that in advance we would just call things out, like the next person to spot a cow gets 5 points then we would add up the scores.
Bryony from Coasting Australia
4. The Category Game and Name That Tune
The Category Game
The great thing about this car-friendly game is that depending on the categories you choose, you can have it go on for a long or short amount of time, and you can tailor it to your kids interests and age levels.
Here’s how we play: Someone selects a category and then we take turns giving examples of things in the category.
For example, famous U.S. landmarks could include Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, the Washington Monument and the Empire State Building.
Set a time limit (ours is 20 seconds) and if someone can’t think of one, gives a wrong answer or repeats a previously mentioned answer, they’re out.
You keep going until there is one person left as the winner.
Categories like cartoon characters, zoo animals, fruits and vegetables are great for younger kids and can keep the game going for quite a long time, while more specific or finite categories like cities that start with a V, books by Beverly Cleary, and types of pasta can be played faster.
You can also add a challenge to the game in a Scattergories-type way by making everyone give an answer in alphabetical order. So, for the category of desserts, “apple pie”, “banana pudding”, “chocolate cake” might start the game.
Name that Tune
Gen Xers might remember this TV game show from their youth – you challenge your opponent to guessing a song in a number of notes.
Our version is not quite that strict, but it is still fun.
We simply take turns humming a song until someone yells it out. If that person is correct, they get a point.
If they are wrong, they have to sit out that round.
What’s great about this family-friendly car game is that hilarity often ensues when someone is humming and we can’t figure out the song and they just keep humming and humming.
And no musical talent is required – just a sense of fun and maybe a little bravery!
Lori from Maps Memories and Motherhood
5. Those Cows are My Cows
One of my favorite road trip games for kids (and adults) is called “Those cows are my cows.”
It’s perfect if you’re planning a trip across middle America or other agricultural parts of the world.
The rules are simple: your goal is to get as many cows as possible before the end of the road trip.
Every time you pass a cow or a herd of cows, the first person to yell “Those cows are my cows” gets to claim those cows.
If you see a cemetery, you can yell “That cemetery is my cemetery!” and choose to kill all of someone else’s cows. (Sad, but part of the game!)
You have to keep count of how many cows you have throughout the game, so it’s excellent for passing long stretches of time and requiring kids to count and remember their scores.
To take the game to the next level, there are two more rules you can add to the game: if you see horses, you can yell “Those horses are my horses.”
Horses don’t count toward your total count – but you need them for another reason!
If you see someone wearing a cowboy hat, you can yell “That cowboy is my cowboy,” and as long as you already have horses, you can steal someone else’s cows and add their number to your number to increase your score.
Valerie from Valisemag
6. Guess Who
‘Guess who’ is one of my favorite road trip games from my childhood.
It is basically a two-player character guessing game where each player will have a board with pictures of 24 characters.
One player must pick a card with images of one of the characters from the board, and the other player must ask yes or no questions till they narrow down the character.
The questions can be simple, like ‘Do your character wear glasses? Or does he have a hat?’.
The player can eliminate figures based on the response from the other player.
It is pretty easy, and an excellent game for kids as each character has distinct characteristics about them that children can grasp quickly.
Most characters have colorful props like hats and glasses, among other things, which makes them attractive and easy for them to identify.
The boards come in small travel packs, and it is a fun and engaging game to keep your little ones busy through a long drive.
To make things more interesting, the game also comes in special editions that have characters from the famous Disney, Marvel and Star Wars fandom.
The game is also available as an app and computer game formats now.
Athul from Our Backpack Tales
Logistics before travelling
Find cheap flights.
Air tickets are usually the bulk of your expenses. Set up an alert and snag cheap fares with Skyscanner.
Find the best accommodation.
Book a place ahead of time to get good rates. Booking.com has transparent fees and excellent rates.
Handy travel guide.
For the old school kid in you, get a travel guide book and get lost exploring the city.
Your mobile phone can do a pretty good job, but if you need an upgrade, we recommend the Sony A6000 (US) (International)
You don’t need us to teach you to be a responsible adult, do you? Get a quote here.
Planned for you activities.
Need a guide to show you and your group around? Lots of operators here to choose from here. You know who they are and how they are reviewed.
More resources to help you.
All other useful travel resources we use when we book our trips.
Which is your favourite road trip game?
Wow, so many fun games to play on the road! Even adults can have fun with them too!
So which of these games will you be playing with your kids? Or maybe all of them?
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