The 4 Best Games for a Road Trip

Road trips can lead to backseat squabbling, whining, and cries of boredom. What’s a parent to do? If you’re looking to keep the kids entertained during your next family vacation, it’s time to get a little creative. Simple road trip games can keep the little ones amused while letting everyone else keep their sanity. Here are four games to play on the road.

1. License Plate Scavenger Hunt

One of the best parts of a cross-country drive is spotting travelers from all over the country. The license plate scavenger hunt can keep the kids interested for hours, and all it requires is a pad of paper and pen. Today, of course, you can download printable lists that make it easy to cross out the U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Just let either a parent or teen be in charge of the list. With this simple game, the whole family can work together to cross off the list. It’s also a great way to get the kids interested in geography.

2. I Spy

A great game for preschoolers and elementary school-age kids, I Spy can keep the kids entertained on long journeys. One person looks around and selects something in the car, then recites, “I spy with my little eye, something . . .” finishing the line with a descriptive clue. Once the item is guessed, the next person takes a turn.

Alternatively, you can create a list of things you hope to see along your journey and mark them off as you go along. This sort of reverse I Spy game, sometimes called Road Trip Bingo, is just as fun. It can be a bit more challenging, but it’s a great way to ensure the kids are looking out the windows rather than at their electronics during the whole road trip.

3. Tic Tac Toe

A classic paper-and-pencil game, Tic Tac Toe is easy enough for even the smallest kids to understand. If you’re playing the game on a road trip, though, you may want to opt for a Magna Doodle instead so you never have to worry about dropped pencils or torn paper. Keeping a Magna Doodle in the car is a great road trip option anyway, as you can easily switch up the games from Tic Tac Toe to Hangman and other favorites.

4. Alphabet Game

A classic road trip fave, the Alphabet Game is so easy it doesn’t require any supplies. The rules are simple: each player must independently find all the letters of the alphabet on road signs, buildings, bumper stickers, and license plates, and only one player can use a found letter. The first person to find all of the letters wins.

To make the game even more challenging, you can stipulate that the letters only count if the word you see begins with the letter you need, or that words on moving vehicles don’t count. Even if you stick with the basic rules, the game can go on for quite a while, making it a great game for both parents and kids.

Regardless of how you entertain one another during that long road trip, enjoy the little moments. These simple games will be memories you’ll cherish forever.

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