Car Trip Games, and Road Trip Adventures, Traveling with Kids
 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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Category — Travel Car Games

Chinese Cootie Catcher and more

More Fan Mail! After reading my article, a reader wrote in a while ago to share her experience with making a cootie catcher. She also sent the picture on the left.

Hello, my name is Abby. Today is my first time to visit your website: I enjoy reading it very much as it brings me lot of memories about playing games with kid. Currently, I’m working for a child centre in Hong Kong where we play games with kids.

I just want to share with you about the “Cootie Catcher”. In our culture, we have the same stuff but we named it differently. we simply called it “ESWN” that stands for EAST, SOUTH, WEST and NORTH. (See the attached jpg file). Inside the ESWN, we write the “action” for the kid to do when they choose the number. For example, “sing a song”, “do sit-up”, “jump 10 times”….etc. Using the “Direction” as an alternative of “Color” is fun too.

Cootie catchers, or fortune tellers, are making the rounds in many different circles these days. I had another reader write recently to tell me that she was using my blank cootie catcher template for her Bible study group (She put scripture verses in the message area). It’s also become a cute table activity at weddings (put love messages in the fortunes, or instructions to “kiss the person next to you” or “dance the next song”). You’re only as limited as your imagination.

October 20, 2008   Comments Off

Classic Bingo for Travel

Product Recommendation from Road Trip Mom! Travel Bingo Shutter Card Game Set

This is not the old favorite “Auto Bingo”, but it does have the nifty sliding windows that kids love. It’s regular B-I-N-G-O, where the caller picks a random number from the bin and calls it out like “B-15″! Then everyone marks their cards. This one can be played over and over again since your numbers are marked by sliding the windows. A pluck of the finger marks your number!

I have found that kids will play this game much longer than the other auto bingo which is more like a scavenger hunt looking for items out side the car. Older kids especially appreciate this one. And if you offer up a prize for the winner (think lollipops, or Tootsie Rolls), you can guarantee to hold their interest for quite a while, though several games. Keep playing until everyone wins. Even the driver can “play” by having someone else in the car play the card for you!

This set has 6 cards in it, and is completely self contained. No loose pieces and no markers needed. Great for the car or a plane. A definite winner in my book. Get it here.

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October 10, 2008   Comments Off

DC License Plates – License Plate Game

One of my readers sent me a message noting a US plate that is missing from my printable license plate game sheet. My dear reader noted that although Washington DC is not a state, that it should still be included in the list. I’m inclined to agree.

So, I have added “Washington DC” to the checklist of all the states for the license plate game! Now before I start getting bombarded by readers asking me to add Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, etc. I have also added a check-box for “bonus points” for spotting a plate from a US territory or other country.

Now, Go! Play! Enjoy!

September 3, 2008   Comments Off

Back Seat Out-Takes

Some people may have the impression that my road trips are always perfect…. that we go singing down the road in perfect harmony, never fighting, never getting bored, arriving on time and never getting lost. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m as normal as the rest of you.

Even my backseat looks like the floor of a teenager’s bedroom at the end of a long trip. Here’s a photo as proof.

I have also posted a few random crazy moments that occured in the back seat of our minivan this summer….

I overheard this conversation between my darling daughters (aka “DD”s) during a game of Battleship on the road:

DD1: Permission to speak freely, Captain?

DD2: Permission granted…

DD1: You are a dork! (laughter galore)

Overheard game of Mad Libs …

body part: Uvula

place: Oscar’s belly button! (Oscar is our dog)

noun: vomit

adjective: vomit-like

adverb: vomitly!

Vomitly? You gotta give ‘em points for creativity anyway. Makes me wonder how they would do at Scrabble.

I don’t sweat any of it though. Payback will come someday when they’ll be driving, and I’ll be in the backseat with THEIR kids, inspired to write all kinds of stories titled, “Traveling with Kids, or Why Grandma Drinks Wild Turkey“.

Full circle.

August 18, 2008   4 Comments

Pipe Cleaner Creatures – Fun for the Road

Get your kids wired on your next road trip! This is an activity that will keep them busy for hours.

All you need are some pipe cleaners, a nail clipper (for trimming the pipe cleaners to different lengths), and some creativity. A pencil or pen might also come in handy to create coiled sections by wrapping the pipe cleaners around it.

For more photos and ideas, check out the full article: Pipe Cleaner Crafts and Creatures

July 24, 2008   Comments Off

Fun for the Road: Drink Cup Battleship!

Here’s a fast and quick easy car game for the road. It’s drink cup battleship.

You can use the plastic drink lids from fast food meals for this game. Or if you’re like me and you have a strict “only water in the car” rule, you can always finish your drinks in the restaurant and take only the cup lids into the car.

Your battle ship is the button you push down (ie..rootbeer, cola, diet, other). Each person takes turns guessing someone’s “battleship”. The last person with their “battleship” undiscovered wins. You can push the buttons back up and play again and again until you wear out your playing pieces. The game is fast and easy. Great for preschoolers and up.

This has been posted on the Big Kids Car Activities page and on it’s own page for Drink Cup Battleship.

June 30, 2008   1 Comment

Fun for the Road: Crazy Eights

Playing cards is one of my kids’ favorite things to do when we are on the road, or waiting at our airport gate for our flight to board. I’ve uploaded some printable instructions to with the instructions for playing some fun easy card games when you are on the road or in airports.

So, if you’ve forgotten the details of how to play Old Maid or Crazy Eights, here’s your chance to brush up. As a mom, the funnest part for me is watching one of my kids try to keep a “Poker face” when he/she has just drawn the Old Maid from someone’s hand!

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April 30, 2008   Comments Off

Road Trip Fun: The Green Game

In honor of Earth Day, here is a car travel game invented by my 15 year old Cousin Ben while he was on a long road trip through California.

The Green Game:
When driving through towns and cities, look for a hybrid vehicle, such as the Toyota Prius. Then count to 45. Within 45 seconds you will see another one if you are in an environmentally friendly area. Play this to measure which towns are “green”.

April 22, 2008   1 Comment

Road Trip Battleship! now has Battleship! Download these printable pages for your next road trip and then listen for the classic line from your backseat, “You sank my battleship!”

Using these battleship grids, kids take turns firing upon their opponent until they sink all of his ships. It’s normally a two-player game for kids who are old enough to read numbers and letters, but you can also play in teams. This is a GREAT game for the car — a road trip version of this game of war ships!

I also posted a javascript version of Battleship online so you can practice playing against the computer to get yourself warmed up for battle!

See the entire article and printable pages at

January 12, 2008   5 Comments

Aaaarrrrrrrrr We There Yet?

After spending a day on the lake last summer pretending to be pirates, I was inspired to write an article about playing pirates on the road.

The time will pass quickly if you and your crew carry out your travels with pirate personas. Use your creativity and make every aspect of the trip pirate related. Speak like pirates. Sing pirate songs. Tell pirate jokes. Watch pirate movies. Wear pirate garb. Make pirate accessories. Basically, make like Roger and have a jolly good time in the car!

See the full article: “Pirates of the Caravan” for a bounty of ideas to get you started. If you know any good pirate jokes, please post them here and I’ll add them to the article!

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November 16, 2007   4 Comments