Road trips can be fantastic memory-makers, but sometimes they seem to stretch on forever. (And forever feels even longer when a tiny voice pipes up to ask, "Are we there yet?" roughly every four and a half minutes.)
Let's face it. Hours of sitting in a small space only qualify as fun for so long, right? However, the right activities can make traveling in the car a fun bonding experience that kids and parents can enjoy!
Here are ten materials-free activities that can be played in the car.
This one is a classic for a reason! One player secretly picks something everyone can see and gives a clue to what it is by saying "I spy with my little eye something that begins with 'A.'" or "I spy something blue!" Everyone else in the car looks around and tries to guess the object. The first person to guess correctly gets to pick the next object. (Note: If the thing everyone is trying to guess goes away, a new thing needs to be picked.)
White Stretch Limo
The group picks four different colors and types of cars (red trucks, blue Beetles, etc.). The first person to spot one of those cars gets a point and no one else can get a point from that vehicle. Set a time limit. Whoever has the most points at the end of the time limit wins. However, if anyone spots a white stretch limo, they get ten points and the game is immediately over.
Everyone keeps an eye out for the license plates of other cars on the road. The goal of the game is to try to spot a license plate from each of the fifty states. Once someone spots a license plate, no one else may claim it. Whoever has the most states at the end of the trip wins. (Optional: You can claim Canadian license plates from different provinces for bonus points!)
"I'm Going to the Picnic..."
This one is a memory game! One person begins with, "I'm going to the picnic, and I'm bringing [Item A]." Then the next person adds their own item and repeats the previous item: "I'm going to the picnic, and I'm bringing [Item B] and [Item A]." The list grows as it goes around and around the car. Anyone who doesn't remember all the current items on the list is out of the game. The list continues until only one player remains.
One player picks a person, place, or thing. The rest of the group gets to ask twenty yes-or-no questions to try to figure out what it is. If someone guesses correctly, they get to pick the next person, place, or thing. If no one does, the person who picked chooses the next person to pick something.
This is a game to unleash the group's imagination. One at a time, each person tells one sentence of a story. The person after them adds another sentence to the story, without negating what the previous person said. The story continues until one person sees a way to wrap it up and adds "The End." This is one where the more creatively absurd you get, the more fun it can be.
Pick a fruit with a distinct color, like red apple, yellow banana, etc. Everyone looks out the window for a vehicle of that color. The first person to spot a vehicle that is the proper color gets points based on its size. (A red car might be worth 2 points, a red truck might be worth 5 points, etc.) Set a time limit. Whoever has the highest score at the end of that time gets to pick the next color.
Who Am I?
One player secretly picks a person (real or fictional. living or historical) and the rest in the car have to guess who they are by asking yes-or-no questions. (Ex.: "Are you from France?" "Are you a woman?" "Are you still alive today?") The first person to guess correctly gets to pick the next person.
(Note: This one is best played with five or more players.) Pick a category like colors, food, TV shows, etc. One at a time, everyone says a thing from that category, paying attention to the order everyone spoke in. Recreate this pattern a few times. Then make another pattern, with a different category and a different order. Now do both patterns at once. See how many patterns your group can keep going at the same time, without losing one.
Name That Tune
One person hums a favorite song. Everyone else tries to guess the name of the song (or what TV show it is from, if you want to include theme songs). The first person to guess correctly gets to hum the next song.
Next time you find yourself in the car for a long period of time, try out one or two (or more!) of these activities. We hope these games can make your road trips feel a little shorter and be filled with a lot more laughter.
Photo Credit: Epcy4