Keep kids entertained while on the road with these car-ready games

By ParentsCanada staff on June 20, 2013

Make your dreams of a quiet summer road trip a reality with these car games guaranteed to keep little ones busy for the long ride ahead.

Help Me Sara columnist shares some of her favourite car games:

Colour commentary Record the colours of cars as they whiz by, sharing which colour was noted most and comparing answers
Bumper Stumpers

Decipher personalized licence plates, or play licence plate Bingo, looking for specific number combinations.

I went to market
This goes something like, “I went to market and I bought an apple (for example)” and then the next person in rotation might say “I went to market and I bought an apple and a banana” and so on.) The idea is to pick a category such as fruit and then move through the alphabet, memorizing and repeating back what family members before you have said they have purchased at the market.

Would you rather?
This can stimulate interesting discussions. Ask everyone to consider to scenarios and see which one people prefer, such as “Would you rather have Superman powers or Batman powers?” or “Would you rather swim in a pool or at a beach?”

Here are some from our editor, Janice Biehn:

Bury your cows
One side of the car teams up against the other side. Count the cows (and other four-legged animals) out your side of the car, but if you pass a cemetery on your side, you lose your points.

Car Bingo
Make up your own Bingo cards full of things you are going to see on the route, both manmade (church, barn, traffic merge sign) and natural (cows, hawks, types of trees), and don’t forget to include a free space in the middle. Or, go to momsminivan.com/printables.html to print out readymade cards.

The geography game
Great for school age children, someone starts the round by saying a country, for example “England.” Then the next person has to say a country that starts with the last letter of the word, so, Denmark. Can you avoid the dreaded curse of the “A”s – when so many countries end with the letter A, you need to know which ones start with A!

Name that tune
Whistle or hum your favourite song or nursery rhyme and see who can guess it.

20 Questions
Animal, vegetable or mineral? Bigger than a breadbox? Remember these classics? You can also vary it by playing “Who Am I?” Choose a famous person or someone famous to you.

Games to buy

If you’re stuck for inspiration, here are some other games for purchase:

Are We There Yet? A Toss’n’Travel card game that comes in its own red car carrying bag. Visit Familygamesamerica.com for details.

20Q – a remarkable version of the car classic, where the electronic “ball” guesses what you’re thinking. So cool! Visit 20q.net for details.

Mattel Travel Games – All of your favourite card games are translated to dice and ready to go in pop cans – Apples to Apples, UNO, Skip-Bo. Visit mattel.ca for details.

Yahtzee – Buy dice at the dollar store and download score sheets, or invest in the classic from Hasbro. Visit Hasbro.com for details.

Chess and checkers – another great dollar store find – magnetic mini boards ideal for car travel.

E-Reader – No need to pack heavy books or worry about losing your place. More and more children’s titles are coming online due to industry-wide demand. Until July 18 the Kobo Mini is available for $40 and the Kobo Touch is available for $70. Visit Kobo.com for details.


By ParentsCanada staff| June 20, 2013

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