Road trips, especially those that last for many hours can be difficult for adults, let alone for energetic kids who are not used to sitting calmly in one place for a long time. Even if you are a very patient person, all the commotion and whining that usually comes from the back seat is very likely to drive you crazy sooner or later, not to mention the famous question “Are we there yet?” repeated over and over again. Answering it won’t do you any good because in no time you’ll get another poke in your back from your kid, checking if you’re really and absolutely sure that you’re still not there. Sounds familiar, right? If yes, then you know you’ll definitely have to do something about it the next time you jump into the car with your angels so that the drive doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Luckily, there is a variety of ways in which you can keep your little darlings entertained and help them enjoy themselves until you reach the destination. Here is the selection of 7 fun car games for kids you should absolutely try when you hit the road again!
- The Animal Name Game
This car game for kids is really fun to play on a road trip, especially if you’re planning to spend some time in wilderness. One person will name an animal and then choose the next person in order to name another animal, whose name must start with the last letter of the previously mentioned word. If this person can’t remember any animal with the name that starts with the last letter of the originally chosen animal, he or she has the right to choose somebody else to do it. You can win a certain number of points for each correct guess and also get bonus points if somebody spots that exact animal somewhere in the vicinity! The winner is the one who remembers more animal names that the rest of the party.
- 20 Questions
This straightforward game is perfect for young and curious kids who like guessing games. One person needs to secretly think of a place, person or a thing – any kind of object or an abstract idea, basically anything that seems interesting and makes the deduction challenging for those around you. Everyone in the car will then take turns and ask only questions that can be answered with yes or no, things like “Is this person famous?” or “Does it grow on a tree?” Once the players reach 20 questions, every participant will have the right to try to make a guess and win the game.
- Licence Plate Game
This definitely seems to be one of the most popular car games for kids of all times. If you go on a long road trip, you’ll be surrounded by all sorts of other vehicles and there are good chances that you’ll manage to spot cars from many different states. Give your kids a piece of paper and tell them to write down the name of each and every state they see on other surrounding licence plates. Tell them that the ultimate goal is to have all 50 states on their list, so if you’re lucky enough they will be busy for quite some time until they complete the task. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about US geography – provide your kids with a map and let them search for the states that appeared on licence plates. Kids can also earn some extra points or a special treat if they manage to say something more elaborate and informative about the particular state they located on your map.
Entire generations of kids all over the world grew up jotting down this simple drawing either on a piece of paper or down on the ground while having a total blast with their friends. Hangman is a great car game for kids because it doesn’t have to take more than two people to complete the task. The first player will imagine a person or object of his or her preference and instead of revealing it by saying it out loud or in writing, he or she will write down an underscore for every letter of the chosen word. The second player will try to solve the puzzle by guessing only one letter at a time. If this secret word contains exactly the mentioned letter, the player who set up the task will write it in the correct place. In case there is no such letter in the word, the first player will start drawing a hangman on the scaffold, piece by piece. When the second player reaches too many incorrect choices, the body of the hangman will be complete and the person who was guessing will lose the game. If on the other hand the guesser provides the answer before the dead body is complete, he or she will win the game. If your kids know this game and like it very much, you can get ready beforehand by printing out free hangman game templates. Keep them in the car well within the reach, because you never know when exactly you’ll hit the road again!
- The Song Game
Play this really simple game to brighten everybody’s mood and your car with be filled with laughter and fun. Let one person hum the melody of his or her favorite song and everybody else will immediately start competing to guess it. The first one who makes the correct guess will win the game and have the honor to hum the next song. At the end of this game, everybody in the car usually start singing their favorite songs which will cut the long trip short in a totally incredible way!
This game starts when a child begins to quietly whisper one of its stories to someone in the car. That person then tries to retell the same story as closely as possible by whispering it to a third person and so on, until the words reach the last person in the car. This person will then say out loud the final version for everybody to hear it. Take into consideration that probably a good portion of the original story is doomed to be lost in translation, so it will probably inspire a good laugh that will go on for a long time.
- Tic Tac Toe
It only takes two players and a pencil to play this quite simple and very popular game. The first player will place an X on the grid, while the second player will be the one placing O signs in vertical, horizontal or diagonal directions. The players will take turns until one of them gathers 3 signs across and wins the game. It is very fast to play and it can be repeated many times, which is exactly what younger kids love doing. So instead of doing things for them over and over again by yourself and answering their never-ending questions, print out some good old Tic Tac Toe templates. Kids will do the rest and you’ll all live happily ever after on that family road trip you are all looking forward to so much!
What is your personal best car game for kids? Share your greatest experiences with us and inspire others to try out a new game!