“Are we there yet?”
If your kids start asking this question five minutes after you’ve left the house, you might be inclined to hand over a tablet or smartphone to keep them entertained on a road trip. Resist the urge! There are plenty of ways to engage with your kids and keep their minds off the long drive.
Plus, going on a road trip is a great bonding experience for your whole family, so why not spend the time talking and interacting instead of scrolling on screens?
Not sure which games to play? We asked southeast Michigan parents what their favorite classic road trip games are — and here are their top picks.
Kids love to ask questions, so why not play a game that involves asking them? To play, one person thinks of a person, place or thing and, by taking turns, the other players must try to guess the answer by asking yes-or-no questions only. After their question is answered, they take a guess. A player wins if they can guess the correct answer within 20 questions.
Make your way through the ABCs with this classic car game. From billboards to restaurants to Amazon Prime trucks, each player attempts to find a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet, going in order from A to Z. You can play cooperatively and build off each other’s findings, or make it a competition to see who can get through the alphabet first — which might be more suitable for older children.
One player decides on a number to be “it.” For example, number 3 is “it” for this round. What does that mean? Start counting at number 1 and go around the car — one person shouts 1, then another 2, and when a person gets to a number with 3 in it, they must shout “buzz” instead of the No. 3. Then — and this is where it gets fun and even educational — continue counting until one person reaches a multiple of 3. For example, instead of saying 6, 9, 12, 15 and so forth, say “buzz.” Continue for as long as you can, then choose a new number to be “it.”
Play road sign, restaurant sign or store sign bingo on your next road trip. This could require a bit of planning, especially if you create bingo sheets for your family to use. However, you can also purchase bingo travel sets online. The first player to get five in a row, wins.
This is a variation of the alphabet game in which the players make their way through the alphabet following a specific theme, such as animals, famous people or places. For example, if your family chooses the category animals, the first player might say “alligator” and the second may say “baboon.”
I Am an Animal
To play this game, the clue person will describe an animal giving the other players three clues. For example, the clue person might say, “I am an animal. I have a long neck, spots, and a black tongue so it doesn’t get sunburn. What am I?” The answer, in this case, is giraffe.
“I spy with my little eye ….” How many times did you play this game as a child? Why not introduce it to your little ones on your next road trip? Players take turns selecting an object and giving clues about that object. So, one might say, “I spy with my little eye something green.” Players shout our answers and the first person to guess correctly gets the next turn to choose an object.
License Plate Game
Ohio! Wisconsin! California! “Collect” as many different state license plates as you can. Have mom or dad keep score if you’re competing or keep track if you’re working together as a family. Chances are you won’t find all 50 states on your next road trip, but it’s still fun to see which ones you’ll encounter during your ride.
Name the Disney Tune
Incorporate some music into your road trip games by playing “Name That Disney Tune.” Use Amazon Music, Pandora, Sirius XM Disney Channel or any other way you stream music to play a Disney song. Play the song and the first person to guess what movie the song is from, wins.
Riddles are a wonderful way to get children to think, so why not play this game on your next road trip? Here’s an example to pull out if you’re running low on ideas: “What has a tongue and no other body parts?” A shoe.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet — can you find a car in each color? Players must find a car of each color of the rainbow in that order. Not sure how you’ll do with indigo or violet but it’s worth trying!
Spot the American Flag
The name says it all. The first person to spot the American flag wins that round.
Get creative with your crew by coming up with your own story during your long drive. Each player adds a sentence to the story until it’s complete. Set a time limit (15 minutes, for example) or wrap it up after each person has a chance to say three sentences.
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