Getting away from it all and hitting the open (or, um, completely congested with traffic) road can be one of the most economical ways for families to spend their holidays. But not only are car trips easier on your wallet than a plane trip, they can also be an amazingly fun way to bond with your family and make memories that your children will treasure forever. After all, in this busy world, time with our loved ones is more precious than ever. Make the getting-there part of your holiday even more magical by playing these easy games. You’ll be there before you know it!
Pick a person in the car to start telling a story, but then tell them they’re only allowed to tell the first sentence of the story they’re making up. Going clockwise, each person in the car will add to the story until three rounds are over. So, for instance, your girl might start with, “Once there was a dragon who liked to make pasta.” (Seriously, encourage the silliness—it’ll help grow your child’s imagination.) Then your partner might say, “And he had his very own cooking show on TV called Dragon Treats!” Nothing passes time faster than creating exciting new worlds. If you’re on a longer trip and need to give your girl an added activity, set her up with some crayons and paper, and have her draw pictures to go along with the stories you create.
License Plate Bingo
Print out a map of the U.S. for each person in your car (someone else needs to handle the driver’s map, obviously!) and then play a fun—and educational!—game of bingo. When anyone in the car sees an out-of-state license plate, they need to shout it out and then mark it on their map. By the end of the trip, the passenger with the most states marked off on their map wins. Competitive fun? Check. An activity that isn’t screen-based? Double-check. Sneaky geography skill-builder? Triple check! Basically? Everyone wins.
The Picnic Game
On this variation of the alphabet game, the driver starts off by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing an apple!” (It doesn’t have to be an apple— anything starting with the letter A will do.) Then, going clockwise, the next person will say, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing an apple and a banana!” Each person needs to recite the whole list of what came before, before adding an additional item that starts with the next letter of the alphabet—making each round a little tougher than the last. The first person who breaks the chain and can’t remember all the picnic basket items has to start from scratch!