As the holiday season approaches, many families will be hitting the road to spend time with loved ones. Road trips, especially long ones, can be a challenge for families when it comes to entertaining little ones. Many games come with unwieldy boards and small pieces that are easily misplaced and lost in a moving vehicle. Here are some fun games that don’t require boards or pieces to entertain the whole family on the road:
This game is perfect for younger children as it doesn’t require much skill. The first person to spot a yellow vehicle on the road shouts “Banana” to earn points. Points can be decided on the size or rarity of the yellow vehicle. For example, a yellow bus could be worth 5 points while an antique yellow Volkswagon Beetle could be worth 10 points. The winner can be judged as the first to reach a predetermined number of points or whoever has the highest score once you reach your destination.
License Plate Word Game
Stuck in traffic? The License Plate Word game can entertain the whole car. One by one, each passenger in the car has to come up with a word using the letters in the license plate of the vehicle in front of you. Passengers are eliminated when they can’t come up with a word in a pre-allotted time or repeat a word that has already been used. For example, if the car in front of you has “TUC” in the license plate, words that can be used are “Truck,” “Cute,” “Chute,” etc.
An advanced version of this game requires players to only come up with words that feature the letters in the same order as on the license plate. Using our previous example, players could use words like “Touch,” “Stuck,” or “Truncate.”
20 Questions is a guessing game that is easy to play and fun for all ages. To play this game, have one person think of a person or object. The rest of the passengers then have to guess who or what that person is thinking of by asking no more than 20 “yes” or “no” questions. Passengers can take turns thinking of people or objects for others to guess.
For added variation, try applying a holiday theme to the people/objects that passengers have to guess. Examples include mistletoe, eggnog, Santa Claus, or even specific relatives that you are traveling to visit.
This is a great game to play with children as it encourages optimism and positive thought. Start the game by making an unfortunate statement. Passengers then have to come up with fortunate statements that demonstrate the silver lining of the unfortunate statement. For example, someone can start off by saying, “Unfortunately, the restaurant got my order wrong.” Responses to this could include, “Fortunately, I liked the dish that I got even better,” or “Fortunately, the service was excellent and they fixed it right away!”
Fun for a creative family, this road trip game involves crafting a story as a team. One passenger begins with an opening line like, “The Robinson’s were travelling to grandma’s house when, suddenly, they encountered…” From there, each person in the car can build and add to the story.
This can be an especially fun activity as, once you reach your destination, someone can write down the story and even include illustrations – making a fun holiday trip souvenir.