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Road trip games to entertain the family

  • 23 March 2018

Road trips provide the perfect opportunity for a bit of family fun. Your passengers are a captive audience and it's the perfect time for a bit of healthy family competition. A few games to pass the time can relieve the monotony of a long stretch and make the journey go that much faster for smaller travellers. Try some of our favourite car-themed activities for all ages, and make yours a road trip to remember!

Car Bingo

Everyone loves a good game of bingo, and this one makes it fun for even the youngest passengers. It's a fun activity that can be played both at home or on the go (just make sure another adult or child besides the car driver can call out the matches). Print out our handy bingo sheets and you're good to go! If you're feeling extra creative, work with your little ones to create their own bingo board, incorporating their favourite cars or easily recognisable car parts. All that's needed are markers and paper. Draw a bingo board on the paper with five columns and fill in the squares with car-themed drawings.

The name game

Someone says a name (e.g. Alexis), and the next person has to say a name that begins with the last letter of that name (in this case S, so maybe Simon). The third person picks a name that begins with the last letter of the second person's choice, and so on. No duplicates allowed, and they must all be real names. A more challenging version for older kids is names of places with the same rules.

Count the cows

This game only works in rural areas, but it's great for long drives. When driving past a farm with cows, the first person to spot them calls out "My Cows!" and makes a quick count/guesstimate of how many he or she got. The object is to "collect" the most cows. Choose an "erase' object - such as a bridge or tractor, and whoever spots it first gets to erase another player's cows. Other optional rules: if you pass a graveyard on your side of the road, you lose all your cows; if you pass a church, they double.

Add-on storytelling

One person starts at the beginning of the alphabet and adds an object or person they would take on a trip away. As an example: "When I went on holiday to Whangarei, I took an apple". The next person has to repeat this and add an object, animal or person beginning with B. The longer the list gets, the harder it becomes to remember all the items.

Scavenger hunt

Make a list of items to look for - ideally things that are commonly found near the road, such as horses, cows, trucks, buses etc. Don't make it too easy or the game will be over in a flash. It's a good idea to up the ante with a reward for the person who completes the challenge first!

Fortunately...

This is another story-telling game, with a twist. Someone starts by saying "Fortunately..." and adding something fortunate, such as "...this will be my first time to Rotorua". The next person changes the tone by adding something unfortunate, such as "Unfortunately, it smells like rotten eggs". If anyone stumbles, you get a strike - three strikes and you're out!

Word rhyming

This game is good for younger kids. One of the adults picks a one-syllable word and everyone takes turns to add a rhyming word. For example, if the first word is "pig" you might add "wig" or "fig". Words cannot be repeated and you only get five seconds to think of something - or you're out! The winner starts off the next round.

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