TRAVEL GAMES FOR CHILDREN
Planning a road trip or travelling with kids?
Then you will need some ideas and road trip travel games to play and keep the kids busy! This is one part of your trip planning that you can’t leave home without.
We have many ideas for fun things to do;
KIDS TRAVEL GAMES
- FREE printable kids travel games and activities,
- Downloadable D.I.Y. Kid’s Travel Journal and road trip games and tips
– there’s something for everyone!
FREE PRINTABLE GAMES and ACTIVITIES
Noughts & Crosses | Dots & Lines | Find A Word | Road Trip Bingo | D.I.Y. Travel Journal
Noughts & Crosses: Download this template or draw your own game grids.
Tic-tac-toe, also called noughts and crosses is a pencil-and-paper game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 grid.
The X player usually goes first. The player who succeeds in placing three respective marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
The following example game is won by the first player, X:
Dots and Lines: Download this template or draw your own game sheet.
Dots and Lines (also known as Boxes, Squares, Paddocks, Square-it, Dots and Dashes, Dots, Smart Dots, Dot Boxing, or, simply, the Dot Game) is a pencil and paper game for two players (or sometimes, more than two).
Find a Word: Download these themed Find a Word sheets:
Road Trip Bingo: Download and print the Road Trip Bingo sheet combinations.
To re-use, laminate each sheet and use whiteboard markers when playing. Once the game is over simply wipe clean and they are ready to use.
Mark each square off as you see the items.
Win the game by being the first person in the car to get “bingo”, which is all squares marked off in one row or column.
D.I.Y. TRAVEL JOURNAL Download Journal Pages
Children can record their own travelling adventures and make a treasured memory book.
Download includes Title Page, Blank Page, Lined Page, Journal Page, Packing List and Contacts Page – everything your child needs to create a lasting memory of their trip. Print as many of each page style as required.
Perhaps print a map of where you are going and stick in before you leave home. Stick a large envelope on the last page to keep any maps, postcards, tickets or souvenirs collected along the way.
Journal pages can be hole punched and inserted into a plastic folder. Or make a thicker card front and back from coloured card, then you could use some coloured ribbon through the holes to secure. You could even stick the pages into a scrapbook for the kids to complete in holiday preparation and along the way. Examples:
Perhaps the most classic “pass the time” 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 colour. 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 or play with only things inside the vehicle.
In 20 Questions, whoever goes first thinks of, well, anything. The first question is always, “Animal, vegetable or mineral?” After that, the players can ask questions to try and guess — go around the car 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 with their item.
There are quite a few ways to play with license plates, depending on the age of your children. Younger kids 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” or “effect” (using those letters to start the word, in the middle and at the end). Those letters could make “Erin’s Favorite Toys” if you’re running with phrases.
The Supermarket Game
This is a great game to keep everyone in the car entertained and engaged. The Supermarket Game is one version of a memory game. To begin, the first player names an object available at a supermarket 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.
This version of “car cricket” is perfect for long trips on country roads.
Each ‘player’ takes turns being “up to bat”. Runs are scored each time a car passes on the opposite side of the road. Players can be “in” for a set amount of time, or number of cars (unless the player is “out” – see red cars below)
Depending on how you play, each “type’ or “colour” of vehicle scores a different amount of runs.
For example, you could score as follows:
Semis, road trains and large trucks = 6 runs, Medium trucks, cars with caravans or trailers = 4 runs, 4wd’s, vans = 2 runs, Regular cars = 1 runs, Red cars = out
The person with the highest score after a set number of overs (depending on how long the trip is) is the winner.
Tip: “Best played on country roads, it can get quite busy and unmanageable when passing through a town. The best bit is when you get a string of red cars and everyone is out for a duck.”
Tin Foil Art
This a low cost, fun activity that keeps children busy and encourages them to use their imaginations. It’s a great activity to do in the car on a long road trip, or just something fun and different to do on a rainy day. All you need is a roll of cheap tin foil and some creativity.
Give each child a sheet of aluminium foil and have them mould it into anything they want! Encourage them to use their imaginations. You might start by having a theme that everyone has to make something of. These could be; animals, masks, hats, jewellery, tea party set, sports equipment or people(maybe make your family out of tin foil!)
Foil also makes good temporary Frisbees and balls or even a mini bowling set.
Toddlers can also participate in this activity, but they may need a little help and careful supervision so that they don’t put any pieces in their mouths.
Tin foil modelling is easy and doesn’t require any preparation. Clean up is easy too!
Do you remember these from your childhood? This is an ancient game played around the world. Remember string games and figures like “Cup and Saucer” or Cats Cradle? Those are only the beginning.
All you need is some string for this fun-filled activity, making it ideal for playing in the car on long trips. Skill levels vary from super easy to very difficult, so there is something for everyone. It requires concentration, dexterity, and it fosters perseverance and patience. Kids love to practice new figures over and over as they learn them, so don’t leave home without tossing a ball of yarn into your travel activities pack!
If you are after more inspiration there are several resources available on the web with pictures and instructions on how to make all kinds of string figures. Here are my favourites:
Pipe Cleaner Craft
This is another low cost, fun and easy, no-mess activity for a long car trip or a rainy day. All you need is an inexpensive pack of pipe cleaners, small scissors and some imagination!
Use pipe cleaners of different colours to create all kinds of creatures that you can later play with.
Tips for creating creatures with pipe cleaners:
- Cut into different lengths using a small pair of old scissors.
- Twist them around a pencil to create a coil
- Join them by twisting the ends together
- Create multi colours by twisting two different colours together
Start with some fuzzy chicks. Make a whole flock. Next, try a fuzzy pink teddy bear, and then move on to mice, dogs, penguins, or other zoo animals. Try making bendable people of different professions, or characters from their favourite shows that can be used as action figures
Keep your creatures and use them for later imaginative play. The kids can give them names, hang them around their seat in the car or even on the plane.
At the end of the trip, you can store them in a plastic zip bag to make new creations next time