15 Travel Games for Surviving Long Trips with Kids

It’s holiday time and you’re gearing up for a long road trip with the kids. Like most parents, the stress and panic will be setting in as you contemplate how you will keep them entertained for the duration of the trip.

The first step to a successful trip is to ensure that you and your au pair are well prepared. For your own sanity and for the kids’ entertainment, here are our top 15 travel games to help you survive that long upcoming trip with the kids:

  • I spy with my little eye. This game is excellent for toddlers and pre-schoolers. It’s easy to play; one person spies something and provides a clue while the others have to guess what the item is. Whoever guesses right gets to spy next!
  • Noughts and crosses. This is a firm favourite and most kids of school-going age already know how to play it. Be prepared by printing a stack of tick tack toe sheets before the trip and bringing coloured pencils too. Avoid the colour pens as you don’t want these leaking of being used to “pretty” the seat fabric!
  • The animal name game. This is great for kids 6 years and older. One person thinks of an animal name and the next has to think of an animal name starting with the letter of the previous animal. No repeating.
  • 20 questions. Kids are just naturally great at asking questions and this one works for children older than 4 years of age. One person thinks of a secret animal, vegetable or object. The other players must think up questions to help guess the item. The questions can only be yes-or-no answer questions.
  • Colouring in competition. Pre-print a few fun pictures and pack a set of coloured pencils or crayons. Host an in-car colouring in competition with small prizes for the winners. This is a great option as you can base the winning results on more than one coloured in picture. Be sure to have some small prizes at hand.
  • Story time. Give each child in the car a topic to write a short story on. At the end of the story writing, children must swap stories and read them out loud to each other. If writing in the car causes sickness, this game can always change to ‘tell a short story’ on a certain topic.
  • Crosswords and word searches. Download a variety of crosswords and word searches for the appropriate age groups from the internet. Print them and take them along on your road trip. Kids simply love them and it gets them thinking and involved in the activity too.
  • The alphabet general knowledge game. This has been a firm favourite for many years. Print sheets of paper with blocks with each letter of the alphabet. Each child must get a sheet and write down the name of items that they see starting with each letter into the blocks. The person who completes the entire alphabet first wins!
  • Name that tune. This game is often enjoyed with older kids. Each child gets a turn to hum or whistle a tune or song, and the others must guess what it is.
  • In-car spelling bee competition. Host your own spelling competition with prizes. Call out words and let the kids write them down. This can pass quite a bit of time and you can score the sheets of paper when you’ve reached your destination. Something for the kids to look forward to.
  • Rock, paper, scissors! This is an old-time favourite and can pass plenty time. If you want to spice things up a bit, suggest that the kids think up new or fun additions to the repertoire. Such as rock, paper, scissors, hosepipe etc.
  • Sing-alongs. These are great fun for adults and kids of all ages. Before the trip, make a CD of all the kids favourite songs and artists and have a little bit of travel karaoke.
  • Knitting. Believe it or not, kids love to knit! Get things started before the trip by showing them how to knit a basic row. Have each kid knit his or her own scarf or blanket while on the trip. This provides the type of entertainment that kids can keep going back to if they get bored on a rainy day.
  • Puzzles. You might think that puzzles will be difficult to play with while travelling but you can transform a regular puzzle into a travel puzzle by gluing magnets to the back of the puzzle and taking a baking tray along to work on.
  • Car brand bingo. Print a few sheets of paper with different car logos and names. Each child must shout out “bingo” and mark the car off the list when they spot it on the road.

Need more tips and advice for games to include on a long trip, or possibly even considering hiring an Au Pair to go with you? Chat to us at Aupair Extraordinaire today!