It’s summertime, and your family might be taking a road trip for a vacation. It might seem easier to give your kids a screen and let them play, so they’re not complaining about being in the car for so long. However, sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the journey and spend time with each other without devices getting in the way.
Young children should have limits placed on their screen time, but those limits can be difficult to enforce when traveling in the car. If you’re looking for fun games to play in the car that don’t involve screens, keep reading!
Find the Alphabet Game
This game is a tried and true classic. Have each person in the car look outside and find billboards, signs, bumper stickers, or any other object with words on it. The goal is to find a word with each letter of the alphabet. You start with “a” and keep going until you find the letter “z.” Each person completes the alphabet on their own, and the first person to find all 26 letters wins the game.
You can make this game collaborative or competitive depending on what you want. Everyone in the car can work together to find all the letters, or each person can work independently to find them. You can also increase the difficulty by not allowing two people to use the same road sign for their letter.
One Line Story
With this game, each person in the car says one line of a story and you keep it going to see how weird, interesting or crazy it becomes. One person starts it off, and then you go in a circle where each person builds off of the previous line.
You can have a set number of rounds for each person, or you don’t have to set a time limit and keep the story going. This is a great game to spark your children’s imagination and boost creativity while in the car.
License Plate Game
If you’re traveling across multiple states, this game could be really fun. Have everyone look outside and find as many license plates from different states as possible. You then keep track of each state license plate you come across.
To make it more interactive for your children, you can print off pages with empty license plates and have the kids color in each plate they see. Then you can keep the pages in your car, so on each road trip they can continue filling them out. Eventually they’ll have seen every state license plate, and you have a memorable experience laid out on the piece of paper.
This game is similar to 20 questions. One person in the car thinks of a person, and the rest of the family tries to guess who that person is. The trick is that you can only ask yes or no questions. Once the mystery person is figured out, you move on to the next person in the car and they think of a new person.
Questions might look like:
- “Is this person related to us?”
- “Is this person a boy?”
- “Is this person famous?”
Bingo on the Road
For this game, print out a bingo card that has squares with different objects you’d see while traveling. Examples of these squares include stop signs, police cars, do not enter signs, etc. Have the children race to see who can fill out a row or column first. You can store little treats and give them to the winner of the game.
Draw What You See
For this game, print out sheets for your kids to draw on. Each sheet should have a letter (from A-Z) and a box that goes with each letter. Have your kids draw a picture of something they see outside while driving that corresponds with each letter. For the letter “b”, they can draw a bird or bridge if they see one. You can find printable coloring sheets here.
Other Games/Activities to do in the Car
If it’s gotten to the point in the road trip where your kids don’t want to interact with other members of the family, these activities are a great way to keep them occupied and engaged while on the road.
You can bring one of your children’s favorite coloring books with you, or you can get a new one that relates to the vacation you’re going on. If you’re going camping, you can buy a camping themed coloring book to get your children excited for the upcoming trip.
Listen to Audio Books
Find an audio book that all your children enjoy and listen to it while you’re driving. You can find excellent books for toddlers and young children. You could also choose a book that you’re already reading to the kids and simply read outloud to them in the car.
MadLibs is a classic game for any occasion. You can play this game all together where each person fills in a blank, or you can allow your child to fill it out themselves and read their funny story. Whichever one you choose, the results will be hilarious and it keeps your children engaged while on the road trip.
As you can see, there are many games to play while on the road that don’t involve a screen. Road trips can be a great way to interact with your kids and keep them interested on long trips.
If you want to learn more about fun games to play with your children, check out the Learning Experience’s YouTube Channel!