Ever get bored on those long road trips – or worse – do your kids? Here are 55 games and activities that ensure your next one will be more fun!
1. Take turns filling the blanks in this sentence, going one letter of the alphabet at a time and without breaking the pace. “[Letter of the alphabet] my name is [name] and my best friend’s name is [name]. We come from [city / county / state / country] and we sell [noun].
2. One person starts “I’m going to [name of next destination] and I’m bringing [item A]. The next person repeats the sentence, but says “I’m bringing [item A] and [item B]. And so on.
3. Same as above, but the items must progress in alphabetical order.
4. See how high you can count when everyone in the car contributes one number at a time, without taking turns. Example: Sue says one. Silence. Bob says two. Jill and Dave say three at the same time! Back to zero.
5. Fortunately / Unfortunately. One person makes a statement, and the next person has to counter. Example: Person A: Fortunately, we have lots of snacks in the car. Person B: Unfortunately, they’re all covered in mold!
6. Spelling bee.
7. In-car talent show. Who has weird skills they can show off in the car? Examples: all those weird tongue tricks, double-jointed tricks, etc.
8. Name that tune.
9. Dump / Marry / Date. Name three famous people and decide what to do with them.
10. Connections. Take turns naming two people / places / things and see who can come up with a connection between the two. Note: whoever names the two things has to be able to think of a connection when challenged by another player, or… he…. LOSES A POINT.
11. Name a country. The next person has to name a country that begins with the last letter of the previous country.
12. Pick a word and go around having each person think of a word that rhymes. Whoever drops the pace… LOSES.
The Old Fashioned Way
14. Sing! In a round.
15. Sing! Disney songs. Let’s face it – who doesn’t know all the lyrics.
16. Sing! Make up your own lyrics to old tunes.
17. Sing! Show tunes. Or TV show openers.
18. Books on tape.
19. Or, have someone (with a strong stomach) read out loud.
20. Take turns reading out loud (NOT the driver!)
21. Listen to… THE RADIO. Remember that thing? Some of my favorite stations are the ones in the middle of nowhere.
22. Tell jokes. Even bad ones. Especially bad ones.
23. I Spy. But you MUST preface what you spy with “I spy with my little eye” or it doesn’t count.
24. Play Telephone.
25. Play Broken Telephone.
26. Car Colors. Everyone picks a color, and each person counts all of the passing cars in that color. Whoever reaches X number of cars first wins.
27. Use fingers to write mystery notes / phrases / words on each other’s backs.
Use Your Imagination
28. Where in the World am I? Pick a place to hide (in your imagination only – since you can’t physically leave the car) and see who can guess where you are -the more specific the better.
29. What in the World am I Doing? Same concept as above.
30. What is the worst _____. Take turns thinking of categories and have everyone answer. Example: What is the worst Girls’ name?
31. What is the best _____? Same concept as above.
32. Would you rather X or Y? Best game ever. All parties MUST answer. Example: Would you rather be able to read minds or be invisible? (Muahahaha)
33. Did you know? Have every traveler share a fact no one else knows. Personal or general.
Example: Did you know Amaxophobia is the fear of riding in cars?
34. Two truths and a lie. Each person shares three statements, two of which are true and one of which is false. Everyone else has to guess which is the lie.
35. Build a story. Each person contributes one sentence at a time to a story.
36. What does that stand for? Use passing license plates to make phrases.
Example: ZOL = Zebra On Land. Ok, I would probably lose this game.
37. Make up mathematical relationships between the numbers on passing license plates.
38. Pick random words from billboards and signs. See who can come up with the best short story or poem using all of them.
39. Alternative uses. Take turns choosing categories and see who can think of the weirdest – but possible – uses for whatever items are within reach.
40. Virtual cooking – who can think up the most delicious sounding recipe / meal? Warning: Do not play on an empty stomach.
41. That cloud looks like…
42. If [Steve] were a [kitchen utensil] he would be a…
43. If [Paul] were a [garment] he would be a…
44. Same game, pick your own category …man.
45. Talk… In an accent / Like a relative / Like someone famous / Like a pirate.
47. Complete the following statement: “If I do X” and see who can come up with the most entertaining consequence.
48. Fill in the blank “Sitting in this car is better than _______.”
Example: Sitting in this car is better than being locked in a gas station bathroom stall.
Just a Few Supplies
49. Cat’s Cradle and all those other games – all you need is a string. And fingers.
50. Take pictures of each other with a digital camera, trying to make it look like you are having THE BEST TIME EVER.
51. Use dry erase markers to draw on the car windows. Not the windshield.
52. Use dry erase markers to write (friendly) messages on the window for other travelers.
53. Use dry erase markers to play tic tac toe and / or hangman.
54. Pictionary! Or some form of it.
55. Make weird things out of pipe cleaners. Note: You need to bring pipe cleaners along for this activity to be successful.
Have any favorite games you don’t see on this list? That’s what comments are for!
If you liked this, you might also like 20 ways to Screw Up Your Labor Day Road Trip (applies to Memorial Day as well!)