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Those hours in the car can get long and uncomfortable, especially if there are kids on board. We have some tried-and-true road trip games as well as a few new ones that are guaranteed boredom busters. Yes, a road trip can be fun and games!

  • THE GROCERY GAME. In this memory game, the first player names an object that can be purchased at a grocery store that starts with the letter A. The next player has to repeat what the first player said and then add another grocery item that starts with a B. For example, if player one says “avocados,” player two would repeat “avocados” and then might add “bread.” The third player would then add an item beginning with C, saying, “Avocados, bread, cinnamon,” and so on. When a player forgets a grocery item, he or she is out, and the game continues until the player with the best memory wins.

  • TUNNELS. Whenever the family drives into a tunnel, see who can hold their breath the longest. This is one for the passengers, not the driver.

  • MAP QUEST. Bring photocopied maps for each of the kids on the trip, along with a supply of stickers or highlighters. Have the kids highlight or put a sticker on each new road the family takes.

  • FAMILY STORY. Compose a family story. The driver in the car creates the first line. It can be something simple like, “Once upon a time, there was a baby rabbit who couldn’t sit still.” Each person in the car adds a line. Everyone can take turns, or the line-creator can call on the next person. This game can last minutes or hours, and kids on the trip can write and illustrate the story as a trip souvenir. To make the game more challenging for older kids, make a rule that all lines have to rhyme or that the first word must start with the next letter in the alphabet.

  • LICENSE PLATES. Here’s a classic with a teaching twist. Give each child in the car a map of the United States and a crayon. When a child spots a license plate from a state, he or she can color that state on the map.

  • COUNTING COWS. First, pick a destination at which the game will end. Then, playing as individuals or teams, the kids all count the cows (or red cars or mail boxes, etc.) on their side of the road. Pass a cemetery, and the count drops to zero for the players on that side of the car. The highest count wins.

  • ODD-COLORED CAR. At the beginning of the trip, each player chooses an odd car color — orange, purple, yellow, pink, etc. During the drive, all passengers try to spot those colors. At the end of the trip, the player who chose the color with the least number of cars spotted is the winner.

  • SPEAKING IN SONG. This game is good for an older crowd. See how long passengers can keep a conversation running using only song lyrics. Any passenger who accidentally sings is eliminated.

    Posted at April 26, 2013

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