This post was originally published at Kayser Automotive Group, re-posted with permission. 

travel games

We all know that long car trips can seem even longer with bored children in tow. Sometimes they can even take a lot longer in winter months depending on road conditions. With all that time, even the simple things like watching movies or playing with a device can get boring.  Why not spend this time engaging with your kids?! Make taking a trip with them just as much fun as arriving at the final destination.

Here are TEN of my favorite ideas!

  1. License plate game: Print out a USA map and have your child color in the state that matches the coordinating state license plate.
    1. Extension– Color in the state with the color that the license plates are, or draw a picture of what that state represents. Research the states as you find them (will need a tablet smartphone with internet access for this unless you bring along some research materials).
  2. Before you leave, create your own map and/or journal to your destination. Include landmarks, mile-markers, exit signs, and pit stops for them to follow along and track.
    1. Extension- Leave “surprise” boxes for them to fill in after they have explored the pit-stop/restaurant, etc. They can write about it in the blank box, or draw a picture of what they saw, include a brochure, a piece of the menu, an artifact, etc.
  3. Teach your child to knit, sew, latch hook, or weave pot holders.
  4. Read a chapter book together. Take reading breaks to have long discussions and make predictions.
  5. Find some good tunes and sing together, or write your own songs about family members or about the trip you are taking.
  6. Write secret notes to one another sharing the things you like best about each other, or your favorite family memory – just make it up as you go!
  7. Unfortunately/Fortunately game: You say something unfortunate, such as “a tornado just swept up our house”, then the next player says something fortunate, like “thankfully we just got tornado insurance.” This game can be very humorous, plus it teaches kids to think quickly on their feet, as well as to be optimistic no matter what the situation.
  8. Create a family hand shake, and then practice it until everyone has it down!
  9. Have a Lego building contest! Start with a theme or task and see who can build the best model.
  10. Decide on a product/company and see who can create the best, funniest or most creative bulletin board and/or slogan. You will need to plan ahead and bring drawing materials for this fun idea.


Don’t forget about classic games such as Pictionary, Apples to Apples, and Hangman, or the age old car games such as I spy, slug bug, the alphabet game, Simon says, etc.


These games are sure to entertain and delight for hours. Please share with us your favorite way to entertain children in a car!