Games and Activities for Road Trips

Photo collage of southwestern highway with large cow face staring into camera; armadillo crossing road; various road signs indicating hazards
iStock/FOTF/Lexie Rhodes

Road Trip!

For many families, summer means travel. Whether you're visiting relatives or navigating to a destination vacation, pre-trip planning makes all the difference for kids cooped up in the car.

You may be familiar with car games like 20 Questions or I Spy, but do you know Dunk the Cows, N Is for Noah or Road Sign Bingo? Focus on the Family has put together a collection of new and old car games for your family to enjoy together this summer.

As you pack the bags and plan the snacks, don't forget to take along our list of summertime road trip games.

Printable Games and Activities

Dunk the Cows
(printable instructions and Dunk the Cows scorecards)

Road Sign Bingo
(printable instructions and Road Sign Bingo cards)

The Can Game
(printable instructions and Can Game cutouts)

Additional Games and Activities for Road Trips includes:
God Connection
Rhyme Time
N Is for Noah
Pass the Picture
20 Questions
Alphabet Associations
The Alphabet Game
And Then ...
I Spy
Licensed Letters
Name That Tune
Scavenger Hunt
Start-End Songs
and more!

'Are We There Yet?'

Before a 30-hour road trip, I showed our 7-year-old triplets a map to our destination. On a separate sheet of paper, I drew a set of squares for each leg of the trip. The first destination was a five-hour drive, so I drew five squares with the city name next to it. I did this for each city and then taped the chart where the kids could see it during the drive. Each hour, after I colored in a square, our children cheered. This simple travel chart made time more tangible to our kids and kept them from asking, "How much longer?"

—Linsey Driskill

Notes to Fellow Travelers

When my family and I took a two-week road trip, my young teens enjoyed it. Here's one way I made the journey fun for them:

Before the trip, I found about 20 small plastic containers that were attached to key chains (but any small travel container would work). As we drove, we wrote little messages to place inside each container.

The message included an email address — you can create one just for this trip — for people to reply to. We asked questions about the area and their travel tips. Every time we were at a rest stop or hotel, the kids hunted for a good place to leave one of our containers, such as on the side of a picnic table or by an information booth.

It was so much fun to hide the key chains and receive emails from other people who were also traveling, giving tips on good places to stop or fun things to look out for. The kids were so excited every time we got an email reply, and it was interesting to hear about other people's travels.

—Lori Zenker

"Road Trip!" first appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. " 'Are We There Yet?' " first appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. "Notes to Fellow Travelers" first appeared in the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. The compiled article "Games and Activities for Road Trips" first appeared on (2016). If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get this publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

"Games and Activities for Road Trips" © 2011 by Focus on the Family. " 'Are We There Yet?' " © 2019 by Linsey Driskill. Used by permission. "Notes to Fellow Travelers" © 2018 by Lori Zenker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Next in this Series: Staycation: Family Field Trips

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