Be prepared for your next road trip with the best car games for kids. Long car rides and road trips can be one of the best ways to travel as a family, but if unprepared you can have a rotten experience if your kids are constantly asking, “Are we there yet?” Here are 13 of my favorite ways to help combat the boredom and reach your destination in one piece.
Be sure to pack your car with every needful thing. If you need some advice on that, be sure to check out the essentials I always have in my car.
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Games don’t have to complicated to be fun.
Every summer as a child I would take a long trip to Lake Powell, which at the time was about 7-8 hours of travel in the back of a hot suburban with my three brothers and sister. We had very little to keep us occupied as personal tablets and video games were not yet available so we came up with some little games of our own to pass the time. Here are some car games for kids I think will make your trip more enjoyable!
1.ABC Game: This game can be played in a lot of different ways, but a good place to start is to have each person in the car try to find objects, signs, or license plates that contain the letter they are assigned in order of the alphabet. Depending on the ages of the players and the sparseness of words available you can adjust the letters as you see fit.
2. Mad Libs: Do you remember Mad Libs from when you were a kid? On Amazon you can snag this book for only a couple of bucks or even print out the book for free! Mad Libs offers a fun and entertaining way to create stories and adventures from filling out the adjectives, nouns, and verbs within a story. This is entertainment that teaches vocabulary in a really organic way.
3. Easy Tape: This game is really fun to use up the extra washi tape that you may have in your craft closet. You could have the children use the tape to create their own scene or a find a book like this to help them recreate simple art!
4. Squigz: These toys are easily one of my very favorite. They are not messy, they don’t hurt if you step on them, and they can be used in the car, in the bath, or at home. The stick, they suck, they build and they work your child’s brain to come up with their own creative creations. Added bonus, when my baby was teething I would let him chew on one of the really long ones (as to not be a choking hazard) and it doubled as an awesome teething toy.
5. The Teachers’s Dog: This is an alphabet-based memory game for older kids. The game centers around a sentence in which only two words change. To play, each player constructs the same sentence around a letter of the alphabet. Starting with A, the first player could say “The teachers’s dog is an awesome dog named Amy.” The second player replaces the two underlined words with others starting with A, like, “The Teacher’s dog is an adorable dog named Albert.” If a player can’t think of a new adjective, or if she repeats a word, she is out. Continue the game using the same sentence going through the alphabet B,C,D until there is only one player left.
6. Magnetic Take & Go games:
Magnets are a really fun way to play in the car because they will not roll or fall onto the floor. There are quite a few ways to enjoy this kind of play. You could create your own using a cookie sheet and making magnetic stickers or games. Or you can buy kits that are already made like this one or this one. A good idea is to bring along the cookie tray anyway because it serves as a mini desk for your child and you don’t need to worry about it getting damaged.
7. Bucket List: This “game” is actually a conversation that my husband and I will always have on long car rides whether the kids are with us or not. We’ll discuss the silliest to the most serious things we hope to accomplish in our lives. This is a rare opportunity to have your family all in one enclosed space and truly a magical time to discuss what could be and how you intend to get there. Make a family bucket list, a family travel list, a family dessert bucket list. Anything, really. It is so much fun and connects you on a deeper level.
8. Water Wow: Coloring is a favorite pass time for kids, but it can also make a huge mess. That is why I am obsessed with Water Wow. With only water your child can color the different pages again and again to discover the colorful picture that lies underneath. Keep in mind that if you do buy these books you can save quite a bit by buying them in a bundle. My children ages 1-10 all enjoy these books.
9. Tell me your favorite. Long car trips just beg for a trip down memory lane. My husband and I will join in on this and have each person share some of their favorite memories. This is easily one of my favorite things to do because it allows for you to come closer as a family and brings things back to your memory that you may have thought were no big deal, but discover that a special book you read or walk you took with your child is stored in their memory bank as something they will never forget.
10. Personal gaming system like the new Nintendo 2DS xl.
Personal gaming systems are a fun way to play that can hold the peace better than a lot of other things can. Remember to keep your gaming systems charged and use kid friendly headphones so that it doesn’t bother other riders.
We recently attending an event with Nintendo and learned about their new Nintendo 2DSxl. My kids have been big fans for a long time so this was basically an event from their dreams.
We love the Nintendo 2DSxl because it allows for individual entertainment as well as linking up for team play. I love that I can trust the games that Nintendo has to be family friendly and safe. You can also access the online store to upload and save the games right onto your system so you are not having to worry about losing them while traveling.
You can stream Netflix, Hulu, take and edit photos, and have the convenience of the parental controls. My kids are now all saving up to buy one of their own. Another fun feature? You can track usage to make sure that your child is staying within the guidelines you set. We received a new system and loved the new features. I was afraid that they might fight over the new system, so for now now this new 2DSxl is mine! #sponsored
11. I’m going to the Beach/Desert/Disneyland. This game is really fun for kids ages 4 and up. You each take a turn saying the things that you would bring to a destination as you take turns going through the alphabet. If someone cannot come up with a word that fits the letter they are out. You can decide to reserve a “phone a friend” to get help if you are playing with young ones.
12. Tic Tac Toe: This game is a classic and one that often gets over looked. You can play this with a paper and pencil anywhere, anytime. If you are looking for something that is a little different you can buy a classic magnet game set like this one to mix up the play and fun.
13. Busy Bags: Create endless hours of fun play with Busy Bags from my friend’s shop at Mother’s Niche! Use code: mommystyle10 for 10% off your purchase! You can make play doh creations, sorting games, or hamburger stackers like these. They are downloadable and easy to laminate and use again and again. Buy products in a bundle to save even more!
What games do you like to play in the car? If all else fails and its time for the games to be done, pop in your favorite Disney movie and enjoy some peace and quiet! We love these universal car seat mounts that let us use our tablets/ipads as personal monitors.