Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Old School Road Trip Fun for Kids

Summertime's all about making memories with your little ones. Road trips offer a chance to spend time together -- but they can also be stressful. Everyone cooped up in a small space can lead to cries of "He's touching me" and "She's looking out my window."

Enjoy some old school road trip fun with your family this summer. Whether you're a DIY fan or would rather shop for travel games, these 15 games will help you make summertime memories.

The Alphabet Game. The youngest player starts off the game. Each player in turn uses a consecutive letter of the alphabet to create a funny story. Example: Annie is going to Alabama and she's bringing apples. As play continues, each player has to repeat all previous stories and add their own.

I Spy. Pick out an object inside or outside the vehicle and describe it. Use color, size, location and other clues. The winner chooses the next object.

The Billboard Game. Look for words starting with each letter of the alphabet in consecutive order on signs and billboards. The real challenge comes with Q, X, V and Z.

The License Plate Game. Type a list of all 50 states. Print and laminate copies for each family member. Using dry erase markers, players mark each state as they find a car from that state. The winner's the first one to find license plates from all 50 states.

Mad Libs. You remember playing this game in the '80s. You'll find updated versions of Mad Libs at Cracker Barrel or make up your own version.

String Games. Maybe you were a champ at creating Jacob's Ladder. Teach the kids mad string skills with Cat's Cradle and other fun string games. Don't remember how? Check out Kidlantis.

Thumb Wrestling. Two players join their fingers together into fists with thumbs up. Each player tries to pin the other player's thumb for five seconds. No arms allowed.

Rock Paper Scissors. At the count of three, two players use their hands to display rock (fist), paper (flattened palm) or scissors (two fingers spread out like scissors). Rock crushes scissors. Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock.

Where Are We? Make copies of road maps of your trip for each child and laminate. Let the kids keep track of where you are by looking for road signs, exit signs and other landmarks. Your little ones can also use dry erase markers to follow along on the trip.

Lines and Dots. Why play Dots and Boxes on your mobile device when you can go old school with a DIY version of Lines and Dots. Download the free printable from MomsMinivan or make your own by filling half of a sheet of notebook paper with dots spaced evenly about 1/2 inch apart. Players take turns connecting dots by drawing lines between two dots. When a player completes a full square, he writes his initials in the box and takes another turn. The game ends when all boxes are filled.

Build a Story. Mom or Dad starts the story with a few sentences. Each family member in turn adds a few sentences. Make your story silly, funny or just plain crazy.

Silly Sing-Alongs. Pick up a CD with silly kid songs. See who can sing the loudest. Your kids will learn fun new songs in no time at all. Find printable silly song lyrics on MomsMiniVan.

Tic-Tac-Toe. No kids, it's not a hashtag even though the Tic-Tac-Toe board looks like one. Draw tic-tac-toe boards or download a free printable. This classic game is played with two players, one making Xs and the other making Os in the nine spaces of the tic-tac-toe board. Three in a row wins the game.

Spot It! on the Road. The newest in the Spot It! games is perfect for road trip fun. There's only one matching symbol on each pair of cards. Players try to be the first to find their match. Find the game on Amazon or at your favorite toy shop.

Travel Bingo. Pick up old school travel bingo cards at OldTimeCandy or make your own. Players cover each picture as they see the object and try to be the first to get five in a row.

Pack your bags with old school fun as you hit the road this summer and show your kids all of the fun games you can't play on a tablet or phone.