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How to Keep Your Kids Entertained in the Car

By Best Western

Vacation season is here, and it’s time to hit the road! On a long drive to your dream destination, the kids can quickly get bored. Here are some fun car games to avoid hearing that lovely “Are we there yet?” all the way there.

I am packing my suitcase…

You may not have heard of this fun travel game so here’s how it’s played:  Each round or set starts with “I packed my suitcase and am taking with me ___.” With each round, something new is added and everything must be named in the correct order by whoever’s turn it is. The child with the best memory wins!

Parents driving a car with son in the backseat

License plate bingo

All players get a small piece of paper and a pen. Every child has about ten minutes to look on the road and write down at least five different license plates of their choice without letting the others know. Mom and dad will mark the cars that go past. If a child has listed this state, it is removed from the list. The first child to have crossed off all the states listed by the parent calls bingo and is the winner of the game.

The A to Z game

The A to Z game is fun for every age group. To start, pick a subject or category such as “animals” or “cartoon characters”. Then one of the children, ideally the youngest, starts with the letter A, for example, and names an aardvark or antelope. The next player takes B and so on up to Z. Difficult letters, like X, Q or Y may be omitted. If someone can’t think of a word when it’s their turn, they lose a point. This game can be played almost endlessly because categories are endless!

License plates phrases

This game will have everyone laughing. Take two license plates of passing cars and try to form sentences. For example, two license plates read CYN111 – BAD4731.  111 bad canyons were found in 4731 square feet in Death Valley. The wackier the sentences you can come up with, the faster the drive will go.

What or who I am?

This game is kid friendly, really amusing and has limitless possibilities. One person thinks of a real person, a cartoon character or a family member. Then all the other players must ask questions to find out who the person is. Questions can only be answered with “Yes” or “No”. So that the game doesn’t take too long, a maximum of ten “no’s” may be used. If no one guesses after 10 “no’s”, no one wins.

Question-answer game

A player starts and counts silently from A towards Z, until “stop” is called. Whatever letter the player gets stopped at is the letter you have to start all the answers with, which is certainly not always easy. Other players then ask questions. For example, about holidays, such as “How are you travelling?”, to which the other player has to start their answer with a word beginning with “H.” If the letter H, for example, the child can answer with “highway”. The next question “What are you doing on the highway?” The first child could answer “going to the beach.” Once someone guesses the correct answer, it’s the next child’s turn to start thinking from A to Z.

Whoever finds it first

This game is particularly good when driving through towns or cities and not necessarily on the highway. Each person needs to plan in advance ten things that might encounter in the next few minutes, such as a bank, bus, train etc. Next, the kids using their lists look out for their listed things. The first child who finds all the things on their list wins the game. You could add a slight twist to the game next time around so that whoever finds the things on their list first wins. Even toddlers can play this game. Although they cannot write things down, they can tell you and you can write the items for them.

Favorite colors

This is similar to the game “Whoever finds it first.” Kids must keep their eyes open on this one. The first player calls out a color and then the others have to find ten things that have this color. The player who finds them the fastest is the winner.

Word to word

This game is a classic and is great for building vocabulary. Someone throws a three syllable word in the round like “expressway.”  Then the next child has to start a new word using the third syllable of the first word. The second word could therefore be “wayward”. Then we could follow “warden” and then “entrance”. The game can go on until no one can think up any more words!

No idea

“No idea” is a game in which your kids come up with why questions. It’s a bit complicated and you don’t answer the question just asked, but rather the question before it. So you’re always off by one question. There is obviously no answer to the first question, so someone answers, “No idea!”

This example shows how the game goes:

  • Why do fish sleep in the water? No idea!
  • Why does candy taste delicious? Because otherwise, they get no air!
  • Why are frogs green? Because there is sugar in it!
  • Why are vacations cool? Because they are born green!
  • Why do school children have no fun? Because they are always free!

With these 10 games, the car ride is sure to be a part of your vacation experience!

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