Family Road Trip Survival Guide: Fun Games Everyone Will Love

Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means you’ve got one more chance to take a vacation before summer ends. And for many Michigan families, that means going on a road trip. While traveling by car means you have to deal with traffic, it also means you and your kids can enjoy hours of uninterrupted quality time together. If the little ones in the back seat start to get a little antsy, resist just giving them a screen to stare at. Instead, play one of these seven great car ride games:

  1. I Spy: You know this one. It starts with someone saying “I spy with my little eye something…blue.” This game can keep them young ones entertained for long periods of time. The rules are simple: One person identifies something and recites the line, ending in a clue. Everyone else tries to guess what the spy has spied.
  2. I’m Going On A Picnic: This alphabet-based memory game starts with the first player saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” followed by something that begins with the letter A. The second player recites what the first player says and then adds something that begins with the letter B. And so on with the rest of the alphabet. If someone forgets an item, they are out (but maybe drop a couple hints to the younger ones).
  3. 20 Questions: Fun, easy and a great use of time, 20 Questions is quick to learn. One person thinks of a person, place or a thing, everyone else takes turns asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. After each answer, the questioner gets one guess. The group has 20 chances to guess the correct person, place or thing.
  4. Dots: Who knew something so simple could be so much fun. You’ll need two writing utensils in different colors (a pen and pencil work well), a piece of paper and two players. Draw 11 dots across the paper and repeat four times until you have 44 dots in all. The first player draws a line between any two adjacent dots with the pen (the line can be vertical or horizontal). The next player does the same with the pencil. The players go back and forth, trying to finish boxes with their lines. Each time you create a box, put your initial in it. When you make a box, you go again. The player who creates the most boxes wins!
  5. The Animal Game: This puts the kids (and parents) zoology skills to the test. Going in a circle, the first person will say an animal with that begins with the letter A, like ant. Then the second player will say an animal that begins with the last letter of the previous animal, in this case you could say tiger. When a player can’t think of any more animals, that person is out.
  6. The Scavenger Hunt: Before you start your journey, make a list of 50 things you can try to spot during your car ride. This one is really fun to get creative with. You can list anything from a brown horse to someone singing along to a song in another car. Print out a copy for everyone. The goal is to cross off everything off your list by the time you get back home.
  7. License Plate Game: Print out a list of all 50 states and, as you are driving, check off a state if you see a license plate from there. Try to get every state checked off by the time you reach your destination.

Need more road trip ideas? You may want to read:

Photo credit: Tim Samoff

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