fun travel games for kids

29 Fun Travel Games for Kids [Road Trip Activity Ideas for Kids]

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How to Have Better Family Vacations

Make your family travel memorable with these activity and  travel games for kids. Get 29 of the best activities for your next road trip.

Everyone dreams of a perfect family vacation. There will be a lot of together time with family members enjoying themselves. Everyone will find time to relax and unwind, and everyone will come back refreshed. Yet anyone who has ever taken a family vacation has discovered that they’re far from perfect and that you never know what to expect! If you plan carefully, however, you can create better family vacations in which everyone comes home with fond memories.
Try it…Read TIPS for all parents and also with children 9 to 15 at the bottom of the page!)

Fun Travel Games and Activities for Kids

road trip activity ideas for kids


This is what Cassie in Michigan does when traveling in the car, plane or train with her grandchildren!

I give my grandchildren things like pipe cleaners, stickers and paper, aluminum foil (they mold it into whatever they want), scotch tape and post-it-notes, band aids (by the time you get somewhere they may be wearing the entire box–and that’s OK if it keeps them happy! With this–you won’t later find melted crayons on your back seat! 

2. Depending on the age of your children– you can add:

  • Books to read as well as age appropriate activity books, comic books and sticker book
  • Threading sets (pictures with yarn)
  • Magnetic Travel-size games such as Monopoly, Sorry, Battleships, Chess, Backgammon, Checkers, and Chinese Checkers
  • Travel-size Magna- Doodle and Etch-a-Sketch
  • Small Lego sets in Ziploc bag to store the pieces
  • Travel Desk sets
  • Wipe of easels (white-board) with board markers
  • Miniature worlds: little houses, etc. with figures, hand-sized playsets
  • Small magnetic puzzles
  • Small wind-up toys
  • Decks of Cards such a “Go-Fish” and regular…
  • Miniature cars–sold in portable sets
  • Small sets of plastic figures such as dinosaurs and animals
  • Yarn and string for finger knitting and making Cat’s Cradle, etc.
  • Blank Paper for Tic Tac Toe and Hangman
  • Hand-held toys with the sound turned off
  • DVD players-and favorite movies
  • CD players
  • Handheld electronic games
  • A map to mark follow and mark off–how about a compass too!
  • And of course…favorite snacks!!!

The aluminum foil that Cassie suggests is great! Kids can mold it into anything they want! Challenge them to come up with something really creative such as crowns, animal shapes, masks, jewelry, a headband and more


Along the same lines–game and activity sets have been made and packaged for travel.  Fun travel games are great for keeping kids occupied on long trips. You can put your own travel box (such as above ideas) — or purchases a kit such as shown–this one includes travel games for kids of all ages; checkers, car bingo, solitaire games, tangrams, doodle board, license plate games, and more.

4. DON’T FORGET THE BOOKS!  Check out the Book List

on our Summer Reading page AND on this page. There is an excellent list of books for kids and teens to read during ‘ROAD TRIPS’!


Materials: List of cars, pencil and lots of time, time, time…
Players: Small to medium groups

Here’s a game for the kids to play on that next long car ride. It’s a car scavenger hunt and here’s a list to get you started.
Print this list and have players mark off which cars they have spotted.
If there are several players, take turns as to who marks off the next car that you pass or that passes you–or make a copy for each child!

  • Accord
  • Aerostar
  • Alero
  • Astro
  • Audi
  • Aurora
  • Blazer
  • BMW
  • Bonneville
  • Camaro
  • Camry
  • Caprice
  • Caravan Caravel
  • Cavalier
  • Celebrity
  • Cherokee
  • Cirrus
  • Civic
  • Concord
  • Contour
  • Corolla
  • Corsica
  • Cougar
  • Dakota
  • Denali Escort
  • Excursion
  • Excursion
  • Expedition
  • Explorer
  • Galant
  • Grand Prix
  • Hummer
  • Infiniti
  • Interpid
  • Intregue
  • Jimmy
  • Kia Laredo
  • Lexus
  • Lincoln
  • Lumina
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes
  • Montana
  • Monte Carlo
  • Mustang
  • Mystique
  • Navigator
  • Park Avenue
  • Pathfinder
  • PT Cruiser
  • Probe
  • Ram
  • Ranger
  • Sable
  • Safari
  • Saturn
  • Silhouette
  • Silverado
  • Suburban
  • Sunbird
  • Sunfire
  • Tahoe
  • Taurus
  • Tempo
  • Tracer
  • Tracker
  • Transport
  • Towncar
  • Venture
  • Villager
  • Volkswagen
  • Voyager
  • Windstar


Have kids look for cars of a certain color. Be sure to play along with them too. You can time the game so that the person who has spotted the most cars of a certain color wins.

7. A – Z BACK-SEAT TRAVELS: A way to keep kids occupied while LONG TRIP traveling…

1 small notebook
1 large zipper- seal plastic bag
A pen or pencil
Crayon or markers

What to do:
1. Before you go on the trip, write name, the place you are going to, and the date that you are leaving on the cover of the notebook.

2. At the top of each page, write one letter of the alphabet, beginning with A and ending with Z.

3. Place the notebook, pencil, and crayons in the plastic bag and take them on the trip with you.

4. As you travel, look for special landmarks or things and write their name next to the appropriate letter. For example, lake would be written on the “page with “L” at the top.

5. Draw a picture of that item on the page, and color the picture with the crayons.

You can use blank pages at the end of the book as a travel diary, detailing everything you saw and did on the trip.

Kids will have a full book of vacation memories!

8. HOW FAR AWAY IS THAT ________?

Pick an object in the distance and have everyone guess how far away it is. Set your odometer and clock it!


  • Think of words.
  • Children take turns seeing how many “real” rhyming words they can think of.
  • When one word is worn out, choose another word. Remind the kids to use “nice” words only!
  • Example: Rhyme words with “time”…
    Chime, climb, crime, dime, grime, I’m, lime, mime, prime rhyme, thyme, slime, bedtime, centime, daytime, enzyme, lifetime, mealtime, meantime, nighttime, pastime, ragtime, sometime,springtime, sublime, maritime, overtime, pantomime, paradigm



On long car rides. Turn off the DVD’S, CD’s and radio –and pick a few of your children’s favorite songs and sing them. Try to get the kids involved, taking turns singing the songs in your funniest voices.

Amazon has “ALL-AMERICAN CAR-I-OKE“. Yes, karaoke for the car! It’a a kit including a book of 15 great family sing-along tunes and activities galore, an accompanying CD of music, and three booklets of lyrics for the back seat and the way-back.


1. Think up three nouns.
2. Everyone takes turns creating a sentence with those three nouns. 3. Alternate the noun-giver and sentence-makers.
An example for the nouns: Orange, dog, store
“The DOG is happy because
ORANGE colored chew bones
are stocked at the STORE.”

Note from Barb: An orange that you ‘eat’ is a noun…however, it’s used above as an adjective. This can also be an interesting way to review ‘part of speech’.

12. How about putting together a “TRAVELING SCAVENGER HUNT”?

Will you be traveling in the city, on a highway, or in the country? Adjust your list to the places your trip will take you…then…make identical lists for each player. (You join in too!) The first to spot the item gets to cross it off of the list!


  • Maple tree
  • 3 kids in the back seat of a car
  • flasing red light
  • Person on a bike
  • Lady walking and wearing a hat
  • Dog
  • Seafood restaurant,
  • Coney Island Restaurant,
  • Stuffed animal or doll in a back-seat car window
  • Motorcycle
  • Man with white hair driving a car
  • Trailer being pulled behind a car
  • Church with a steeple, etc.
  • Rail road tracks, etc.
  • A lake, river, stream or pond
  • A sign that says “Welcome to the State of ________”

13. Get ready for your trip by making LITTER BAGS FOR THE CAR!

  • Give children small lunch bags.
  • Have them decorate the bag with pictures of flowers, trees, animals, etc.
  • Open up the bag and bend the top down 1”.
  • Punch two holes on one side at the top.
  • Loop a piece of string, yarn or ribbon through the two holes and tie.
  • Have children hang their litter bags in the car; remind kids that all car litter should go in the litter bag.

14. LEARN TO SING THE ABC’S BACKWARDS!  Who can do it first?!!

Why? Just for the fun of it!
Have cards with the alphabet and point to the letters starting with “Z” and go from there…


Have the kids place a piece of chocolate candy in their mouth— and see how long it takes to melt! No sucking and chewing it! The one to keep the chocolate in their mouth the longest is the winner.

Classic Road Trip Games for Kids


One person picks something to be, such as a famous person or an animal, and then the rest of the passengers ask ‘yes or no questions’ until someone guesses who the person has chosen to be.


This game is good for one play– until they learn the trick

The leader (lets say Sarah) starts by saying, “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a sun hat.” Each person in turn responds with an appropriate traveling item. “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing _____.” Leader confirms by saying “Yes, you can bring ____” or “No, you can’t bring that” or something similar.

The Trick:
The first letter of the item they bring must match the first letter of their first name. So Leslie can also bring lotion or lipstick. Paul can bring pants.
Note: This is one of the easier trick games to figure out, so be sure to remind players not to tell the secret. Don’t give hints. Kids love figuring this stuff out on their own.


“Rock” is a fist…”Paper” is a flat hand…and “Scissors” are the pointer and middle fingers making snipping motions. Partners shake their fists three times—and then show their chosen motion on the count of three. Winning hands are decided as follows:

Rock breaks/dulls scissors… Scissors cuts paper… Paper covers rock.

Play three or 5 times…and see who has the most wins. This is also a good method to see who goes “first” in games.

19. I SPY

One person says “I spy with my little eye, something that is _______ (name a color)”. Then others try to guess what the object is and the one who guesses it takes the next turn.

With older kids instead of this ‘I Spy’ — Play ‘I’M THINKING OF’: The leader looks about the area and says, “I’m thinking of something that is the color_________. Say what the color it is. Children guess what they think it may be. Winner is the next leader. It’s the same game as ‘I Spy’–buy not with the younger child’s title…


The leader picks a number within a range and players try to guess the number. Example: Leader says, “I’m thinking of a number between one and 50”. Leader can say “higher or lower– as the children guess. Correct number guess is the next leader.

21. WHO CAN?

Can your kids…

  • Roll their tongue (85% of people can).
  • Wiggle their ears; wiggle their nose.
  • Show they are double jointed.
  • Touch their ear with their elbow (I don’t think anyone can!).
  • Whistle (can they whistle by blowing both in and out?).
  • Twiddle thumbs (try to do it in both directions at same time!).
  • Rub their stomach and pat head at same time.
  • Make owl hoots with clasped hands.
  • Make a popping sound with hand tapping their puckered large “O” shaped mouth.

How about you? Can you???

TIP: If a child is starting to become a challenge, put him/her in charge of a game or go first. It often will change the behavior.

More Road Trip Game Activities for Kids


Have one person start counting aloud an object in everyone’s view: Windows, white shirts, shoes, etc. Who can guess what the person is counting?


Choose a category such as animals, vehicles, countries or food. Each person is to name something that belongs to that group. Challenge players to work in A to Z order: ant, bee, cow. Or, you can name items like hammer, saw, level and the child responds with “tools.”

One more option is to have each word begin with the last letter of the previous word: Japan, Netherlands, Somalia, etc.


Play this game just like any “Simon Says” but add visual directions that are totally wrong! Example: Simon Says touch your nose while touching your cheek! This game helps children focus on the spoken word rather than being overly influenced by visual…


A potato chip or cracker is placed on shoulder, while standing. The challenge is to remove the chip with tongue!


They’re great to do with the kids as a group! Just shout out to them, ‘Give me a noun—or adjective, etc. When complete, read the ‘Mad Lib’ story aloud with much enthusiasm. The children love it!

27. I CAN’T STAND _____!

(For Older kids)  Have each player in turn describe a food that they cannot stand to eat. Encourage as much detail as possible so that the other car members are disgusted by the food, too…

28. When you have some down time-waiting

Start off with what makes you happy —and then take turns calling out things such as: Sunny days make me happy; Sunshine makes me happy; Warm cookies make me happy; Saturday mornings make me happy; Friday nights makes me happy;Going to the movies makes me happy…Pizza…..Going on vacation…Blue skies…Summer time, etc.
When done in a light-hearted manner, the children will join in and share! You’ll be amazed how the atmosphere can change–as well as realizing it doesn’t have to be a trip to Disney World to do it!
I actually did this with my three grandsons (ages 4, 6, 9) while waiting for their Dad in the car not too long ago! Within a few seconds, the atmosphere in the car really lightened up and they were each sharing! Barb

Take along a supply of JOKES, KNOCK-KNOCK JOKESTONGUE TWISTERS, and RIDDLES/TRICK QUESTIONS Just copy and paste from our pages. (Tip: When you copy KidActivities pages, the letters will be light blue on your paper–just use your ‘computer color font choices’ to make the letters black.)


No laughing, no poking, no nodding, noblinking–just staring into the eyes of your opponent to see who flinches first


road trip songs for kids


is a traditional song in the United States and Canada. It is popular to sing on long trips, as it has a very repetitive format which is easy to memorize, and can take a long time to sing. If the ‘Beer’ lyric bothers you–substitute the word ‘milk’  or ‘pop’ (meaning soft drink/soda)

The lyrics are simple:

Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer.
Take one down, pass it around, Ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall.

The same verse is repeated, each time with one less bottle. The song is completed when the singer or singers reach zero.


The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two,
The little one stops to tie his shoe
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three,
The little one stops to climb a tree
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four,
The little one stops to shut the door
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five,
The little one stops to take a dive
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching six by six, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six,
The little one stops to pick up sticks
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven,
The little one stops to pray to heaven
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight,
The little one stops to shut the gate
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching nine by nine, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine,
The little one stops to check the time
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten,
The little one stops to say “THE END”
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!


  • The Daring Book for Girls
    Andrea J. Buchanan
  • The Dangerous Book for Boys
    Conn Iggulden
    Equal parts droll and gorgeous nostalgia book and heartfelt plea for a renewed sense of adventure in the lives of boys and men
  • The Everything Kids’ Travel Activity Book: Games to Play, Songs to Sing, Fun Stuff to Do – Guaranteed to Keep You Busy the Whole Ride! (Everything Kids Series) Erik A. Hanson
  • RandMcNally Kids’ Road Atlas (Backseat Books) Kristy McGowan
    Rand McNally’s Backseat Books® series is your source for fighting those boredom blues. Kids’ Road Atlas features real road maps, great travel games, state-by-state puzzles, state facts (including the nickname, capital, flower, tree, and bird), an index, and much, much more. An answer key is also included…
  • The Everything Kids’ States Book: Wind Your Way Across Our Great Nation(Everything Kids Series) Brian Thornton
  • Where’s Waldo? The Ultimate Travel Collection (Waldo) Martin Hanford.
    The essential travel companion! Now Waldo can wander everywhere his fans do, thanks to a compact bind-up of five classic adventures. Waldo seekers young and old won’t want to hit the road without this paperback compilation of his world-famous excursions.
  • Frommer’s National Parks with Kids (Park Guides) Kurt Repanshek
    Millions of families visit the national parks annually.
    We sent our author out to hit the trails and campsites to figure out how to beat the crowds and enjoy an unspoiled family experience of nature.
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
    This Newbery Honor book is a dramatic, heart-stopping story of a boy who, following a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness must learn to survive with only a hatchet and his own wits. Ages 12-up. …
  • This is Texas by Miroslav Sasek
    Following the runaway bestsellers This is New York and This is Paris, Universe is pleased to reissue another title from M. Sasek’s beloved and nostalgic children’s travel series.
  • A Kid’s Guide to Washington, D.C.: Revised and Updated Edition Inc Harcourt
    For children on school trips or traveling with their families, here is kid-friendly information about popular monuments, museums, exhibits, shopping, sporting events–and even day trips outside the immediate metropolitan area. Originally published in 1989, this handy guide now features completely updated text and photographs, along with the puzzles, games, and wonderful tidbits
  • Road Trip Trivia: A Big Book of Backseat Brainteasers (Klutz)
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that backseat occupants on a trip of any duration are in serious peril of dying of boredom. Just ask them. Klutz has addressed this crisis before with gratifying success.
  • Ballpark: The Story of America’s Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
    Grade 3-5…In this succinct and thoughtful overview, Curlee traces developments in the game from the mid-1800s to the construction of landmark arenas. The early 1900s saw the building of intimate playing fields such as Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Yankee Stadium, “the House that Ruth built…”
  • Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport
    A powerfully moving, authentic portrait of the Statue of Liberty, told through the eyes of those who created her and illustrated in glorious detail.
  • The Complete Book of Travel Games (The Complete Book Series)
    School Specialty Publishing– Everyone can enjoy their next trip with The Complete Book of Travel Games!
  • Rand McNally Schoolhouse Intermediate Geography And Map Activities (Rand McNally Schoolhouse) Rand McNally and Company Action and adventure accompany geographers on their journey around the world with this fantastic activity book.
  • Rand McNally Schoolhouse Beginner Geography & Map Activities
    Rand McNally— Big, bright illustrations make finding information fun and easy for young geographers. Schoolhouse’s Beginner Geography…



  • Adjust your expectations for family vacations. Instead of thinking of them as time to relax, think of them as family time where you may need to work a bit to bring the family together. (You can always take time off for yourself to unwind at another time.)
  • Get everyone’s input on possible family vacations and activities. Your getaways will be more successful if everyone is involved in the planning from early on. Make sure the kids have a good say in what is planned, where you go, and the activities you want to do (and want to avoid). You may even need to plan one favorite activity per person so that everyone gets the chance to do something he or she really wants and the rest of the family can get to know that family member better.
  • If you’re divorced, be careful not to get your children caught in the cross hairs of competing vacations. Some kids think it’s too much to go on two vacations (one with dad’s family and another with mom’s family) because it keeps them away from their friends too long. Balance your children’s needs along with your own.
  • Be realistic about budgets. Family vacations can get expensive rather quickly. If your kids want spending money, let them know their budget before you go.
  • If you have kids in two different age groups (such as a preschooler and a young adolescent), find activities that both enjoy, such as swimming or water parks. Also let each child choose an activity he or she really wants to do and have the whole family go along and enjoy that activity.
  • Consider vacations with different goals. One year have a vacation that’s about relaxing and being together. Another time have a vacation that’s more adventuresome, where you’re exploring a national park or a major city. Another time, consider taking a family service trip during which your family volunteers and helps others.
  • Whenever you take a family vacation, remember to expect the unexpected, have a sense of humor, and be open to surprise and discovery. This will help you keep your balance and your sanity!

This article is from ParentFurther to find simple, practical, and proven ways to help your kids succeed visit their website! It’s a great site to both visit and subscribe!


Pack a traveling bag with activities that kids can do while traveling and on vacation. Include blank tablets, washable markers, puzzle and activity books, playing cards, handheld video games, books to read, and so on.

Consider putting away several new activities (such as a new card game, puzzle, or board game) and wrapping it like a present. When kids get bored, bring out a present for them to open and discover!

Be intentional about playing together as a family while you’re on vacation. The best part of a family vacation is being together and having fun together.


Encourage your teenager to bring a friend. This often will raise your teenager’s enthusiasm level greatly.

You may need to rethink and redefine a family vacation for this age group. Don’t be surprised if your teenager is more enthusiastic about taking a trip to see a favorite music group, go to an amusement park, or visit a first-class water park.

Consider taking two or three shorter vacations instead of one longer vacation. Sometimes teenagers are more agreeable to short getaways (so they don’t miss much time with their friends) than long ones.
From Parent Further

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