Thinking about taking a trip with your kids? A long car trip can be a great way to spend time with your children, especially if you take the time to give your kids your undivided attention on the way to wherever you are going. Travel games for kids are a great way to keep the little ones engaged during the long drive, and give you a chance to connect as a happy family. Most of the games can also be played when you are travelling by air and by train.
Best Travel Games for Kids
When it comes to travel games for kids, there are plenty of options. From those that require you to stay constantly alert – such as the license plate game! – to those that require you to sit back and relax, such as a book on CD, there is sure to be a travel game to please everyone in the vehicle.
1. Make a Map
Kids always ask where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Make answering that question over and over again fun by creating your own map. Draw a map that features the big landmarks they might pass, as well as the average times it will take to get there. Then ask them to follow the trip along with crayon every hour or so.
2. One Minute of Words
Give each person a pencil and paper. One person is a timekeeper, and that person chooses a letter. At the word “Go” everyone in the car writes as many words as they can that start with that letter. How many words were written? The person who has the greatest number of legible words wins!
3. Who Am I?
This is a neat game that makes you think of friends, relatives, and even celebrities. You start by offering clues, such as “she has blonde hair” or “she is shorter than me.” Your kids then have to guess who you might be talking about. Just remember to talk about people that your baby is familiar with or interested in.
4. Guess What I Am Writing
This is a neat game that can keep kids quiet in the backseat! One person puts a hand over his eyes while they hold their palm out. The other person then writes a word or a number on their palm with their fingertip. The person who has their eyes closed then has to guess what the word was.
5. Lines and Dots
Before your trip, make a grid of dots on a sheet of paper. Make many of these! Then give your kids each a pencil. They take turns connecting the dots, two at a time, to form little squares. They then write their initials in the squares. The one with the most squares at the end wins!
6. Audio Books: Books on Tape or CD
This is a ridiculously easy way to keep kids entertained. You can listen to the books on the CD player in the car, so everyone can hear the same thing, or you can invest in devices for each kid and give them their own CDs to listen to. This can pass the hours so quickly, you will hardly hear a peep out of the little ones.
7. Crayons, Markers, and Coloring Books
This is a very old-fashioned travel game for kids, but it still works wonders. Give your kid a brand-new coloring book of their favorite superheroes, Disney characters, and the like. Give them a brand-new box of crayons. Then ask them to get started creating a masterpiece for you!
8. I Spy
This is also an old game you might have played when you were a kid. Choose one thing in the car or on the roadside and tell your kid, “I spy something…green!” Or blue. Or red. And then go from there, offering clues each time she takes a guess. It would be more interesting if you include things that you pass by on the road, or if there’s little to see on the road, just name something in the car/ plane/ train.
9. Card Games
A simple deck of cards can mean great fun for the little ones. Help them come up with a matching or memory game, or help them build a house of cards in the backseat. Or you can play UNO with them. This can lead to plenty of giggles and laughs for everyone.The following video shows another example of card game to play with your kid:
10. Special Notes on Games for Small Kids
When you have very small children, the games are a bit trickier. One of the keys is the element of surprise. Choose small toys and games that they have never seen before that will keep their interest for a while. You could even pack some toys he forgot about a few weeks before the trip, then pull them out on the ride. Keep in mind that little kids will likely need more attention in order to stay quiet and calm on a long ride, so you might want to have a whole bag full of goodies to pull out just in time.
The following video can provide more ideas for travel games for kids: