This Spring Break, Try These Five Kids Games for the Car

When I was growing up, my family of six would take five-hour road trips multiple times a year. Years later, I discovered that those trips take only three and a half hours, but with kids in the car, there were multiple stops for bathrooms and tree climbing. Still there were four children in the car without iPods, tablets or DVD players, and we got very good at entertaining ourselves with fun car games. With Spring Break season coming, I thought it was time to resurrect some of those games.
  1. The License Plate Game is a classic car game. In fact, I still play this game on long road trips. Everyone in the car works together to find as many state plates as possible. Bonus points for Hawaii (if you’re already not there)!
  2. Children of all ages can play I Spy. One person says “I spy with my little eye something…” With something in mind, they describe it briefly, such as “blue,” “large,” or “that starts with the letter P.” Other players guess what it is. When someone is correct, they get to be the new spy.
  3. Categories is fun and challenging. One person picks a category, such as sports, cars or trees. Everyone takes turns saying something in that category until someone cannot think of anything. That person then picks the next category. For a challenge, add a clapping/snapping beat to follow so things must be picked quickly.
  4. Tag Team Storytelling. One person begins a story. Just when there’s a turning point, they tag in a new person who continues that story. For a guide try these prompts: “Once upon a time …. [Tag] Everyday …. [Tag] One day…. [Tag] Because of that…. [Tag] Because of that…. [Tag] The moral of the story is….”
  5. Give kids an excuse to move their bodies. While still strapped in, kids can create Feet Shows letting their imaginations run wild. Or give them feet exercises. Let them count off while curling their toes, pointing their feet or rolling their ankles. Challenge them to hold small objects, such as a pencil, with their toes.
And I could go on. You’d think long car rides would be the place of bad memories, but my siblings and I had many adventures on those trips. My parents on the other hand… well, you can imagine.
How do you keep kids entertained during long car rides?


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