Road Trip Games And Activities For The Family
With Spring break and summer right around the corner, making plans for traveling with family is on many parents to-do list. There are usually several extremes that float through a parents mind when making travel plans with kids. An extreme anxiety of excruciatingly long road trips with siblings bickering back and forth, baby screaming for the binky that fell between then seat, and an oblivious teenager. All while you are swinging your arm frantically to the back seat to shut everyone up, grab the binky and a moment of sanity. Or you could have the complete opposite and have one very bored child that you are dreading how you are going to keep occupied for a whole 10 hrs. Maybe, neither of those scenarios were quite the picture you were envisioning. Okay, how about a trip like you see in the movies where everyone is singing kumbaya as they drive through the picturesque mountains while the sun dips slowly behind the hills? Which reality do you think plays through most parents minds when thinking about 10 hours in a car, train, or airplane with a teenager, baby, toddler, or all of them together? If you are about to travel with family, like most parents you are probably searching for new car activities for kids to prevent, well, an “Are We There Yet” scene from ensuing.
Over the years we have come up with a few tried and true tips that we thought you may like. We also asked parents what their favorite road trip ideas were and they shared some pretty awesome ones with us that we wanted to share with you as well! Are you ready for some family fun and adventure this summer?! Well, let’s start planning fun activities and adventure that the family will remember for years!
Our Top 10 Car Games and Activities For Road Trips With Kids
Every trip needs a little intrigue and excitement to get through those really long hauls when video games or movies just aren’t cutting it anymore. The “Mystery Box” is just the right tool to help break up the monotony of the trip. This is super easy to put together, and fun for the kids! You can buy a standard shipping box or any box with a lid that is large enough to hold your treasures. You can decorate or wrap the box into something themed for your trip as a surprise, or give the kids something to do to keep them occupied while you pack. Be sure there is a top that you can open and close easily. Buy several different items to pre-wrap and place into your mystery box. These don’t need to be expensive, or extravagant. The whole idea is to make it a surprise, and something unique to your trip. The kids will be happy to open anything, even if it comes from the Dollar Tree!
2. Map Your Trip Together
It may be the geek in some of us, but it was super fun to use a physical map, (not on a device) to try and map out the time it takes to get from one mile marker to another, or one city to the next. Have your kids pretend to be the navigator and let them map out your trip. Show them how to calculate the distance from one place to the next and how to determine the length of time it will take to get there based on your speed. Give them a little notebook that they can write their times on to see if they are correct. If you have more than one child, this can be one way to have them work as a team, or challenge one another to a navigation dual! See who has the most accurate results when you arrive at the first city or destination. (Tip: One of your mystery gift items can be a journal and pen to keep track of the destination times and miles. Have your kids write down or color places and things that they liked about each stop.If you don’t already have an atlas, this can be another mystery box gift to be attached to the journal and pen.)
3. Stop At Visitor Centers For Each State
Visitor Centers are a plethora of ideas and things to do with the family. Kids love to look at the brochures of things to do in each state. Some Visitor Centers have information about animals, reptiles, and birds that are local to the area and even have displays. There are maps and references to parks and local attractions. Let your kids take some pictures of things they find interesting. Many Visitor Centers have statues or art that they display on the grounds that make for a great photo op for your family road trip. ( Tip: One of the wrapped mystery surprises can be a disposable camera for something fun and different just for the road.)
4. 20 Questions and Categories
Thanks to Michelle, from Just2Sisters for the reminder of this thought provoking game. This is one of those fun games to play in the car that can last for hours! This can be incredibly intense depending on how competitive your family is, just a warning;) If you are not familiar with the rules of the game, it is pretty straight forward. You think of a category, for example, animal, food, game etc. Each person has 20 questions to try and determine what you picked. Example: Is it an animal? Is it brown? Does it live one the ground? Does it live in the water? Have Fun!
5. Coloring Books and Adult Coloring Books For Older Kids
If you haven’t gotten on the bandwagon with Adult Coloring Books, don’t knock it until you try it! You will probably end up stealing your kid’s pens so you can finish your own pictures! These turn out great and are super addictive. They can be very time-consuming which makes them a perfect project for a long road trip. (Tip: Purchase some coloring books from the Dollar Tree, and order your Adult Coloring Book from Amazon to save money. Costco has a great deal on a gel pen set that is perfect for adult coloring books. We are not affiliated with Dollar Tree or Costco, we just want to provide good deals for your family! )
6. License Plate Game
There are several ways that you can play these road trip games depending on the age of your child. If you have younger kids, you can give them a dry erase board and markers to draw a picture from each letter. Example a cow for C. For your older kids, you can have them come up with a sentence, something that rhymes, or something funny from the letters on the plate. As an example, one parent suggested 392 ABK would be Always Be Kind! (Tip: For another mystery gift, you can find small dry erase boards at the Dollar Tree. If you have younger kids that you are worried about the dry erase markers getting on something other than the boards, Crayola has a safe dry erase marker that you can try out.)
Thanks, Sam Palmer, from Modern Day Hippie for the idea!
7. I Spy
There are so many ways to get the whole family into this! I spy with my little eye, something that starts with a P! I spy with my little eye something that is Blue. Yet another one of those games that can last a long time. I spy is just one of those fun car games that will entertain everyone.
8. Friendship Bracelets
Kids can get pretty creative with their bracelet designs. This is not something just for girls! Boys like making these too. They look really awesome when they are made wider! There are books that have different design ideas that can make this even more entertaining for the trip. (Tip: Grab a book and your kids favorite color string and have wrapped for your Mystery Box. You can grab a Friendship Bracelets Craft Kit here and save some money.)
9. Look To The Clouds
I don’t think there is a person who hasn’t looked at the clouds and imagined shapes in the sky. We have a little twist to the traditional clouds in the sky. Rather than just finding a shape in the sky, have your kids use their imagination and create a story about the shapes that you all find in the sky. It will be an interactive, continuously changing story. Have each person in the car get involved and see how funny your stories become!
10. Scavenger Hunt
This activity takes a bit of planning and coordination but is well worth the fun. Find pictures of different plants, animals, insects, landmarks, etc. Laminate them and put them on a ring for each child. You can have a small treat planned for each time they cross off an item in their ring.
Free Printable: Our Road Trip United States Map Journal Page – Black And White
Our Family RoadTrip grayscale Faith And Family Fun Faithandfamilyfun.com
Free Printable: Our Road Trip United States Map Journal Page – Color
Our Family RoadTrip color Faith And Family Fun Faithandfamilyfun.com
Have an amazing Road Trip with your family! We hope you’ve enjoyed these Road Trip games and activities with Faith and Family Fun Magazine and these Free Printables. Let us know what your favorite road trip game or activity is that you have. We love to hear from our readers!
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