Road Trip Games for the Family
Most Dads feel obligated to give our kids as much fun as possible every time we take them for long road trips. This will keep them fully occupied hopefully guaranteeing us smooth rides without all the whining and crying. With long holiday road trips the kids have no physical outlet and most games need to fully engage their senses. I believe that the best forms of entertainment to bring along are those that don't need batteries. This allows for more interaction between everyone and helps to avoid boredom… and leg cramps too! Here are some fun activities and games to consider playing on long (or short) car trips:
LICENSE PLATE HANGMAN - This game is best in high traffic areas since you can easily have a clear view of different license plates at the same time. To play the game, all you need is a pen and paper. One person (preferably Dad who is driving) calls out the target word. Everyone must find a license plate and capture one letter per plate in order to spell that word. Each plate can only be used once by one player so it gets competitive to call dibs on a license plate before the other players. To make things even livelier, you can rotate the kids to different windows; some up with their own words; or the hardest version is to find all the letters in the alphabet – in order! You can also play this game using billboards so long as everyone has a window view.
CAR SEAT BUDDIES - These toys are like portable zoos and keep your younger kids, especially toddlers, entertained for long periods of time. The toy is fitted with different types of toy animals hanging across the bar just in front of the child's seat. Almost like an automotive version of a Mobile in the crib. As your car swings around the stuffed animals shift around or even make sounds. This will keep them occupied since the toys will simply catch their eye and constantly change direction. And if you’re a really bad or erratic driver its even better!
I SPY GAME - This is one of the oldest games that can keep your kid alert and very much on the lookout throughout your trip. First, you begin by saying "I spy with my little eye, something that is “_________” – and you fill in a color or shape or other descriptor. Your child then has to continue guessing to determine what object you were looking at – or spying. Once your kid finds the object it's his/her turn to do the "spying". The game is repetitively done and can really help pass time as well as cut boredom. Another variation of this game is to spy and object and let them guess. Each guess requires you to call out “Cold”; “Warm”; or “Hot” if they are getting closer or farther away from your object.
ALPHABET FAMILY – This game requires everyone to play and each person takes on the next letter in the alphabet when their turn comes. When its your turn you must call out your name; your spouse’s name; what you do for a living; and what city you live in. The catch is that every name, job or city must begin with the same letter of the alphabet that comes up for your turn. For example, if for your turn you end up with the letter “P” – your answer would be… I’m Paul and my wife is Patty. I am a Puppy Trainer and I live in Portland. The next person now must use the letter Q; then R; then T and so on all the way through the alphabet.