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It’s summertime once again, and the kids have their annual summer vacation from school. Families start making travel plans that will take them to their dream destinations to relax and unwind. Some will fly; others will take to the sea, cruising their way to exotic places. The adventurous ones will take the road trips, enjoying the surprising sights, spontaneous stops, and detours that the open roads have to offer.
But, road trips with your children don’t have to be difficult ordeals filled with repeated shouts of, “Are we there yet?”. While movies and videos can amuse kids on a trip, you might want children to do more than stare passively at a screen. An interactive game is a perfect remedy to engage those developing minds and help the time fly by. There are plenty of ways to make time in the car fun for both you and your child. Here are some fun games to try the next time you’re on the road again. Your kids will love them, (these require no huge board games or toys that you have to lug around). And what’s best? Most of these will take you down memory lane to your own childhood trips.
Fun and Exciting Road Trip Games
“I spy with my little eye, something blue.” This easy-to-learn game can keep children entertained for quite a while! Very simple to play – One person spies something and recites the line, ending in a clue. Everyone else takes turns trying to guess the mystery item.
Tic Tac Toe
All you need are two players and a pencil to play this popular game. Player One places an X on the grid, Player Two plots an O. They continue to take turns until one player has three across. A laminated template of Tic Tac Toe and a couple of dry erase markers are all you will need to carry! You can also try making your own version of travel Tic-tac-toe. We also loved this Lego Tic-Tac-Toe.
The Alphabet Race Game
One person chooses the right-hand side of the road, and someone else the left. Each player looks for letters of the alphabet that appear on signs or license plates on their side. (You can even play this one with numbers instead). The object of the game is to point out all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A to Z. The first person to spot the entire alphabet wins.
The Word Game (Anthakshari with words!)
One person names an animal or thing. Or choose an age-appropriate theme to think up words on. Then each person in order has to name another animal or thing (no repeating!) that starts with the last letter of the previous animal or thing named. There are no winners or losers in this game. With older children, try the game with TV shows, or geographical categories such as cities or countries.
One person secretly thinks of either an animal, person, cartoon character or vegetable. Decide on the theme that you want to play before you start. The other players then take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as “Can it fly?” or “Does it grow in the ground?”. The players have to guess what the person is thinking about based on his replies.
Name the Tune Game
One person hums the tune of a favourite song, and everyone else tries to name the song as fast as possible. The first person to guess correctly hums the next song. Of course, a round of good old Antakshari can be as much fun too!
The first person says a word. The next person should tell that word and another new word. The next person tells the words told by the first person, the second and then a new word. This continues. You can go on and on and see who can remember the most words. You can come up with words based on a theme too – say, names of places.
Find in Map Game
One person looks at a road map and finds a small town, village, river, etc. That person announces the name of the place she has chosen. A second player has 60 seconds to look at the map and try to find the secret place. Another interesting game would be to take along the map of the place you are traveling in and get the children to highlight the roads they are driving on and the places they are seeing on the way!
Road Sign Scavenger Hunt
This game requires children to look out of the windows! Spot as many road signs as they can. You can add in variations like choosing signs on one side of the road or listing unique ones and counting them. Another exciting game would be a scavenger hunt on the cars or vehicles you see on the road.
Another easy and engaging game is Hangman. Print out the template and laminate it. Carry a few dry erase markers and you are done! The first player thinks of a person, place, movie or book title and then writes down a blank for each letter that has to be filled in to complete the word or phrase. The second player guesses one letter at a time. If the mystery word or saying contains the letter, it is written in the correct place. If not, the first player draws a head on the hangman scaffold. A second incorrect guess results in a torso being drawn, a third in an arm being added, and so forth. When enough incorrect letters have been guessed, the dead body is complete and the second player loses. If the puzzle is solved before the body is complete, then he or she wins. The aim of the game is to compose the secret word or phrase before the man is completely hung. You can also make your own Hangman game!
Name, Place, Animal, Thing
This classic game can keep kids engaged for hours! Start with A – each person thinks up a name, place, animal, and thing starting with that letter (you can also choose to write if possible). Every person tells out aloud their words. Unique ones get more points! This goes on until Z! And then you can start again!
Would you rather
Would you rather questions are a great way to get a conversation started in a fun and interesting way. And it’s easy to get into some amazing conversations by just asking “why” after a would you rather question. Perfect for older kids! You can take turns choosing a would you rather question and asking each person or you can just run down the list and answer them all together. An example of a “Would you rather” question is “Would you rather be a detective or a pilot?”. See more “Would you rather” questions here.