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Whine-Proof Your Next Road Trip With These Travel Games For Kiddos
Here's how you keep the kids busy (and quiet!) in the backseat.
Oh, we’ve been there. The annual family road trip. The car is packed so tight your legs are losing circulation, the GPS is routing you to Truro, Nova Scotia, instead of Truro, Massachusetts, the kids, strapped into their five-point harness car seats like high-risk criminals, are using their whiniest voices to ask “are we there yet?”—and you haven’t even pulled out of the driveway! Is it too late to turn back, you momentarily muse, to check everyone into day camp and take a spa day or week? Certainly not! Because this year you’ve come prepared.
Indeed, this year you’ve got a Lands End tote bag full of diversions to redirect even the most impassioned begging for screen time (which you are reserving for true emergencies like traffic, a busted tire, exorbitantly long stretches between rest stops). This year the road trip is going to be part of the trip, it’s going to be FUN! And 200 miles later you realize you were right.
Here are 15 totable games to liven up your next road trip.
Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win License Plate Game
Identify states by their license plates and “flip” the state to win. Two players can keep score with color-coded edges. Bonus: no loose pieces!
Simon is as old as the original Star Wars and just as awesome! This compact version is ideal for traveling gamers. Heads up, though: You might be hearing beep-boop-beep in your sleep.
A deck of UNO cards is an essential for any family trip. Add to the excitement of seeing new vistas with this Wilderness version that celebrates the great outdoors!
Mad Libs Vacation Fun
Fill in the blanks of vacation-themed stories, and hear the kids howl with laughter as it’s read back. Turns a frown upside-down every time.
Find It: Discover America
Fifty-two iconic objects are buried within the red, white and blue beads in the tube—one for each U.S. state (plus Washington, D.C., and the Find It Penny). Players spin, twist and shake the tube to find the objects and win.
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National Geographic Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas
This activity book is packed with games, fun facts, maps, roadside oddities and other boredom busters.
Byte-Size Laptop Chalkboard
No power cord required for this laptop. Just open and let the imagination run wild with doodles, poetry and epic tic-tac-toe matches. A creative alternative for kids on the go.
Melissa & Doug Travel Hangman
This colorful twist on the classic word game is uber-travel friendly since everything stays attached to the board. Includes dry-erase marker and white board for endless play.
Spot It! Gone Camping
Kids never tire of this fast-paced, highly addictive card game where players have to “spot” the matching pictures to win—and parents actually love it, too. The summer-centric Gone Camping version hits the mark.
Crayola Create 'n Carry Case
An art storage case that doubles as a lap desk. Perfect for backseat Picassos! Includes crayons, washable gel-FX markers, classic fine line markers, colored pencils and 30 sheets of construction paper.
Sixteen challenging maze levels to drive you and your kids absolutely crazy.
Stitchin’ Time Needlepoint Kit
A simple-to-use, totable kit that is ideal for budding crafters. Don’t worry, moms, the needles are plastic!
Yahtzee National Parks Edition
A portable version of the original “shake, score and shout” Yahtzee dice game, but with a National Parks theme. A portion of proceeds benefit the National Parks Foundation. All good.
Magnetic Chess Board
An ideally sized magnetic chessboard that let’s you take your game on the go...and ensures your horsemen aren't flying all of the car! Chess pieces stow away inside the board case when folded.
Zingo To Go
Bingo with a little zing! A matching game that’s super fun for big and little kids alike. This travel version keeps all the pieces in place.