Car Trip Games and Activites for Kids
by Laurel Smith
Time flies when you’re having fun - The miles fly by too! You can
make a long family car trip seem a lot shorter if you have fun with your
kids along the way. Plan ahead with a few car activities, and making the
journey can be as much fun as the destination. Here are a few ideas to
get you started.
a Trip-Journal or Scrapbook
everyone a big spiral bound sketchpad and a box of crayons or markers.
Each day of the trip or for each event along the way, draw a picture of
what you did that day, or draw a map of where you went, and write about
it. You can also paste in souvenirs.
Get a Good
Songbook With All the Lyrics
It surprising how many songs
you think you know, but you don't really know all the words. Have a singing
marathon and learn the old classics by heart.
Give Your Kids
an Allowance for the Day
Tell them that this money is for
snacks, treats, souvenirs etc. Help them learn to budget their money and
make good choices.
Let Your Children Have a Map
Give yourkids their own copy of a map of where you are
going. Show them how far you have come, how much further there is to go
and let them mark it with a crayon. Every time someone asks "How much further?”
let them see for themselves. You might also like to get a compass and show
them how it works along with the map.
Gum Blowing Contests
The weirder the gum the better. Get
it at the rest areas and try all the different flavors.
License Plate Game
Print a U.S. map or list of states for
plate game off the computer and color in the states as you see license
plates from each one. See if you can get all 50 states between Memorial
Day and Labor Day. You might even record the time and date and the state
where you saw it. This can be a family project as you build your "collection"
of license plates together.
Printable Car Games
Print some activities to bring along on your trip such
as Car Bingo, License Plate game, tic-tac-toe, lines and dots, scavenger
hunt and more. You can find lots of printable
car games here.
Cats Cradle or String Loops
You just need a piece of string for this one. See if you can
make "Jacob's Ladder", "Kitty Whiskers", or play Cats Cradle!
Magnetic Board Games
Do your children know how to play
classic board games like Chess, Backgammon, Checkers, or Chinese Checkers?
What better time to learn than in the car to pass the time! The magnetic
car versions of these games are nice because they are small and compact,
and have easy ways to store the pieces so they don't get lost.
Count the cows you see
on your side of the car. If you pass a cemetery on your side of the car,
you lose all your cows. The one with the most cows wins.
Read Out Loud
This passes the time quickly in the car for
the reader and for the family members who are listening.
Have a contest to see who can build the best
item that relates to where you are going. Use a shoebox to store the Legos,
or large zip lock bags.
Guess How Far Away That
Pick an object and have everyone guess how far away
it is, then clock it on your odometer.
Have everyone think of different "favorite"
questions for the group. What's your favorite... movie, flavor of ice cream,
song, game, toy, place to visit, restaurant, book, animal, fish, etc. Be
creative and don't forget to ask the driver too!
Give everyone a sheet of aluminum foil. Have
them mold it into anything they want: animal shapes, Frisbees, balls, jewelry,
crowns, headband, necklaces and masks. Be creative. It’s inexpensive fun
and easy to clean up. Toddlers love this one too.
Remember that it's sometimes nice to sit in the back of the van with your
kids while Dad is doing the driving and play some games right along side
them. You might be surprised at how much fun you have too. Happy travels!
Author: Laurel Smith is a former
schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged thousands of road trip
miles both as a kid and a mom. Visit her website for more than 101
car trip games and road trip games and activities
for kids at MomsMinivan.com