There’s only so many times you can play ‘I Spy’ in a moving vehicle before you actually run out of new things to spy. Besides, the steering wheel and glove box don’t make for a particularly exciting guessing game to begin with. Before long you’ve got a pack of bored, restless and tired kiddies asking every five minutes “are we there yet?”, and your summer road trip quickly becomes a bummer road trip.
Sound familiar? The thing about classic road trip games is that they all become boring eventually, so the trick is to have a whole bunch of ‘em up your sleeve so you can mix it up. Alternate the following road trip games between rest stops, snacks, gizmos, toys, apps and with any luck, naps, and you might just arrive at your destination with your sanity intact!
So easy, and yet so effective at keeping the kids busy, especially the littlies. Players simply choose something to keep count of during the trip, such as horses, semi-trailers, yellow road signs, cyclists – if you can see it out the window, you can play it! Bear in mind that things can get mighty interesting once you come across a paddock full of cows or sheep.
Name the band.
Now that counting roadside sheep has put the littlest kids to sleep, why not test the older kids’ music knowledge? Plan ahead and make a summer road trip playlist using a combination of old and new family-friendly songs. Try to pick songs by reasonably well-known artists as well as some obscure ones. Think jukebox classics or the current top ten, as well as some one hit wonders. Every time a new song comes on players have to guess the band or artist. If no-one knows, try giving clues to see if they can work it out.
Make sure IMDB is off limits for this game in which players take turns connecting actors through movies they’ve appeared in. The first player names an actor or actress, then the next person names a film they’ve starred in. The next player then has to think of a different actor who was in that film, and so on. Don’t forget to strategise and make it tough for the next person, for example: Meg Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks, Castaway… errm Wilson the Volleyball? See what we mean? Have fun with it!
Would you rather?
Who doesn’t love a ridiculous, albeit thought-provoking, hypothetical? Get their brains ticking with some silly age-appropriate scenarios that you’ve prepared ahead for time, for example: Would you rather sneeze cheese or cry cordial? Would you rather have fairy wings or a mermaid tail? The only rule is that they can’t say ‘neither’. Try to encourage discussion about their rationalisation, too!
Number plate games.
There are loads of road trip games that utilise number plates, but one of the simplest and most creative is to think of words based on number plate letters as they pass. For example, if the number plate was TIC123, the challenge could be to think of six words (1 + 2 + 3) that contain ‘tic’, such as ‘fantastic’ or ‘tickle’. Or you could create a phrase using the three letters, for example BHD could be ‘big hungry dog’. Then make a nonsensical story out of everyone’s phrases.
Imaginary Hide & Seek.
Just as there’s not much to spy in a car, there’s also nowhere to hide – except in your imagination! A different take on 20 questions, the hider imagines themselves concealed in a secret spot at home, or any agreed-upon location, and the seeker then asks a series of yes or no questions to figure out where they are.
What are your favourite no-fuss and all-imagination road trip games for kids? Let us know on our Facebook page.