Educational Road-Trip Games You Can Play with Your Kids
Are we there yet? It’s the four words parents dread hearing most on a road trip with their children. That’s because the question is never out of genuine curiosity as to where on the road trip they are. Instead, it’s always an indication that the questioner is bored beyond belief and “ready for this road trip to be over.”
The question is made all the more dreadful when asked as early as an hour or two into an eight-hour or more trek cross-country, leaving you to wonder, “What am I going to do to entertain these kids?”
Tablets and smartphones can only do so much, and let’s face it, they’re far from educational. And all that screen time isn’t exactly great for developing eyes. They also do little at all to bring about the kind of family bonding you had in mind when you decided to go on a road trip or RVing.
So, how do you make sure these four words are never spoken in the confines of your RV or vehicle? How about with activities that are equal parts entertaining, educational, and participatory of everyone in the family: educational road-trip games!
That’s right, the road trip games you might have grown up playing are primed and ready for you to share with your kiddos. They’re great to use as a screen time break and a fun way to engage with your kids as a family and make the time fly by.
The Alphabet Game
Let’s start with the A, B, C’s. Each player writes out the alphabet (an educational task for some kids in and of itself) on a sheet of paper. Then, they begin to fill in each letter with something they see that starts with it. Passing by a farm—you can jot down “cow” for “C” and “barn” for “B.” Whoever gets their sheet filled out first wins!
Pro Tip: Eliminate letters Q, X, and Z if you’re looking for a fairly quick finish to the game. Otherwise, you’ll all be at a standstill unless you happen to pass by a zoo or a roadside musician banging it out on a xylophone.
I’m Going on a Picnic
Remember this one? The game starts with a player stating that they’re going on a picnic and bringing a certain item. The next player then says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing (what the first player mentioned plus what they want to bring).
The game continues with each player having to remember everything that is being brought on the picnic, in order. It becomes a challenge quickly! It’s a great way to work on memory and sequence skills as well as creativity and imagination in picking a new item each time it’s your turn.
Don’t Say It
This is a more passive game that you can actually play while playing other games. It’s as simple as it sounds. At the start of your road trip, select five words that can’t be said the entire trip. If a person says one of the words they gain a point.
The person with the least points at the end of the car ride wins! You can make this as challenging as you like with common words or even phrases i.e. “Are we there yet?” Again, this is a great way to work on memory skills. You can also add in a little math by assigning the task of tallying the points to one of your kids.
The License Plate Game
License plate bingo is a classic road trip game. As you’re crossing the country, you and your fellow passengers keep your eyes peeled for license plates from various states—Michigan, Oregon, maybe even Alaska!
A point is awarded each time a player sees a license plate from a new state. You can set a time limit for the game and even award more points for less common plates based on the part of the country you’re in. For example, if you’re driving in Minnesota, award one point for Wisconsin and five for Alaska.
You can also throw in some trivia for added points and education. When a player finds a new state, quiz them on it. “What’s the capital of Wisconsin? Name each state it borders? How about a famous person from the state?” Give additional points for each question answered correctly. You’ve now covered an entire subject of school in a game that your kids will think is nothing but fun.
The Car Color Game
The car color game is another classic, yet educational road-trip game. Each player gets a sheet of paper and makes columns for cars with certain colors. Each time a car of the corresponding color is found, check it off your list. Make it challenging by picking less common colors – purple, pink. Brown. You’ll hear cheers of joy if, after an hour or more of searching, a purple car zooms by!
You can turn this game into an art lesson too by throwing in questions when certain car colors are discovered such as “that’s a purple car. What two colors make purple? The answer? Red and blue.
With these five educational road-trip games at your disposal, you’re sure to have hours of laughter, fun, and learning while you make it to your destination—no screens required! You’ll also ensure that those dreaded four words “Are We There Yet?” are never heard from again! Game on!