As our winter road trip approaches, I am looking forward to the fun times we will have while traveling. Over the years, we have become quite good at passing the time by playing silly road-trip games.
I SpyThis is a classic game that many parents have played with their children. I Spy is a really simple game that can be fun for all age groups and is easy to play when confined to a small area. I will give the description below, but seriously, who hasn’t played I spy?
How to play:
Youngest goes first by saying “I spy with my little eye, something…”, complete the sentence with a color. The other passengers then start to guess what the object is until one person guesses correctly. The person who guesses correctly then gets a turn to spy something and give everyone else a chance to guess.
I Spy Animal EditionFor this version of the classic I Spy game, the spy does not need to see the animal but only think about it. The possibilities are limitless but for younger players the animal variety may be slightly smaller. This becomes a great teaching moment by simply showing them a picture of the animal on your phone or tablet.
How to play:
Youngest goes first by saying “I spy in my mind's eye, an animal that is…”, complete the sentence with the color of the animal. The other passengers then start to guess what animal the person is thinking of until one person guesses correctly. The spy usually gives fun clues along the way until one person guesses. The person who guesses gets a turn to spy something and give everyone else a chance to guess.
Road-side Scavenger Hunt
How To Play:
Simply make a verbal or written list of things to look for as you drive. Some of our favorites are, green mail box, barn with red roof, pink house, yellow car/truck, a tractor, etc. Keep in mind that it is fun to put some wierd but fun things on the list. At some point along the way, trust me, you will find it. Each time that someone does spot an item on the list, everyone celebrates like crazy. Everyone except the driver of course.
The License Plate GameThis is a great way to pass the time while driving. By the end of your trip, you may be surprised by how many other travelers you share the road with.
How to play:Each passenger will look at the license plate of passing cars. Each new plate is written down by a family member. At the end of the trip, you can tally them up to see how many states were represented on your trip. This is also a good game to play when stopping at rest stops, gas stations, and restaurants.
Create a playlistThis started a few years back when my wife and I were planning our wedding playlist. Since then, this has become a sort of a road trip tradition. To do this, we simply start a Spotify playlist or modify an existing one. We each name songs that we like or have recently heard and after listening to each one we add it to the list. This is fun because we all have different tastes in music but we tend to like all genres. Our playlist will typically be filled with bluegrass, country, rock, and pop. Yes, we are a slighty weird family.
How to play:Press play.
Dot to Dot Cheaters AdditionDot to Dot is a game that my mom taught me when I was around 7 years old. It is a lot of fun when traveling because the sheet typically gets passed from the front seat to the back seat. Inevitably, my son will begin to make an extra line or two to get a couple of extra spaces. It is no surprise that his favorite game is Monopoly Cheaters addition. This game usually turns into a lot of laughs, but rarely it turns to huge argument. But in my opinion, every road trip needs a good argument.
How to play:Simply make dots on a page, or print out several pages to take with you. Each person connects one line segment anywhere on the board. Eventually, boxes will be formed and whoever makes the box puts their initials in that box. The person with the most initials on the page wins the game.
Travel BingoThis idea expands on the earlier mentioned license plate game. For our upcoming road trip I created travel bingo boards. The boards take on the appearance of classic bingo accept each square is filled with a state. Each time we see a license plate with that state we will each mark it off on the sheet. The first person to get 5 in a row wins. Whoever is in the passenger seat always helps the driver.
How to play:Each time you see a Volkswagen bug, tap the person next to you and say bunch bug. Only one tap if it’s a newer model, two taps if it’s vintage, if it’s pink then you get a third tap or maybe more. Be careful though, if that pink is a debatable shade of purple you could get a penalty and lose a stroke. On a side note, pictures of VW beetles shown on billboards or in magazine ads count too.
This vintage, multi-collor bug, with read wheel, a sunshine and flowers painted on it, should be would at least 5 points!
Thank you for reading, please add your favorite road trip games or ideas in the comments!