It’s officially summer, and that means road trips! There are so many interesting destinations to visit with your family, but keeping the kids occupied for the ride is the real challenge.
When I was a kid, I recall singing along with the radio, reading, and staring out the window during long car rides. Sometimes we played classic car travel games, such as I Spy. (Now, there’s even a card game version!)
My kids often ask to use a tablet or their Nintendo Switch when we go on a road trip, but we try to encourage alternate forms of entertainment. Not all of our board games work well in the backseat of the car, but there are some games that can be adapted for playing on the go.
If you want to keep your kids entertained during road trips without turning to screens, check out these game options.
Brain Connect, from Blue Orange Games, takes the classic slide puzzles we remember from childhood and gives them a fun twist. It comes with four sliding puzzles and plenty of challenge cards. To win, be the first to slide and connect the thoughts in the correct order! Brain Connect is a great option for the car because you can play it alone, or when you have a partner, see who can complete the challenge first.
Say Anything Family Edition, from North Star Games, is a fun way to pass the time. In this game, one person reads a question from the card and everyone writes down their answer. You secretly pick which one is your favorite and then everyone tries to guess which answer you picked.
When playing this game in the car, you can skip the scoring and just pull out the question cards. Depending on what works best for the players in the car, everyone can write their answers on the dry erase boards or just say them out loud. Either way, there are sure to be plenty of laughs!
The Spot It! Series, from Blue Orange Games, is perfect to play in the car. The cards come in a small tin, making it easy to take anywhere. Children can play this game by themselves or place the cards between them for some group play. Race to see who can spot the matching object on both cards first! Grab the special Spot It! On the Road edition for your next road trip.
That’s It! Just the Right Party Game, from Gamewright, is easy to play with a car full of people. One person reads the description on the card, and the first person to shout out the correct answer listed on the card wins the point. For example, “an animal with whiskers.” If you guessed walrus, you get a point! This game is a great choice for the car because it’s easy to pass the cards between passengers — and even the driver can make a guess.
Timeline: Classic, from Zygomatic, is a fun, educational trivia game that you can adapt to play in the car. Timeline: Classic includes a variety of topics and can be combined with other Timeline editions. The cards feature events, discoveries, inventions, etc., and one side includes the date. To start the game, randomly select a starting card. Each player then places their card where they think it occurred chronologically. If space is limited for laying out the cards, you can modify this game for the car by asking players if they think their card took place before or after another card.
Sushi Go!, from Gamewright, is a great card game to play during road trips. Players take turns picking a card to keep and then passing the rest of the hand. Collect the best combination of sushi dishes, and the person with the highest score wins. It’s a fun, quick game that can easily be played a couple of times in a row.
Roll for It!, from Calliope Games, is a quick-and-easy dice game. Players take turns rolling dice and matching them to cards for points. When playing in the car, just roll the dice inside the game box.
Many of your favorite card games can be played during a car ride depending on how many players there are and whether or not you have a place to set your cards. Some dice games are fine, too, by just rolling the dice in the game box lid or another small container.
Plus, there are travel versions of many classic board games, such as checkers, chess, Battleship, Scrabble, and more.
What are your favorite games to play in the car?