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I-Spy and 3 Other Travel Games for Kids on Long Trips

Entertaining Your Children While Traveling on Long Trips

By Steph McLean

Updated January 21, 2013

Any adult that has ever taken a long car trip with young children will know how challenging it can be to travel with them while keeping them entertained. They are little bundles of energy and get restless during travel on long car trips (to put it nicely)!

So if you are planning a road trip with your kids, make sure that you stock up on ideas to keep them entertained if you want to keep your cool. Here is a selection of the best parent and kid tested and approved games that keep children (and adults) occupied for hours.


I-Spy must be one of the oldest games created to pass time on long trips. One person selects an object, inside or outside of the car, and everyone has to guess what it is. They don't have any clues other than the first letter that the object begins with. As with all children's games, it wouldn't be complete without a catchy rhyme at the start. So if they chose a 'cloud' they would say... "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'c'". Your kids will love having the power over you while you're guessing away!

The Number Plate Game - AKA License Plate Game

This is one is for slightly older kids, and even adults really enjoy this one because you can make it as challenging or as easy as you want. Get your children to select a passing car. Focus on the last 3 letters on the car's license plate, and try to form a 3 word phrase where each word begins with the letters on the license plate. So for example, if the number plate is 'OTR' you might say 'off the record' or 'over the rainbow' - the most creative one wins!

There is another variation of this game that can be played. You need to spell one word using the last 3 letters of the number plate in consecutive order. So using the same example, if the license plate is 'OTR' you might say 'Otter' or 'overtly'...again the most creative (or longest) word wins!

20 Questions

This one is pretty self explanatory, one person thinks of an object or a person, or a film, and everyone else can ask 20 questions to try and guess what it is. To make it a bit easier, you can play the game by category - a really fun and easy one is to choose a famous person or character. If nobody guesses it by the time you get to the end of the 20 questions, then it will just remain a mystery forever...but don't let your children cheat! Check out this version for teens - Celebrity 20 Questions.

The Next One to Speak Loses

When it's all starting to get a bit too much for you and you just want a bit of peace and quiet, this one is sure to work. Simply pull out a bar of chocolate or a bag of sweets and tell everyone that the last person not speaking will win the treat. This works best when there are a few children in the car as they are competing with each other rather than you!

These 4 travel games have been test driven for many years (literally) and calling on one or all of them in a time of need is a sure way to control the noise and conversation in the car. You can encourage the kids to play among themselves or join in for full family involvement.

More Travel Games to Explore:

Steph McLean enjoys blogging on parenting tips such as how to keep your children entertained, and how to keep your children fit and healthy. She works at Lenstore, an online retailer that sells contact lenses in the United Kingdom and offers optical advice to customers.

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