The summer road trip is a tradition for many families, allowing you to see the sights and bond with one another along the way. Summer road trips bring back great memories for me. I love how I am also creating new ones with my own kiddos! I’m not going to lie though, long hours in the car can be hard to deal with when you have young children. My two start to feel restless after even a few minutes. Fight backseat boredom and learn something at the same time with these fun and educational car games.
The Alphabet Game
A classic road trip game is to pick a category, whether it’s first names, song titles, or fruits and vegetables, and then go through each letter of the alphabet. Each family member takes turns coming up with items in the chosen category beginning with the next letter. If you are travelling with younger children, you can work through the alphabet visually instead. Keep your eyes peeled to the road to spy each letter on license plates, road signs, or businesses that you pass along the way.
It’s important to stock the car with a variety of games and supplies to keep kids occupied, so look here for a car that is roomy enough for this purpose. Keeping an arts and crafts kit is a good way to encourage creativity on the road. You can also buy individual journals or plain notebooks for the kids. Children can keep a written or visual record of things they experience on the journey, whether it’s postcards from rest stops or a written description of each landmark. They can illustrate these with drawings, stickers, or cut-outs from old magazines, creating a unique memento to relive the trip later.
Making up Stories
As you pass other cars on the road, ask your children where they think the car is going. Make up stories about other drivers and where they might be headed or coming from. Another story-telling game is to ask each family member to make up a line for a story. To make this even more challenging, each line can rhyme. Write down the story as you go, so that you can read it out loud or act it out at the end of the game.
Children love helping to plan road trips, so involve them with the planning process right from the start. Show them where you’ll be travelling on a map, and give them maps for the trip that they can follow along with as you go through your itinerary. They can use stickers or a highlighter pen to mark each road or landmark as it’s crossed. This can also banish the dreaded “are we there yet” question because they will be able to see for themselves!
These car games harness the intellectual curiosity and exploration that’s part of a family road trip. You can learn new things from the road, and most importantly learn them together as a family.
What are your favorite creative car games for kids?