What comes to mind when you hear “family road trip”? Nightmare? The whine of “Are we there yet?” every five minutes from the backseat? Five hours of I Spy?
Fortunately, there IS a way to turn your road trip into a fun experience this holiday season. Not convinced? Bring on the car games!
Free Car Games:
Let’s start off with games that have two big advantages: 1) they’re free and 2) they can be enjoyed by passengers who suffer from motion sickness.
- Word Association. Pick any word to start and be prepared to wonder what on earth your family members have going on in their heads!
- Buzz! A game to calm down more excitable road trippers. Choose a word that everyone has to listen out for on the radio, road signs or advertising billboards. The first person to shout, “BUZZ!” is the winner.
- Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock. A twist on the classic that you might have seen recently on The Big Bang Theory. For ‘Spock’ make the Vulcan greeting V-sign and for the lizard head, balance four fingers on your thumb. Here’s how to conquer and to be defeated
- Rock crushes scissors and crushes lizard
- Scissors cut paper and decapitate lizard
- Paper covers rock and disproves Spock
- Lizard eats paper and poisons Spock
- Spock vaporizes rock and smashes scissors
- A Series of (Un)fortunate Events. One player comes up with a silly sentence beginning with ‘unfortunately’, and the next has to conclude it with a sentence starting with ‘fortunately’. For example: “Unfortunately a giant monster with furry green horns ate my ice-cream.” “Fortunately I’d learned monster karate so I was able to frighten him off!” You’ll be crying with laughter as the scenarios get stranger!
- Fortune Telling. Who doesn’t love an origami fortune teller! For young children who might not be able to fold their own, there are plenty of templates online.
- Counting Cows. Another classic that’s great to play if you’re driving through rural areas. Divide the car into two – the right side team and the left side team. Each team has to count the cows on their side. The side with the highest total after a certain length of time (depending on how long you think they’ll want to count cows for!) are the winners. What makes this game really fun is trying to distract the other side so they miss points!
- Tell Me a Story. One player comes up with three words (for example, beach, laugh and giant). Another passenger has to tell a story using those words. When they’re finished, they come up with another three words for the next player.
- Would I Lie To You? A player makes three statements. Two are false, one is true. The other players have to guess which one is true.
- Alphabet Cars. The first player starts with the letter A and thinks of a brand of car. Then all passengers have to keep an eye out for that type of car. After it’s been spotted, the next player comes up with a car beginning with B. Keep going until you’ve completed the alphabet. If a player can’t come up with a brand of car, they could be allowed to move onto the next letter and spot two cars of the brand they think of (or you could be mean and tell them they’re out!).
- Sleeping Lions. Too much noise and drama? This will calm things down. All children have to be as still and quiet as sleeping lions. It’s mom’s or dad’s job to tell jokes or sing silly songs to wake them up. The winner is the lion who stays sleeping.
Paid Car Games:
“Pleeeeease mom, it’s just a few dollars!” It’s hard to resist spoiling the kids, especially when you’re looking forward to a great family holiday. These games won’t break the bank and are guaranteed to start the trip off the way you want.
- Travel Scavenger Hunt for Kids: Be the first to find the various roadside objects in this game. ($9.99)
- Funny Faces Sticker Tote: A handy bag with more than 80 re-usable silly stickers and four funny faces to decorate. ($9.99)
- Richard Scarry’s Busytown Cars and Trucks Card Game: The classic book Cars and Trucks and Things That Go comes to life in this card game. It’s a fun way for little ones to practice math. ($9.99)
- Tic-Tac-Toe Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere Game: Tic-tac-toe is an old favorite for a reason – it’s great! ($8.99)
- Kids On the Go Art Lap Desk: A large writing surface with zipped compartments that allows young artists to get creative on the move! ($10.99)
- HeadsUp: This one is fun for kiddos and adults alike! This is the game Ellen Degeneris often plays on her show with guests and it will have you cracking up as cruise. ($.99)
You’ve got the travel games sorted, the route planned and the bags packed. Have you remembered to put together a travel kit to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable? Drinks, snacks, tissues and spare clothes are the final touches to make sure that this is a family road trip to remember for all the right reasons… Safe travels!