Getting your children loaded up in the car can be quite the mission. You might be helping one with their seatbelt while another is still in the doorway holding up a shoe with a confused look on their face (we've all been there, mama). One way to get them excited (and dare I say, ready on time?) is the idea of fun games to play in the car. The key detail to every awesome family road trip.
These fun games to play in the car will keep your kiddos engaged in between naps. And while some of these road trip games for kids might require advance planning, don't worry, you can mostly wing it. Plus, the memories of these silly and fun car games will last a lifetime. And it's just the thing that will keep everyone's spirits high after you've passed your fifth tumbleweed.
1. I'm going on a picnic
A classic game that will get kids thinking and using their imaginations. The first person starts by saying, "I'm going on a picnic" and then they end their sentence with a picnic-item (or something wholly unrelated for a bit of fun) that starts with the letter "a". Each person repeats the first part of the sentence but then adds their own spin with a word that begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
2. 20 questions
A guessing game for the entire car. One person thinks of a person, place, or thing. Then everyone takes turns asking questions until someone guesses correctly.
3. Name that tune
Before getting everyone packed in the car, create a playlist with your family's favorite songs. Then, on the trip, play a few seconds of each song and see who guesses the name or the artist the fastest. You can even take this one further by letting the winner choose a song for everyone to listen to as their prize.
4. Tic tac toe
If you've got a backseat full of kiddos then this is the game for you. Make sure to have a piece of paper and pencil handy for them to take turns. Or, you can even have multiple games going on at once! Let the winners of each game play against each other for the ultimate round off.
5. Ask me anything
Here's a fun game, inspired by Instagram of course! Elevate your quality one-on-one time with your child by giving them some time to ask you anything they want. It's a great way for them to learn little known facts and tidbits about their parents. Since most kids can't even imagine that their parents were once children themselves, this is a wonderful time to tell them childhood stories. And you can reminisce on old memories you may have forgotten about.
6. Scavenger hunt
Although this next one needs some advance planning, it's on almost every list of road trip games. Come up with a list, using everyone's input, of things they'd like to see on the trip. Then, from the car ride to the destination to any of the activities you have planned, everyone can participate in pointing things out along the way.
7. Would you rather?
Another classic this or that game. Take turns asking each other "Would you rather?" questions. For example, "Would you rather be the tallest person in the world or move as slow as a sloth?" Your family's answers may surprise you!
8. Word association
Pick a word to start with. Then take turns quickly coming up with words associated to it. For example, turkey, Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes...etc. You can even put your own family spin on it by giving bonus points to anyone who can think of inside jokes related to your word.
Related: Road tripping with toddlers
9. Guess the color
One person can start naming a list of things while everyone else has to guess the color they all have in common. You might start with, "grass, trees, 4-leaf clover etc" until one of the kids yells out, "Green!" You can set your own parameters for how the game ends. Like, taking too long to answer or wrong guesses.
10. Story play (first option)
The kids will have a hoot with silly story lines for this one. Come up with three words then ask your kiddos to come up with a story that incorporates your chosen three. You can have multiple stories for one set of three then pass the torch to the next player to come up with their own three words after every story has ended.
11. Story play (second option)
This fun car game is a sister game to the one above. In this version, one person starts a story then everyone keeps adding a sentence until you complete it. There will be lots of giggles when they use their imaginations to come up with the kinds of silly things only kids can dream up!
12. Don't say...
Get creative with the kiddos and make a list of words or phrases they can't say the entire trip. You can even put, "Are we there yet?" on the list (You'll future self will thank you!).