While road trips can be great for watching the beautiful countryside and interesting landscape roll by out your car window, they can also go from exciting to boring in no time flat for kids. Make boredom take a backseat on your next road trip with these fun road trip games. These games will keep everyone in your family engaged and will eliminate the need for your kids to pull out their electronics, even when passing through middle America (corn fields as far as the eye can see!).
This game utilizes signs in your surroundings and helps keep everyone busy looking for the next letter. You first need to find a sign with a word that starts with an A. For example, maybe you see a billboard that’s advertising Applebee’s. This would be your A. Now you need to find a B. Maybe you’re passing through Benson, Utah. The welcome sign to Benson would satisfy your B. Continue like this until you’ve made it all the way to the letter Z!
There are two different objectives you can have with this game. You can make it a team effort and have everyone in the car work together to get through the alphabet. This works well if you have smaller children. The other way is to make it a competition to see who can get to Z first! There are a couple extra rules when playing this way. When someone sees a sign with the letter they’re looking for, they must call it out loud. The first one to call out the sign gets that sign. So even if two people see the sign at the same time, only one can use it. The other needs to find a different sign in order to move to the next letter.
This game is easy and is great for all ages. It simply involves waving to people, and seeing how many wave back. You will want to bring a note pad and pen for this one. On this note pad make two columns. One column will say “Friendly” at the top and the other will say “Grouchy.” As you pass other vehicles on the road or people outside, wave to them. You’ll really want to be active about it in order to get their attention if you want to get a good tally. If someone waves back, honks the horn, or responds verbally, you get a point in the Friendly column. If they do two or more of these things, you get two points. If they don’t do anything and completely ignore you, you put a point in the Grouchy column. At the end of the game, add up the points in the Friendly column and total up the points in the Grouchy column. Subtract the Grouchy total from the Friendly total for your final score. The person with the highest final score wins!
This is an investigative game that requires questioning in order to find an answer. The first person to go will think of an object but keeps it to themselves. We’ll call this person the “answerer.” The rest of the players, the “questioners,” will ask yes or no questions to try and figure out what the answerer is thinking about. There are only 20 questions allowed. If one of the questioners guesses correctly within the 20 questions, they win and get to be the answerer. If no one guesses correctly within the 20 questions, the answerer wins the round and gets to go again. Here is an example of a game:
Answerer is secretly thinking of an elephant. The questions and answers are listed below:
- Is it big? | Yes
- Is it in the ocean? | No
- Is it a vehicle of any kind? | No
- Is it living? | Yes
- Does it have hair? | Yes
- Is it a bear? | No
- Does it eat meat? | No
- Is it human? | No
- Is it bigger than a human? | Yes
- Is it a feline species? | No
- Are they in Utah? | No
- Are they real as opposed to a myth, like dragons? | Yes
- Are they covered in fur? | No
- Are they in Africa? | Yes
- Is it an elephant? | Yes!!!
At this point, the person with the 15th question is the winner and will then think of an object to try and stump the group with.
This game is very similar to the 20 Questions game but you choose a person that everyone will know. You can use famous people, but if you’re playing with your family it can be fun to use someone you all know personally, such as a neighbor or relative. There will be an answerer who thinks of the person and questioners who will ask yes or no questions as they attempt to figure out who the person is thinking of. You can limit the number of questions if you want or just keep going until someone figures it out. Some sample questions to get you started are listed here:
- Are you a movie star?
- Are you a boy?
- Are you old?
- Do you have brown hair?
The object of this game is to find every state’s license plate (on other cars) by the time you reach your destination. Each passenger gets a copy of the list and crosses off the plates as they find them. The one with the most at the end wins.
This is a great word game that works for both adults and children as you can alter the complexity of it depending on who’s playing. First you want to choose a player to start the game. That player then comes up with a word pattern and keeps it a secret. This could be either the beginning letter of the word, a type of grouping such as desserts, or something like choosing words that have double letters in them. Once this person has established the pattern, they will start by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing …” They will pick three words that fit their pattern. For example, one could say they are going to bring yogurt, string cheese, and milk (a dairy pattern). The next player will try to add an item by guessing a word that would fit into the pattern. They may say something like, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing salad.” The first person would say, “No, you cannot bring salad to the picnic,” because salad is not a dairy item. Players continue to try and figure out the word pattern by taking turns. The game ends when one person finds a word that fits the pattern. A winning item that someone could choose for this example would be ice cream. Since ice cream is a dairy product, the player who started would say, “Yes, you can bring ice cream to the picnic.” This person will then come up with their own word pattern, and the game begins again.
This is a fun and creative game! For this game, the group will make up a story by taking turns, line by line. Here is a great example of a story written by a group of people:
Person A: Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle …
Person B: She liked to play in the mud with her pet dinosaur …
Person C: The only time she came inside was when it was time to eat her vegetables (Can you tell this line came from the mom?) …
Person D: One morning the sky got very cloudy …
Person A: Then it began to rain cats …
Person B: She tried to use her umbrella to keep from getting scratched …
Person C: And then her mommy ran outside and saved her from the cat rain …
Person D: And she and the mommy lived happily every after …
This is only a quick and short example. Get as silly and creative as possible!
Do you have a favorite road trip game? Tell us about it in the comments!