Fun, engaging travel games are an absolute necessity if you ever spend long periods of time in a vehicle with children. Coming up with quick, creative ideas to keep them occupied is a dilemma that many travel guardians face. I have spent countless hours playing travel games with children. Here are a few of the travel games that I have found perfect for those long journeys.
Travel Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of things you might see as you're travelling (this will vary depending on your location). Some good examples would be... an airplane flying overhead, a lamb, a cyclist, an ambulance, a yield sign, litter, a train, etc. Make a list for everyone or play the game as a group. If children are playing individually, the first person to call out an item gets to check it off their list. If the item appears another time at a different location on your route another child may call it and check it off of their list. Whoever gets all of their items first or whoever has the most items when you reach your destination wins.
Make up some blank bingo cars and purchase some automobile, street sign, animal or any combination of applicable stickers to put in the blank spaces. Just be sure that any stickers you buy are of items you might see in your travels. Have the children choose and place one sticker in each square (kids love stickers, so even that part is fun). As you're driving children call out and check off any items on their card that they see along the road. The first one to get a full diagonal, horizontal, or vertical line checked off wins. In a pinch, children can draw their own bingo card on a piece of paper and either write in or draw items they might see on their trip.
Buy a package of blank index cards and either write one category name or draw one category picture on each card. You should make up at least sixteen cards. Categories should reflect things you might see on your travels. Be creative with your ideas and the possibilities are limitless. Some good examples would be... street signs, emergency vehicles, transportation, animals, restaurants, sports, etc. When the cards are complete, shuffle them and turn them upside down. When travelling, the first player must draw a card and find something that fits the category picked. When an item is found the next card is picked up and an applicable item is found. All players take turns until all cards are used up. Cards can then be reshuffled and the game can continue, however, if a 'car' was found for the vehicle category on the first round, a different vehicle (eg. truck, train) must be found on the next round. Play for fun or set a time limit for each item and score a point only for items found in the given time.
Licence Plate Spell
Have each child choose a different 5 letter word. When driving each player must find the first letter of their word on a licence plate. When the first letter has been found, they must find the second letter of their word on a different licence plate. This continues till someone completes their word. Then, players choose new words and start again. The player who completes the most words first by the end of the trip wins.