If you’re traveling with your family soon, then it’s important to be prepared. Aside from clothes, snacks, and other necessities, you need something that will help everyone enjoy the ride. Enter: road trip games for kids.
Long road trips can be tiring, especially for kids. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Are we there yet?” every five minutes, you know what we’re talking about.
You’re in luck! Our learning experts at HOMER have compiled a list of fun, exciting, and entertaining road trip games that the whole family can enjoy. So, let’s get started.
Key Elements Of Road Trip Games
Fun activities for the road come in all shapes and sizes. As you’ll see from our list below, there are a few key elements that make the best games.
A Mixture Of Learning And Entertainment
Who doesn’t love killing two birds with one stone?
If you will be on the road for extended periods of time, it’s great to know that a game your child or children are playing is both fun and educational.
None To Very Little Supplies Needed
As you will be in a moving vehicle, it’s essential that whichever games you decide to play are relevant for the setting.
With that in mind, our recommended activities below require minimal to no supplies. This also means that you won’t have to worry about cleaning up afterward (and we love that!).
Quiet time can be very beneficial, especially if you are on a long road trip. So while most of our games get the whole family involved, we’ve added a few that will facilitate some moments of much-needed peace and quiet.
9 Fun Road Trip Games For Kids
Before describing the much-anticipated games that are the heart of this blog post, it’s important to note that trips come in all shapes and sizes.
You could be traveling to another state by car, plane, or train. You could also just be heading to the local supermarket for groceries. Whatever the case, it’s OK to modify some of the games below to suit your setting and needs.
Let’s get to it! Here are nine fun and educational games to try on your next road trip.
1) Alphabet I-Spy
I-Spy is an old classic that most of us played as kids.
If it’s been a while and you need a quick reminder of the rules, here is the rundown:
- The player who is “it” has to spy something that other players can also see but won’t be able to easily guess
- This player will then start the game by saying “I spy with my little eye something that’s…” (This is when they give a clue about what they are spying.)
- The clue can be a color, direction, letter, etc.
- Using this clue, the other players will then take turns trying to guess the item
We also love Alphabetical I-Spy, which is slightly different. For this, you can give children a card with the letters of the alphabet and have them check the letters off as they spy the items that start with them.
Keep in mind that for young kids, this might be challenging. You can help them out by setting rules to allow them to be able to “spy” as well (e.g., the items have to be inside the car, on the left side, etc.).
To add another fun element, time the players to see how many letters they can get checked off in a set amount of time.
2) Story Starter
Earlier on, we mentioned how important it is for road trip games to require minimal supplies. We love story starter because no supplies are needed here at all!
To begin, the first person will say the first sentence of a story but not finish the sentence. The following person then completes the sentence and starts another one but leaves it incomplete for the next person.
This pattern repeats until the story reaches a conclusion. You may want to set a time limit (e.g.,10 to 15 minutes) to help everyone know how long the story should take.
This is a fun road trip game that the whole family— even the driver — can play. Don’t be afraid to add some silly elements to the story to help everyone enjoy themselves.
3) License Plate Game
The goal of this game is simple: Players must spot as many license plates from different states as possible.
You can start it as soon as you pull out of your driveway. Every time the kids see a new state on a license plate, they will need to mark it down on paper.
This game can continue for however long you want it to (e.g., until your first stop for gas). When you’re ready to end the game, simply count how many states each player has spotted, and whoever has the highest wins.
This particular game works best for long road trips as the players will likely see license plates from many states.
4) Animal Alphabet Game
The animal alphabet game is another great activity for the whole family.
To get started, one person will name an animal of their choosing. The next player then has to name an animal that begins with the last letter of the animal named before, and so on.
For example: dog, goat, tiger, rabbit, etc.
This is an excellent activity to reduce the noise levels in your car, as each child will need to pay attention to what the previous player has said. It also allows young kids to work on their phonological awareness along with letter-sound recognition.
Note: This specific road trip game may be a bit challenging for younger kids, like toddlers. That’s OK! You can always help them out by offering clues.
5) The Name Game
To start this game, you’ll choose one person’s name and then pick a category (e.g., food, animals, sports). You will then take turns coming up with words for each category, letter-by-letter, in the name.
For example, if the name you pick is “Pam” and you decide that your category is “food,” some words you can come up with are: pie, pasta, pizza, pickles, pears, peaches, potatoes, etc. See how many you can get for each letter.
This is an exciting learning opportunity for children to continue practicing the alphabet and expanding their vocabulary.
6) Grandmother’s Trunk
Grandmother’s trunk is a popular game for road trips. You probably even played it as a child yourself!
But in case you can’t remember, here are the rules for the game:
- The first player will say, “I went to grandmother’s trunk, and I found a…(e.g., hat)”
- The next player will then need to say, “I went to grandmother’s trunk, and I found a… (e.g., hat and gloves)
- The players will continue to take turns. On each turn, they will repeat what was said before and then add a new word
At HOMER, we’re always looking for ways to add something special to well-known activities. For grandmother’s trunk, you can have grandmother only pack items in alphabetical order (e.g., applesauce, book, coat, etc.).
Adding this element will help to reinforce alphabet and memory skills.
7) 20 Questions
We also love 20 questions because no supplies are needed for this fun game.
To play, one player will need to secretly choose a person, place, or thing. The other players will then take turns asking yes-or-no questions to try to figure out what that person is thinking about.
If no one guesses correctly before the end of the game, after the 20 questions, every player will get a chance to guess.
8) Guess The Song
If you’re going on a road trip, there’s a good chance you’ve also prepared a few songs to play along the way. So, why not have some fun with the tunes while you’re at it?
All you need to do is have one person play up to five seconds of a song, and then the rest of the players can try to guess what song it is.
This is something most family members can participate in. For younger kids, you can choose one genre they will know (e.g., Disney songs) so that they too can join in the fun.
9) Crazy Costumes
All you need for Crazy Costumes is an iOS or Android with the HOMER app. Before leaving your home, you can follow this link about playing Crazy Costumes on different devices.
In the car, children can then play by getting the opportunity to dress up some of their favorite HOMER characters. Which creative costumes will they come up with?
This is a great activity to keep kids entertained and give you some much-needed peace and quiet for a moment. It’s screen time done right!
Say Goodbye To Road Trip Boredom
When most people think of road trips, they usually look forward to the destination. Keeping kids entertained on the way is typically an afterthought, but it can often make or break a vacation!
We hope the games and ideas above help you make some great memories and enjoy the journey as well.
Check out the HOMER blog for more fun and educational activities for kids!