Our favorite road trip games for young kids {12 free and fun ideas}

Raluca Loteanu June 22, 2017
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road trip games for young kids

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Keeping children entertained during a long car trip is not easy! If they get bored and frustrated by the long ride, the whole road trip becomes less enjoyable for everyone! We travel often, so our child is used to spending many hours in the car. Still, this doesn’t mean that I don’t need to always find new ways for us to have fun in the car. This is how I discovered some great road trip games for young kids!

If you are preparing for a long trip with your children, check them out! They are free and fun and they are great for toddlers and preschoolers! 🙂 What I love most about these ideas is that they don’t require any preparation, so you can try them anytime you want!

1. Color hunt

Just think about the colors of the rainbow and take them one by one. For each color invite your child to find something of that color inside or outside the car. As soon as the child finds a color you move on to the next one.

2. “Tell me an animal that…”

All young kids like animals, so this game is a great way to keep them busy in a playful way! The idea is simple: ask your child to guess an animal giving him a simple clue. Depending on the age of the child, the challenge can be more or less complicated.

Examples for toddlers: “Tell me an animal that is white.” or “Tell me an animal that howls.”

Examples for preschoolers: “Tell me an animal that lives in the jungle.” or “Tell me an animal that carries the baby in a pouch.”

3. Finding cars

Invite your child to find cars of a specific color on the road. (for example: “Find 4 blue cars.”) The child will show you anytime he sees a car of that color and you will count together until he finds all of them.

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4. Silly faces

Laughing is a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere in the car and this game is perfect for this! You and your child take turns to make silly faces. One of you is making funny silly faces and the other is challenged not to laugh at them. When one laughs it becomes his turn to make silly faces.road trip games for young kids

photo credit: Sokolova Maryna / Shutterstock.com

5. Number hunt

For each number from 0 to 9 invite your child to find it on a road sign or on a license plate. As soon as the child finds one number you move on to the next one.

6. Letter hunt

The game is similar to the number hunt but it’s more suitable for preschoolers. Take the letters of the alphabet one by one and invite your child to search for them on license plates or street signs. It’s easier to play this game inside cities where you can find more signs and displays.

For young kids, you can adapt the game and only look for the vowels.

7. Name all the fruits

This game is a challenge to name all the fruits that you know. You and your child take turns and name one fruit. You cannot repeat what was already told. You repeat this until none of you knows any other fruits.

You can play the same game with vegetables, animals, or toys.road trip games for young kids

8. Traffic signs hunt

You and your child will look after traffic signs on the road. The one that sees a sign says “spotted” and shows it. For preschoolers, you can make this game even more challenging by asking them to say what each sign means.

9. I spy with my little eye

You probably already know this game. You look in the car or on the road and you say something about an object you see. The other one needs to guess the object. Then you take turns.

Example: “I spy with my little eye something green.” or “I spy with my little eye something to eat.”

10. Feathers, fur, or skin

One player names an animal and the other one needs to say if that animal has feathers, fur, or skin. Then you take turns.

11. Silly songs

When it comes to making your child laugh, this is the perfect game! The idea is very simple: you sing a song in a very silly way. You either use a strange voice, or you sing it very loud or alternate the volume of your voice very quickly. You can sing a children song that you know by heart or you can sing a song from the radio.

Kids will certainly enjoy their turn on this game! Be prepared for a lot of noise! 🙂

12. Printable road trip games for young kids

Another free alternative for keeping kids busy during road trips is to use printable games and activity sheets. They require a little preparation before the trip to print them and put them in a binder. But the good thing is that they will keep the children busy for a longer period of time! You can find a lot of them on Pinterest, depending on your child’s age and interests.

You can also download our printable travel binder for young kids using the below form. This will give you access to the Playful Notes community, where you will find a lot of other ideas and our full printable collection. I hope you will enjoy it! (You can find more details about the content of the travel binder here and you can see some of the pages by clicking on the above image.)

If you are looking for ideas of road trip games for young kids, here are our favorite ones! They are free and fun and will make your family trips easier! | Car games for young kids | Road trip games for toddlers | Road trip games for preschoolers | Activity ideas for road trips

If you are looking for ideas of road trip games for young kids, here are our favorite ones! They are free and fun and will make your family trips easier! | Car games for young kids | Road trip games for toddlers | Road trip games for preschoolers | Activity ideas for road trips

photo credit: Syda Production / Canva.com

Category: Play ideas, Tips
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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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Comments (4 people commented this post)

  • #47 Inspirația săptămânii (17 - 23 iunie 2017) | Cristina Oțel

    June 23, 2017 Reply
    […] ”Our favorite road trip games for young kids {12 free and fun ideas}” – Raluca are – pe blogul ei în engleză – o listă faină de activități numai bune de jucat în mașină. Dacă vă pregătiți de vacanță și vreți și mai multe idei de jocuri și activități găsiți și lista noastră de recomandări aici. […]
  • avatar image

    Shannon

    June 28, 2017 Reply
    Great ideas for both car rides and while waiting for somewhere (in line, at restaurants, etc.). We play I Spy all the time, but these would be good to mix it up!
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      June 29, 2017 Reply
      I'm glad that you liked the ideas, Shannon! :-)
  • avatar image

    Stephanie

    July 9, 2017 Reply
    This will be great for my road trip with my littles next month! Great suggestions!

Leave your comment

Comments (4 people commented this post)

  • #47 Inspirația săptămânii (17 - 23 iunie 2017) | Cristina Oțel

    June 23, 2017 Reply
    […] ”Our favorite road trip games for young kids {12 free and fun ideas}” – Raluca are – pe blogul ei în engleză – o listă faină de activități numai bune de jucat în mașină. Dacă vă pregătiți de vacanță și vreți și mai multe idei de jocuri și activități găsiți și lista noastră de recomandări aici. […]
  • avatar image

    Shannon

    June 28, 2017 Reply
    Great ideas for both car rides and while waiting for somewhere (in line, at restaurants, etc.). We play I Spy all the time, but these would be good to mix it up!
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      June 29, 2017 Reply
      I'm glad that you liked the ideas, Shannon! :-)
  • avatar image

    Stephanie

    July 9, 2017 Reply
    This will be great for my road trip with my littles next month! Great suggestions!
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