Kids get bored easy and may get a little out of control while riding in a car for a long road trip. There are some games you can play that will help keep them busy from point A to point B. Not only will this keep them busy and help pass the time, some of the games can help educate and get the kids excited about where you are going to on vacation.
Do not forget to bring extra blank notebooks, crayons, pencils and other items kids can use to keep busy with while stuck in the back seat of the car.
Before leaving on your road trip, do some research about your vacation destination. Make a list of facts and write down in a notebook or on index cards. Make up a trivia type game with the facts you have found and quiz the kids in the back seat. Not only will this help pass time, but will also educate them on where you are going on vacation.
For example, if visiting Walt Disney World a question you may ask is “Where is Cinderella’s Castle located at?” The answer of course would be the Magic Kingdom. If you are traveling with older kids who are into nature you may ask a question such as “There are four different species of this that nest annually on the east coast beaches in Florida.” The answer would be Sea Turtles.
License Plate Game
This game will keep the kids busy competing to see who will find the most state license plates while in the car. This game can be played a few different ways, including a tally of the entire road trip or individual competitions for each day or stop along the way. But remember, once out of the car the game temporarily ends.
Another addition to the game is to have kids write down the colors of the license plate, what is pictured on the plate or the state’s motto. To make their hunt for the plates easier, pre-print all of the states on a sheet of paper from Microsoft Word, Excel or other similar program, leaving enough room for their notes.
Here is an alphabetical list of all the states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, new Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If you are looking to mix things up try adding a few of the Canadian license plates too.
Keep the kids busy with this visual scavenger hunt, that will have them trying to complete the list before anyone else in the are. You can either make up a list of items for the scavenger hunt geared toward your specific vacation, or use the sample items listed below. The older kids will enjoy this game too, especially if you have them searching for town names, highways and landmarks you are expecting to pass.
Some items to include when traveling through a major city can include flashing red light, bus, signs in foreign languages, dog, billboard with child on it, cop, license plate with a “Q,” “Z” or “W,” construction worker or a person talking on a cell phone. When traveling through the suburbs or a more rural area try to include items such as a school, silo, cows, railroad tracks, food store, pond or lake, dirt road, someone on a bicycle, statue, tractor, gas station, church, snowman, barn, person walking a dog, a deer or an armadillo.
If traveling with smaller kids, rather than write out the words, print some pictures of items, paste them on a sheet of paper and have them cross off the items as they find them. Some items for toddlers and younger kids can include stores, tall building, lake or pond, bicycle, green car, cow, truck, stop sigh, someone wearing a hat, tractor, bus or a dog.