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Road trip games for kids

Heading out on a summer road trip didn’t used to include switching on the in-car DVD players and popping headphones on your kids. Believe us — we know this is sometimes the easiest and happiest solution for everyone. But there are other forms of road trip entertainment! Check out these fun road trip games for kids.

Family on road trip

I Spy

We all know this classic road trip game, but you can give it a new spin or a more age-appropriate twist depending on the ages of your kids. Look for numbers, colors or an upcoming monument on your road trip trail.

License plate games

License plates can keep kids entertained for hours — if you make a game out of it! See who can spot the most out-of-state license plates, try to count as high as you can finding numbers on different license plates or make a funny phrase out of a group of letters (i.e. TMC can stand for “too many chips” or “tiny monkey cups”). Everyone in the car can vote for the most creative phrase.

Check out these must-have travel kits for kids >>

Road trip memory

Customize this memory game to your family’s road trip destination. The first person starts the game by saying, “I’m going camping and I’m going to bring my fishing pole.” The next player repeats the first phrase and the first item “packed,” then adds another: “I’m going camping and I’m going to bring my fishing pole and my sleeping bag…” And so on. Each player has to say all the “packed” items in the correct order before adding another.

Check off your summer travel checklist >>

Activity books, travel games

Before you set out on a road trip, scour the dollar store for fun activity books and crayons, portable travel games (with no loose pieces) and new books to break out during a moment of boredom or the verge of a meltdown.

Check out these all-important road trip activities to keep the kids calm >>

Alphabet game

Players try to find three things that begin with the same letter, starting with “A.” Play individually, on teams or as a group. If you make it all the way to “Z,” we applaud you!

Now you deserve a little break, so get that DVD player going.

Quick tip

To avoid meltdowns during lengthy stretches of your road trip, schedule stops for potty breaks, to shake the sillies out, get a bite to eat or simply to stretch your legs a little bit.

More family travel fun

5 Tips for a fun family road trip
6 Road trip foods (kid friendly, bikini friendly)
Top U.S. cultural vacation destinations for families

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