Travel Games for Kids of All Ages

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School will be out soon and many families will be hitting the highways for summer vacation.  We thought some games to play while traveling down the road would help keep the kids occupied and engaged with each other.  Some of the games are classic and others take some advance preparation, but all of them are free or inexpensive to play.

hi2002     License Plate Game

This travel game is for teams or solo players to find as many out-of-state license plates as possible. Once someone claims an out-of-state plate, that state is off limits. Restart the list every time you turn off the RV, or raise the difficulty by keeping the same list all vacation trip long. Special points for license plates from Alaska or Hawaii.

SS    License Plate Game 2

Spot a license plate and call out the letters on it.  Then everyone tries to come up with a different phrase using the letters in the order they appear on the license plate as the first letter of each word.  For instance VBR could be “very bad road” or “vegetarian brown rice.”  When you can’t think of any more look for another license plate.

Hiding in trunk     Virtual Hide and Seek

Pick a place inside your house to hide, and imagine you are there.  You can be any size, so you can hide in the silverware drawer, inside the toilet, in the dryer, wherever you can imagine!  The others ask yes/no questions only,  like “are you in the kitchen” until they narrow it down to the room, area and then….find you!  Kids love this game because it’s so fun to hide in places you’d not really fit into.  You may have to specify certain rules like no hiding between walls or in plumbing, etc.

Who Am I?

Think of someone you know, friend or relative.  Give a few hints like  “She has blonde hair and glasses”.  Let everyone go around one time with their guess.  If no one guesses add another hint like “she laughs funny.”

ScavengerHunt      Scavenger Hunt

Give each child a list of items to watch for while driving. The list can be made up ahead of time and adjusted for the places you are going to travel to.  For example, if you’re going to be traveling in the desert you will want to add items like cactus, tumbleweed, windmill, etc.

Treasure Bottle      Treasure Bottle

You will need to prepare this one ahead of time.  Use a large soda bottle or a large clean peanut butter jar. Fill it no more than 2/3 full  with uncooked rice or birdseed. Then put in about 20-25 small objects (safety pin, plastic bugs, button, M&M, nut, bolt, paper clip, penny, bead, piece of macaroni, tiny lego, and other misc. toy pieces or stuff that is probably rolling around in your kitchen junk drawer.)  Keep a count of the items and write down the number of items on the outside of the bottle. Put the lid on tight.   Let the kids take turns rolling the bottle around in their hands until they find them all. Kids of all ages love this game.  You can make more than one treasure bottle so kids don’t have to take turns – put different items in different bottles.

Same Name Game

This is a fun contest for anyone who knows pop-culture. Players go one-by-one around the RV naming two drastically different people that share either their first or last name. Example: former First Lady Barbra Bush and New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush (Bush and Bush = same name. Get it?). The player to find the pair of names with the least in common wins.

G – H – O – S – T

Ghost is to spelling as Horse is to basketball. One player starts by saying a letter out loud. In clockwise order around the RV, other players take turns adding letters on to the original letter, trying to spell the longest word possible. If a player is unable to add any more letters onto the word, that round is over, and the player receives a letter from the word G-H-O-S-T. When a player spells ghost, that player is out of the game. The winner is the last un-ghostly speller.

Kangaroo Sign     Alphabet  Highway

Using storefronts, billboards and road signs, use the letters to piece together the alphabet (in the right order, of course). Signs are only valid for one letter at a time, and the sign must pass that player’s side of the RV (if you’re the driver, focus on anything that you pass to the right). For example: the Applebee’s sign counts for the letter A, the state sign for Arizona earns a point for the letter Z, and a detour sign will work for the letter D.

Cows     Counting Cows

An easy game to make even the youngest road warriors play. Players count as many cows as they can that are visible on their side of the car. To pump up the difficulty, if you pass a cemetery on your side of the car, other players can yell the phrase “your cows are buried” to make you start back at zero. Using distractions to make your opponents miss cows or cemeteries is highly encouraged. The team or player with the most cows at the end of the trip wins.