Are we there yet??? Traveling with kids can take a toll on any parent. There inevitably comes a time on every trip when things go sideways – usually when the iPads are dead and the snacks are but the crumbs of cookies past.
At this point, the little voices in your backseat get louder as their bickering becomes the new entertainment. As a parent, it then becomes your job to make sure that pure anarchy does not ensue. Below, we’ll discuss 4 of our favorite road trip games that require no materials and are sure to keep the peace.
Categories is a simple, fun, quick-paced road trip game. Begin by picking someone to go first, and then that person selects a category. Categories can be anything from “words that start with the letter D,” to “basketball teams.” Any category goes, but remember to keep it friendly and fair for the age level and knowledge base of all participants. Once the category is set, move quickly in a clockwise direction between all players. Everyone has 3 seconds to come up with a unique answer within the category or they are “out.” Offering answers that have already been used also disqualifies a player. The last remaining person in each category wins, and then they choose the next category. Keep going until everyone is ready for a nap!
- Alphabet Game
Ah, the age-old alphabet game. The simplicity of this car game makes it great for younger kiddos. Have one player look out the left window, and one out the right. Each player looks for letters of the alphabet that appear on road signs, bumper stickers, or license plates. Anything goes! The players should move through the whole alphabet, A-Z. The first person to spot the whole alphabet is the winner. Another fun version of this game is to have parents scramble the letters of easy words and give kids a shot at their unscrambling skills. If the iPads are charged, they can play a digital version called Wordscapes, and even use this handy wordscapes answers cheat-sheet to help if they get stuck.
- Licence Plate Game
The license plate game is another go-to option for that inevitable breaking point on long trips! Depending on the age of the participants, the licence plate game may require mom or dad to keep track to determine the winner. The goal is to score points by seeing license plates from as many states or countries as possible. The great part of this game is that it can last for the duration of the road trip, or even the length of your whole vacation! As long as mom or dad keep track (for accuracy), the kids can keep it running in the background for as long as they wish. A winner is determined either by comparing totals at a predetermined end-date or time, or by hitting a prescribed number of different plates.
- 20 Questions
Our final suggestion for road-tripping with kids or friends is the classic 20 Questions.
To play this game, one player thinks of a noun (person, place or thing). The other players then have to attempt to guess the noun by taking turns asking “yes” or “no” questions. Each player can only ask 20 questions before forfeiting, hence the name of the game! If someone guesses correctly, they take the role of selecting the noun and the game starts over.
Best of luck on your trip, and don’t forget to remind the kids that the journey is just as important as the destination.