Playing Games in the car especially on a long road trip can make time fly. Why let 4 hours seem like 10 and boring when there are dozens of games to play and make travel fun, educational and fly by even with no table, board games or movie players. Did you know that there’s a special kind of games that can be played anywhere? All you need is the power of your own brain and a little bit of imagination. This kind of game will make you smarter, but it can also make you laugh, too! Print out the Infographic and take it with you for reference!
BRAIN GAMES ON THE ROAD
Brain games are special kinds of games that exercise your mind while you play. This is when a deck of cards containing pairs of images or shapes are spread out face down in front of the player, so only the backs of the cards are visible. The object of the game is to flip over two cards at a time and try to find the matching images. There are other brain games that can be played without any cards at all, making them perfect for car trips. You can make a memory game be about whatever you like. The main challenge is to try and remember everything correctly. These aren’t the only kind of brain games out there, either. Many popular board games are actually brain games because players have to use their memory or problem-solving skills to win.
- Memory Solitaire
- Spelling Bee
- Short-Term Memory Test
- Memory and Attention Training Game
- Simon: Memory Game
- Do You Have a Photographic Memory?
- Wild Kratts Animal Match
- The Split Brain Experiments
- The Amazing Spelling Fleas
- FBI Matching Game
I Spy and Can you Find the Difference
Riddles and Brainteasers
- Not-So-Hard Riddles
- Energy Riddles
- Firefly Code-Cracker
- The Stolen Secret Code
- Visual Brainteasers (PDF)
- Brain Teasers and Optical Illusions (PDF)
- Delightfully Cheesy Riddles
- Sea Riddles
- Riddles for Winter (PDF)
- Liberty’s Kids: Riddle Riot
- Car Window Bingo(PDF)
- Team Storytelling
- Word Chain
- Who Am I?
- Tic Tac Toe
- Hang Man
- 20 Questions
- What’s Your Favorite
License Plate Game When we were kids, everyone seemed to play the license plate game on family road trips. Armed with a pad of paper, we would write down the name of each state as we spotted it. The goal, of course, was to nab all 50 states. If we were lucky, we’d bag the Canadian provinces, too. Nowadays we love the ease of an updated free printable license plate game, where kids cross off the US states and Canadian provinces as they spy them. For older kids learning US geography, we recommend the map version, which shows how far away each car originated.
Road Trip Bingo This fun game combines bingo with a scavenger hunt. Give each child a flat surface, such as a clipboard or hardcover book, to put on his or her lap. Each player gets a free printable bingo card and a zip-lock bag with 16 pennies. When a player spies an item on his card, he covers the picture with a penny. Just like in regular bingo, the first player to cover all the squares in a straight line wins.
20 Questions This easy-peasy game is great for younger kids, thanks to its straightforward rules. Player One thinks of a person, place or thing. Everyone else takes turns asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. After each answer, the questioner gets one guess. Play continues until a player guesses correctly.
Groceries A good way to keep everyone in the car entertained and engaged is to play a memory game such as The Grocery Game. To begin, the first player names an object available at a grocery store that starts with the letter A. The next player has to repeat what the first player said and then add another grocery item that starts with a B. For example, if player one says “apples,” player two would repeat “apples” and then might add “bananas.” If you forget a grocery item, you’re out, and the game continues until the player with the best memory wins.
If groceries aren’t your thing, you can play variations of this game with anything from animals to sports to people’s names.
Team Storytelling Get the creative juices flowing among your fellow road trippers by composing a group story. One person in the car starts by creating the first line of the story. You can start with a simple “Once upon a time, there lived a princess” or come up with something more unconventional like, “Joey the frog always had blue spots.” Next, each person in the car adds a line, and the story builds and builds. Depending on your group’s story telling stamina, you could go on for a few minutes or a few hours.
To make the game more challenging and fun, make a rule that all of the lines rhyme or, instead of going in a circle, call on people to come up with a line. After you’ve reached your destination, your kids could write and illustrate the story as a token of their road trip adventure.
Who Am I? Playing the guessing game Who Am I? is a great way to show everyone what they have in common. Think of someone that you and your fellow passengers all know: a family member, friend or neighbor, or maybe a fictional or historical character. Then give clues about the person’s identity by revealing his or her hair color, gender and other distinguishing physical characteristics. Or allow each person in the car to ask only “yes” or “no” questions about the identity of your secret person. Keep giving clues until someone figures out the identity of the individual you have in mind.
This is a variation of the ever-popular Twenty Questions, where the only clue players start out with is whether you are thinking of something “animal, vegetable or mineral” or a “person, place or thing.” The players must ask questions that you can only answer “yes” or “no” to determine who or what you are thinking about. The goal is to guess the answer in 20 questions or less.
Word chain Choose a topic, such as food. The first person says a word, the second person says that word plus his own, the third person says the first two words plus her own, and so forth, continue until someone can no longer remember the word chain.
What’s missing? Place 10 items from your purse on the table in front of you. Have kids try to memorize items for 10 seconds. While their eyes are closed remove 1-3 items. After opening their eyes, kids try to remember what is missing.
I Spy Probably the classic make-time-go-by game of all time. One person looks around and chooses an object that the others have to guess, with their only clue being these words: “I spy with my little eye something that begins with (insert the first letter of the object’s name).” Or the clue can be the object’s color. The player who guesses the object gets to go next. The tricky part? It’s not fair to “spy” something that’s whizzing by the car at highway speeds. A landmark (mountain range, forest) that will be in the players’ view for a few minutes is best.
20 Questions “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Only 18 more times to go! In 20 Questions, whomever goes first thinks of, well, anything. The first question is always, “Animal, vegetable or mineral?” After that, the players can ask pointed questions to try and guess — go around the car in a circle asking for clues such as, “Does it bark?” or “Can you peel it?” for example, although the answer to those questions can only be “yes” or “no.” If you reach the 20th question without a winner, everyone has one last chance to figure it out before the “thing” is revealed and another person starts a fresh round.
License Plates There are many ways to play with license plates, depending on the age of your kids. Young participants can call out letters in alphabetical order; the first one to Z wins. Next, have them look for doubles — or better yet, triples! — of letters and/or numbers in the plates. The one who has the most at the end of the day/trip wins. Older kids can “collect” out-of-state plates they see. (Make it tougher by going in alphabetical order.) Or they can try to build words or phrases using the letter sequence in the plates. A plate with the letters E, F and T, for example, might become the word “effort” (using those letters to start the word, in the middle and at the end). Those could make “Ed’s Favorite Tacos” if you’re running with phrases.
Slug-a-Bug The concept is that players keep track of how many Volkswagen Beetles they spot on the road. We’ve heard of variations in which the game is limited to New or vintage Beetles, or versions where the older Bugs are worth more. In the game’s original version you were supposed to punch your seat mate when you spotted a Bug, but most parents find that any game that involves hitting can get out of hand pretty quickly. So keep score some other way — tapping your seat mate, counting on your fingers (first to 10 wins) or something more in keeping with the Bug’s peaceful hippie history.
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