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Road Trip! What do you do to entertain your kids in the car?

Again, I'm working to consolidate my blogs: this one comes from the summer but thought it would be appropriate during the holiday season where car travel is prevalent.

This summer we have taken a few long road trips and we have a couple of more coming up.  Keeping the kids at peace in the car is a primary goal.  They're older now, it should be easier you say - not quite - they tend to be fidgety, fight with siblings more, sleep less and not amused when you sing to them.  I'm passing on to you some words of wisdom and a couple of games, I hope will help you on your trip. 

ROAD TRIP - who's ready?

Games, yes they are primarily word games.  I do not like games where there are pieces, with one exception, that can get lost in the car:

Storytellers  Someone says a sentence, "Once upon a time there was a boy with green hair."  and then another person in the car adds a sentence, "He had a pink Turtle named George."  Continue this way and you may get some interesting or funny stories.  Warning: You may have to prepare your kids that the story may not go the way you planned, they must allow the story to take twists and turns.  At first, my daughter thought she set up the story to take a natural turn, however it did not.

3-words  You can modify the Storytellers game above by telling participants they can only say 3 (or 2 or 4 or whatever) words instead of a whole sentence.

License Plates  Each time we take a trip - for that trip we keep track of the license plates we see.   My kids usually say don't want to play but I keep track and they say, "oh hey mom there's Hawaii" - yes we found Hawaii once.  They'll even read off the list for me while driving or write it down for me.  It's also a great way to learn or remember the state's abbreviations.  At the end of the trip we count up how many we found.  If we found more than half, then it was a good trip :)

A my name is Annie  Yes, we still play this classic game although this one is if they are really bored.  For those of you not in the know it goes like this - you pick a letter, usually we take turns alphabetically and say our name, who our boyfriend is, where we come from and what we sell, all starting with the same letter.  something like this ....

A my name is Annie and
my boyfriend's name is Al
we come from Alabama and
we like to sell Apples


Another Alphabet game  As we look outside the window, we try to look for words that start with the different letters of the alphabet on signs, bumper stickers, billboards, etc.  Our rules (you may modify as necessary) are:

 we have to go in alphabetical order - so you have to find a word that starts with D before you can look for a word that starts with the letter E.

The word has to be outside the car.

Board games without the board  Take trival pursuits cards with and read the questions, have everyone give an answer and then see who's correct.  No competition, just answer questions.  If you are looking for something different, try taboo - just bring the cards with you. 


  1. Our three year old can be a nightmare in the car. This year we used the ferry as a way to be able to drive more of a distance without becoming very irritated. Still, it got to a point where I needed a game. This one worked so well we still play it, even in our home:

    Somebody says something, and asks that everybody who it applies to puts his finger in the air. Like: "Everybody who sees an oldtimer put your finger in the air" at the moment when you're passing an oldtimer.

    To my suprise, he picked up on it really quickly, joining the saying something part and asking us to put up our fingers. He beamed with joy :)

    1. Oh neat, that's a variation of one the kids play on chairs. Everyone has a chair but the person who is it, that person says, everyone who has sneakers, then everyone who is wearing sneakers gets up and runs to grab a seat somewhere else. If you are left without a seat you're it. Yours would be perfect in the car, the last one to put their finger up is it. Love it!

  2. Sounds like fun - I almost want to go traveling to play these games!

    1. Wellll, there's still Christmas and then of course there's summer vacation :)

  3. My childhood family liked singing in the car, especially songs for which you could make up new lines or verses.

    Oh you can't get to Heaven
    on roller skates,
    'cause you'll roll right past
    those pearly gates.

    Oh you can't get to Heaven
    in Daddy's car,
    'cause Daddy's car
    can't go that far.

    And so on. There was a chorus, too, after each verse.


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