You either absolutely love road trips or you detest them, I don’t really think there’s an in-between. If you are one of those people who hates road trips, I don’t blame you. They can be long, boring, and cramped—and that gets about ten times worse when you are traveling with kids in the car.
Luckily there are ways you can combat the dreary dullness that seems to come along with you during long trips in the car. Here are LoanMart’s top tips on how to make your road trip fun, particularly when there are kids in the car.
Classic Games to Play with Kids
- Sweet or Sour – This game is timeless, I remember playing this one on the school bus as a child. As you drive and pass other traveling cars, wave to the people sitting in the back or passenger seats—if they wave back they’re “sweet” but if they ignore you they’re “sour.” It’s funny to see some of the reactions people have just by seeing a stranger wave enthusiastically at them!
- Fortunately, / Unfortunately, – This game is like improv-mad libs. Taking turns around the car, go around switching between extremely positive and then extremely negative sentences to make a crazy story. For example:
Person 1: Fortunately, we brought lots of food to the picnic
Person 2: Unfortunately, everything is covered in ants
Person 3: Fortunately, we can order a pizza
Person 4: Unfortunately, the pizza is coming from outer space …
… and so on. Keep going around the car until your story comes to an epic conclusion. Will it be fortunate or unfortunate? You decide!
- Human Jukebox – This game can be fun for both kids and adults. Taking turns, one person says a lyric to a favorite song or (nursery rhymes would work well with children), and the next person must come up with a song lyric that starts with the word the last person ended on. For example:
Person 1: “Let me tell you one time (girl I love, girl I love you) (Justin Bieber- One Time)
Person 2: “You make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of heaven for too long.” (Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven)
Person 3: “Long ago and oh so far away, I feel in love with you before the second show.” (The Carpenters – Superstar)
See how long you can keep the human jukebox chain going, it might be harder than you think!
- Mad Libs – An oldie but a goodie. Mad libs are a fantastic way to get a few laughs out of the whole car without trying too hard. Bring along a book of mad libs with you on the road and complete a “story” periodically. Bonus: when you’ve finished the booklet, you can read your silly stories again later and re-live the fun.
Ongoing Car Games to Play with Kids That Will Make the Trip Go by Faster
- Don’t Say It – This is a game you can play throughout your entire road trip. Pick a word everyone commonly uses and vow not to say it the entire time you all are in the car. When you pick a familiar word like, “look,” or “car,” it can be pretty funny listening to your fellow passengers try to talk around it.
- License Plate Game – I know you’ve played this one before, and now it’s time to pass the tradition on to the kids! As you drive past cars, take a look at the license plate and see where each vehicle comes from. See who can spot the car from the furthest state, or an unusual state. Wouldn’t it be so cool to see a car that has come all the way from Hawaii?!
- Geography Road Game – This game is fun for everybody, especially if you are just itching to use your smartphone again. In every state that you drive through, look up intriguing facts and trivia about that state. See who can come up with the most interesting tidbits to share. For example, did you know the state bird of South Carolina is the domesticated turkey?
Why You Should Play Road Trip Car Games with Kids
While it may seem easier to just pop on some music and scroll through your Instagram feed until you reach your destination, this probably isn’t the best thing for you or the kids in the car.
When you spend the time and play games with your children on long road trips, you guys are establishing some special bonding time. This road trip might seem like a pain now, but in a few years when your kids are grown up you are going to wish you had taken the time to spend with them when you could.
Some other reasons why you should play games with your kids in the car …
- Laughing reduces stress and let’s face it—long road trips can be quite stressful.
- Learn something new and bond – whether it is a random fact about a state or a personality trait you may not have noticed about your youngster before, road trips can be a wonderful time to get to know one another better. Not to mention you might learn a thing or two about the country you live in along the way!
- Teach your kids patience – good things (like family visits and vacations), come to those who wait, right? It’s never too early to teach kids the value of patience, especially in todays tech-savvy world.
Whether you can’t wait to get out on the road or you can’t wait to get out of the car, road trips can be fun for the whole family. Do you have any favorite road trip games you would want to pass on to your kids?