Heading out on a road trip with the kids this summer? If you’re going anywhere farther than the grocery store, you’re going to want to have a few games up your sleeve to keep the kids entertained. These fun games involve zero screen time and even those little ones who get motion sickness will be able to join in.
A classic road trip game, 20 Questions is a simple game that is easy for every kid to play. One player picks a person, place, or thing and the rest of the car gets to ask 20 yes or no questions in an attempt to determine what the player picked.
If you have a few avid readers on your hands, the Alphabet Game is right up your alley. Players need to spot items that begin with the sequential letters of the alphabet, all the way from A to Z. If your kids are a bit older, you can up the stakes by having them look for the letters of the alphabet on signs, license plates and billboards.
Create a Find-it-Jar
Building a Find-it-Jar is a great pre-car activity as well as a fun game for the kids once they are buckled in. Grab a mason jar, about 8-10 small to large interesting items, and a filler material such as small beads. Make a list of the 8-10 objects, throw everything into the mason jar, and voila! Kids can spend time in the car trying to find all the hidden objects. Check out this great tutorial on how to make your own Find-it-Jar.
Name that Tune
Queue up your kids favourite playlist and see who can guess the song the fastest. Make it a little harder by asking for the name of the artist and the song. Or let the radio guide you, by flipping stations. The first person to guess five songs correctly wins. Check out these great Spotify playlists made just for the Name that Tune game.
Once Upon a Time
Every good story starts with “Once upon a time” and this story is no different. Each player says one line of the story, making it up as it goes. Choose how many lines the story will be before a player needs to come up with an ending.
This game was actually first played at conventions of the National Puzzlers’ League in the late 1980s. To play Fortunately/Unfortunately, one player starts by saying a sentence, for example, “Sandra really likes apples.” The next player then has to say a sentence that starts with unfortunately: “Unfortunately, Sandra lives in a city with no apple trees”. The next player then says a sentence that starts with fortunately: “Fortunately, her local grocery store sells applesauce”. There is no official ending to this game, so pick a point when the game will end and a new sentence will start.
Category ABC’s is a great game to play with kids of all ages. Simply choose a category (animals, movie characters, foods, places) and then work your way through the ABCs. For example, if you were doing Disney characters: Aladdin, Belle, Cinderella, Dumbo, Eeyore, and so on.
The best way to play seek-and-find while your in a car is to look for other types of cars. Come up with a list, or go off the cuff, and see what the kids can find out their windows. Try looking for types of vehicles—like a bus—or specific vehicle colours, makes, or models. You can even look for out-of-town license plates.
Pick a word and then each player must say a word that rhymes with the original word. Keep going around until someone is stumped or repeats a word.
To play Last Letter as a family, come up with a topic that you all know a lot about, like food, farm animals, or places. Then take turns naming items in that category. The catch is that each new word needs to begin with the last letter of the previous word. So if Player 1 says, “Taco”, Player 2 could say, “Onion”. Player 3 could then say, “Nutmeg”, and so on. If a player can’t come up with an answer they are out. Last player standing wins.
Connect the Songs
If you have kids who know a lot of music, this is the game for you. The game is all about connecting songs by one word. Player One starts singing a song and any other player can jump in when they have a song with a word that connects.
Looking for somewhere to go this summer? Check out our listings of family-friendly hotels and resorts.