Road trips don't have to be filled with frustration, boredom, and anger. Put the DVD's away and use your simple ideas to create memories. These activities help develop motor skills, visual perception, and creativity.
ABCJLM Road Trip Activity Book: Geared for children ages 4-12, the 15-page Road Trip Activity Workbook is a collection of activities and games to keep the kiddos busy while building memories for the whole family. Included are activities such as The License Plate Game, Color Candy Counting, Would You Rather?, Road Trip Bingo, and Get To Know You.
On one vacation, we kept track of all of the license plates that we saw. You could write down every time you see a new State represented or for older children tally each time you see each state.
For a quiet game, give each person a piece of hard candy. See who can keep the candy in their mouth the longest without it dissolving. The only rule is that the candy must stay in your mouth the entire time.
When you see a car with only one headlight say "Padidde" and tap the roof or dashboard of vehicle you are riding in. Whomever taps first, gets the point. A car or truck with a "Padidde" is worth 1 point, a bus is worth 5 points, an 18 wheeler is worth 10, and a police car automatically wins the game. The game is usually played to 25, but can go on for how ever long you want.
A person thinks of an animal. Other players then take turns asking simple questions that can be answered with a "yes" or a "no." (For example: Does it live in water? Does it hop? Can it be a pet?)
In the classic Slug-Bug, the player who first saw the Volkswagen Beetle and called it was allowed to punch their seatmate in the arm. This part of the game probably doesn't need to be repeated but adaptations would be fun. Count one point for a newer Bug and two points for older ones. If a players calls one wrong, they lose a point.
Guess the color of the next car you will see in oncoming traffic. Each person who is correct, gets a point.
There are numerous variations to this game making it adaptable to any age. Each person must spot a letter in alphabetic order. First one to "Z" wins. For example: Yield Ahead would give the player the letter "A". Road signs, billboards and even other cards on the highway count.
One player starts by saying "I went to a picnic, and I brought..." then says an item that begins with the letter A, such as apples. The next player must repeat the same phrase, including the A word as well as adding a B word. "I went to a picnic, and I brought apples and bug spray." Variations on the game include "I went to a concert, and I heard...", or "I went to the zoo, and I saw...", or "I went on vacation, and took along a..." or "I went to the grocery story, and I bought...".