Counting the minutes till you hear the first dreaded, “Mooommm, are we there yet?”. In other words, it’s the beginning of the end of your kids’ attention spans on a long road trip. I was that kid, and I can say from experience that this moment comes a lot sooner than you think it will! How you respond to this question is key- it’s a pivotal point in the drive. The real question is not “are we there yet” but “I know we’re not there yet but I’m bored”. These 10 kid road trip games will soothe their boredom and your want for a peaceful drive.
“I spy with my little eye…” Yes you probably guessed it, I-spy- this may be the greatest game invented. It only requires your imagination which leaves you with a lot more space in the car for necessities!
2. License Plate Bingo
A road trip spin on bingo- license plate bingo! All you need to do is print out bingo cards with different state license plates and something to mark them with. If you want to get really fancy though, you could laminate them and bring dry erase markers to make them re-usable! Maybe bring little prizes to keep the kids’ attention for a little longer.
3. Name Game
This game is great because, once again, it requires only your brain and some creativity! The name game starts with a category like cartoons or celebrities and then someone starting it off with a name, say Brittney Spears. The next person has to name a celebrity with a name starting with S (the first letter of the last celebrity’s last name). This one has the potential to go on for a really long time, so keep it going!
4. My Cow
Ever heard of My Cow? Me either but apparently it’s a hit with kids (and super sophisticated adults)! The rules are when you see a farm animal or a herd of farm animals, whoever says “My cow” first gets those animals in their personal herd. You keep track of how many herds you get and then when you pass a graveyard the first person to say, “All your cows are dead” wins! Of course, if your kids want to add extra rules- go for it! The more the merrier.
5. 20 Questions
Of course the classic, 20 questions. Always a good go-to when you’re in need of fun game that lasts a while. To add a twist to the game, you could make a rule where one word can’t be said and if someone says that word their question is null…just to mix it up!
6. Books On Tape
Not technically a game but just as effective! Before you leave home take some requests for books on tape. Listening to stories is always a good option when it comes to kids…especially because it often leads to sleeping and on a long car ride that can be a God send.
7. Puppet Show
This one requires some supplies but it would consume most of the road trip, which is fabulous! Step 1: Bring puppet materials. Step 2: Let your kids go to town on fancy puppets. Step 3: Tell them to create a puppet show with their new puppets. Step 4: Enjoy the show!
Boticelli is a bit complicated but kids catch on quick! One person chooses to be someone else (not fictional) and then other people try and stump that person. For instance, one person might ask, “Were you the former Mayor of Cincinnati?” and the first person has to answer, “No, I’m not Jerry Springer”. But if they don’t know a former Mayor of Cincinnati then the person who asked gets a free yes or no question about the person who is pretending to be someone else. Perfect for SUPER long car rides.
9. The Alphabet Game
A fun colaborative game is the alphabet game. Start at the end or the beginning which ever suits your fancy and then as you drive everyone has to look for a sign that starts with A and then B and so on!
10. Map Game
Though, the best game by far to stop the “are we there yets” from coming is the map game. What you do: Go through your route and print out different signs that you’d be passing, for instance town names and such. Then mix then up and give the same number to each kid. Also give them a larger map with the starting and ending point. Then when they see the sign whoever has it will shout out and they can plot it out on the map. That way they know exactly how far there is to go but are also distracted by finding the signs!