Games To Play With Your Kids On The Road

When I was younger, my little brother and I went on road trips with my Dad all the time. He was a master entertainer, I mean he really had it down to an art. He’s the type of person that wants little to no background noise from the passengers, and when he’s on the road he likes to listen to his music uninterrupted. These two games are perfect for keeping kids occupied and entertained.

Next Level ‘I Spy’

‘I Spy’ can get annoying pretty quickly. My Dad modified ‘I Spy’ into a super difficult, MAJOR competition between my brother and I. At the beginning of the trip – probably for the first 15 minutes or so, he would take his time to come up with two different, oddly-specific and equally-difficult things to find. It took him forever to choose each of our assignments – the suspense would kill us. Then finally, and slightly dramatically – he would unveil the items that each of us were supposed to be looking for.

The magic of the whole thing, was that there were no rules – if we found it, we found it. In other words, if I was supposed to be looking for a red harley, and I spotted it on a billboard (instead of just from out the window alongside the interstate) it still counted as a ‘find.’

I’ll never forget my most epic ‘find.’ I had been assigned a white horse with three brown spots, and my brother had been assigned a male pheasant. We nearly made it the ENTIRE trip, and neither of us had found our assigned item yet. We had stopped at a truck stop for one last break, and there it was: a white plastic horse with three brown spots. I snatched it off of the shelf, and ran victoriously around the corner to revel in the glory of the find – and most importantly to rub it in my little brothers face. This was the first find that was ever made outside of the vehicle. The parental judges deliberated, and then confirmed that it was, in fact a win!

The beauty of the game, was that we were constantly looking and engaged, but we weren’t shouting out guesses or answers to questions the whole way, or using singsongy voices – which can get old for the the adults in the vehicle. The other huge perk, is that there can’t be any conflict when it comes to who spotted the find first, spying for the same item and then tying on the find could quickly escalate into an unpleasant fiasco. As we got older – he added a twist, where if he was able to spot the assignments, and we missed them – our find wouldn’t count when we made it, the miss would cancel it out. – So the item would have the be found a third time.

Much Quieter Counting Game

My Dad expertly modified a counting game to almost completely eliminate unnecessary noise, and also to keep us entertained for the entire trip. He would let us each choose a color, my brother always chose red – I’d opt for white. The type of vehicle didn’t matter, it could be a car, truck, random farm/construction/road work equipment, or motorcycle – just so that it was the color you chose. The winner had the highest total at the end of the ride. – Snooze you lose.