If you're planning to move far from your hometown and you have children in tow, then you'll want to come prepared with ways to keep them entertained during the road trip. Knowing some old-fashioned car games can be a great way to engage both children and adults alike.
Games make for easy family bonding time. However, they're not only entertaining - they're also practical. While some cars come fitted with televisions, and some kids seem constantly equipped with handheld video games, you don't want to run into a situation in which batteries die and children are left energetic but unengaged. Also, some kids can be prone to motion sickness, meaning you won't be able to rely on books or movies to capture their attention. Lastly, road trips can be just as tedious for adults as for children, except that front seat passengers can't enjoy the same accommodations as their backseat companions. Car games can keep adults awake and focused when behind the wheel.
Here, are 5 games that don't require a battery, electrical cord or a roaming data plan:
"I'm going on a road trip..."
This is a great memory game that's sure to keep everyone on their toes. To start, someone says the phrase, "I'm going on a road trip, and I'm bringing," and then they announce an object starting with the letter A. The next player going clockwise says the same phrase including the A object, and adds an item starting with the letter B. As each player takes their turn, more letters of the alphabet are added until you reach Z. If someone forgets an object or can't think of something, they are out and the next person tries that same letter. To make the game more challenging, you can choose a category in which all of the items have to fit, such as fruits, animals and countries.
Find the ABCs
The alphabet makes another appearance in this test of your observational skills. Starting with A, players must try to spot written words outside the car that begin with each successive letter in the alphabet. Usable words can appear on billboards, traffic signs, license plates, bumper stickers or anything else within plain view of the car. Once one player sees and announces a word, no one is allowed to use it, unless it appears again somewhere else. The first player to personally work through the entire alphabet is the winner. So, for example, someone might get to the letter E by having seen a sign for the Adirondacks, a Buick dealership, a truck delivering chicken, and a traffic signal announcing delays. Form teams for a new dynamic.
The 50 states game
If children are on the younger side, this game is less challenging than the first two, and can be played casually throughout the course of a trip. Passengers simply keep an eye out for license plates from all 50 states. The game is over once they've all been spotted.
Here is the classic game of observation, no doubt known by many road trip veterans. Someone announces, "I spy with my little eye, something..." and then they name the color of an object that they see outside the car. A variation extends the phrase to say, "something that starts with the letter," and declares the letter first letter of the object's name. The only rules are that the object has to be visible to other players and it should remain visible for an extended period of time.
You can play this popular parlor game during, after or before moving - whenever you or your kids are bored. Best of all, it's easy to learn but often challenging to play. One person thinks of a noun and the rest of the car must guess who it is. They only have 20 yes-or-no questions between them.