Monday, July 9, 2012


Tuesday Travel Tips: Amazing Car Games

Tired of "i Spy something black."???  Take a look at these fresh new car game ideas:

1. Alpha-Bets
Using letters found in the license plates of passing cars, see what words you can make that include those letters.  If you play against an opponent, keep a list and score one point for each word.

2. Spot Spot
From the very beginning of the trip until you return home, keep one list of every animal you see (if a zoo is on your itinerary, make sure you have extra paper).  You will be astonished at the number of different animals you will encounter on your trip, even in the city.  It's a lot of fun, your kids will learn a lot, and you'll find that the task itself will keep them form getting bored no mater where they are.

3. Signals
Here is a new use for the car radio!  One player sits in the front seat (mom) and watches the station numbers in the display window as he presses the SCAN or SEEK button on the radio.  The first player tells the other players the "signal" that comes up in the display window.  The players then begin a one-minute search outside the car on license plates, road signs, building numbers, and billboards for the numbers that make up the signal.  Players receive a point each time they spot one of the numbers in the station number called.  The winner is the person with the most points after 3 rounds.

4. Pass By
Keep a pad of paper & a pen handy.  As you pass by other cars, billboards, signs, stores, or other sights, have each child call out something funny she sees and you keep the list.  Personalized license plates, funny sayings around the rim of license plates or on bumper stickers, signs in restaurant windows all count.  You'll get a kick out of reading these at the end of each day.  When you return home, the long list will help you remember those fun times when you collected the names.  It's also a great addition to your trip memory book.

5. Pig Latin
Learning a foreign language by listening to tapes can be fun, but another tounge that children can learn in minutes is Pig Latin.  Take off the first letter or phonetic sound of a word and add it after the last letter, then add an "ay."  If the word begins with a vowel, add a "vay."  "Are we there yet mom?" would become "reavay eway heretay etyay ommay?"  It's better, of course, if they think that no one else has the code.

Have a fun car game?  Let us know in the comments below or send us an email at You may be featured in a upcoming Tuesday Travel Tips.


Average Traveller said...

Pig latin was our go-to secret code for keeping secrets from the kids once they learned how to spell. Then a 2nd grade teacher had to go and teach it to one of our kids. I was not impressed. Now we have to use French or Cantonese.

Connie Weiss said...

We kept notes on my iPhone of funny things that were said or done on our Spring Break trip!

I love looking at it and remembering....

JuiceBox2Go said...

Great ideas!! We had a ridiculous game we played on road trips when I was a kid. We kept track of the cows we drove by on the way to our destination. If they were on my side of the car, I got to count them in my tally. My brother got to count the cows on his side of the car. When you pass a cemetery, all your cows die. The person with the most cows at the end of the trip (or whenever you get tired of the game) wins. It's so dumb, but it was a lot of fun yelling "ALL YOUR COWS ARE DEAD!" at my brother. It's actually a pretty good game to play, if you're driving through Texas. (We did that a lot!)

Steve said...

My kids are getting older now, and it's getting closer to them getting their own licenses. Therefore, the game of choice these days is "How many traffic laws can Dad break?" Speeding, failure to signal, running the light...they all count and get shouted at me at full volume. I don't like car games anymore.

Allison said...

Yay! Fresh ideas! We play the Animal Game, which is basically 20 Questions with animals. That one is good for little kids.

When I was growing up, I played "When I Go to London" on road trips with my cousins. For that one, everyone takes a turn adding to the list and seeing who can remember the most silly items.

Malaysian Meanders said...

How is it that I've never heard of these great games? Thanks for adding to my repetoire. I also like the "All your cows are dead!" game in the comments.

walkingon travels said...

I am printing this out and sticking it in my car. Sure could have used it last weekend when we had an utter meltdown in the car from lack of nap and a traffic jam on our way home from our trip.