Road Trips
9 Kid-Friendly Road Trip Games (That Don’t Involve Screen Time)

9 Kid-Friendly Road Trip Games (That Don’t Involve Screen Time)

Is it possible to enjoy a family road vacation without hearing the kids question, “Are we there yet?” over and again? Yes, it certainly is! Here are must-play road trip activities to keep the kids occupied while the rest of the family enjoys the ride.

Taking the family on a road trip is the ultimate summertime activity. The entire family packs into the family vehicle or RV and drives to a pleasant kid-friendly campground, where they can explore different regions of the nation up close…all together.

It’s the stuff that memories are built of, and it’s a great way to spend time with your family.

However, there is one significant disadvantage for parents: bored children.

When the kids become bored (after approximately 15 minutes), they begin to bombard you with inquiries about when you’ll arrive at your destination… and squabbling It has the potential to sap all of the enjoyment from a road trip.

That is, until today!

Playing entertaining road trip games is the secret to keeping the entire family entertained on a road trip. I’m talking about old-school, screen-free games to pass the time while you clock up the kilometres toward your goal.

Boredom and frustration may be avoided by having a few easy games and ideas on hand.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Quick Guide to Making the Most of Road Trip Games

We’ve discovered that the greatest approach to reduce backseat squabbling, boredom, and irritation at a minimum is to:

  • Prepare a variety of game choices to choose from. If you need to, make a list so you don’t have to wrack your brain for ideas once the bickering begins. If you need a distraction, keep a supply of card games on hand, such as this road trip scavenger hunt set or I Spy Travel cards.
  • Plan to play each game for only a few minutes. We’ve set a time restriction of 30 minutes for each of these games. If we play for more than 30 minutes, everyone becomes irritable and weary with the game. My kids even get to choose between playing an individual game, a family game, and a small snack. There will be enough diversity that boredom will not set in!

To Keep Kids Happy On The Road, Play These Games

Use this handy collection of classic, entertaining games to keep children engaged and happy for hours, whether you’re going camping or visiting Grandma in another state.

The Game of License Plates

When it comes to solid road trip games, here’s an oldie but a goodie! I remember playing this with my family on road vacations when I was a child.

Note that depending on where you travel and how far you go, your children may not be able to find all of the states. If you visit a well-known national park, such as Yellowstone, you’ll almost certainly discover all of the states, as well as some extra licence plates, such as Canadian provinces!

How to play: As you travel, have the kids keep track of all the different states they see licence plates from. You might just have them make a list of the states (and then alphabetize them for practice.)

Create A Story

Here’s a game to help you get more creative! This action may be done in a variety of ways, which decreases tiredness and allows time to pass more quickly.

The first step is to pick a storyteller. Make up a narrative on the spot with that person. It might be a brand-new fairy tale or a fully made-up narrative. With younger children, this may be kept short and quick, promoting excellent storytelling by asking for any missing essential narrative components (beginning, issue, solution/climax, resolution). Older children are frequently able to tell imaginative and fascinating stories.

How to Play #2: We usually start with just one storyteller, but the family grows bored of hearing stories after a while.

That’s when we take a break from the narrative and return to it… In the style of Mad Libs!

“Once upon a time…” begins one person, who concludes the statement by introducing the main character. Then we move around the family, adding a new sentence to the tale with each member.

Continue until the tale comes to a natural conclusion, or if you have family members who like to drag things out, decide on a conclusion. A time restriction or a limit on how many phrases each individual may contribute, for example.

Bingo

This game is a lot of fun, and it appears to be one of the car trip games that keeps our kids the busiest. However, you’ll need the bingo boards included in this Road Trip Activity Packet to play it.

How to play: Each person receives a bingo card and then drives about looking for objects on their card. They cross off the matching picture on the card as they view it. The winner is the first player to get all of the objects in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally).

20 Questions

We used to play a lot of twenty questions as a family when I was a kid, and we continue to do so with our own kids — this road trip game is a great way to allow kids ask lots of questions in a fun way!

To play, have one person come up with a noun (a person, place, or thing). The other players take turns asking yes-or-no questions to assist them in identifying or guessing the selected object. After a player asks their inquiry, they have the opportunity to guess the item’s identification.

If the person guesses right, they win; if they don’t, it’s the turn of the next player to pose a question and take a guess. They lose the round if no one properly answers the answer within 20 questions.

Optional: After the tenth question, we introduced the opportunity for guessing players to request a clue. You don’t have to include this aspect in the game. We did it because we were fed up with students selecting really obscure objects and losing more rounds than they solved.

Alphabet Memory Game

Another A-Z alphabet game, but this one tests players’ memorization skills!

Playing Instructions: Decide on the sequence in which the participants will play. The first player begins the phrase with “A is for…” and then finishes it. The second player repeats “A” but must first repeat “A” (ex: A is for , B is for ). Continue to the end of the alphabet and see if anyone gets it all right by the letter “Z”!

Optional: If you’re playing with smaller children, I suggest stopping at an earlier letter. Young primary students may be able to go as far as “L” or “M,” but not “Z,” and even smaller children may only be able to accomplish three or four letters.

Would You Rather

This game is ruled by my son! Even when we aren’t on the road, he enjoys playing it! The questions grow so absurd that you’re sure to have a good chuckle with this game!

How to play: Each member takes a turn asking the entire family bizarre questions. “Would you rather be able to fly or have x-ray vision?” is one example. or “Would you want to sprint across the nation or ride your bike over the mountains?”

The Alphabet Race

His game is ideal for fostering pleasant rivalry between siblings while also improving letter and spelling abilities. 

How to play: Have one player concentrate on the left side of the road while the other concentrates on the right side. Each individual searches for alphabet letters on signs, licence plates, vehicles, and other items.

The one who finds all of the letters in the alphabet first wins!

The catch is that the letters must be discovered in alphabetical order.

Cloud Shapes

This game is great for children who get vehicle sick since they won’t feel sick by staring at the clouds. It also promotes creativity and is a lot of fun as everyone attempts to perceive the same shapes.

Keep your eyes peeled for a hippo, a dragon, or perhaps a rocket!

How to play: Each person stares out their window at the sky, attempting to recognise familiar forms such as animals or objects. Once you’ve found it, display it to the other players and see if they can figure out what it is.

Music Name

This one is for music fans (like me!).

It’s another game that can be played in a variety of ways, ensuring that it never gets old. You may modify this game to suit your children’s ages.

Use known kid songs with younger children and popular radio songs with older children, for example.

How to play: Each participant takes turns singing song lyrics or humming a melody. The other participants try to figure out what song it is by guessing the title (or singer). Anyone who correctly recognizes both the song and the singer will receive a bonus!

What Else Can You Do?

You might just want to give your kids something physical to do in the car so they can practise their motor skills (and activate a new area of their brain). Just for this reason, I appreciate having non-messy projects on hand to pass away. Here are some of the items I prefer to bring with me on road trips:

Sticker Books
Dry Erase Books
Window Stickers 

I hope this collection of entertaining road trip games inspires your family to look forward to going on your next family vacation!

Bring along some old standbys like sticker books and stickers, plain paper and crayons or pencils for traditional paper games like tic-tac-toe and hangman, and a deck of UNO cards to go along with these ideas!

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