On The Road Family Fun

Road Trip Games artwork smLots of families, like mine, hit the road in the summer. Whether it’s a two-hour hop to the beach or a 20-hour trek across a couple of states, “Are we there yet?!” is bound to be heard from the back seat. If you’ve heard that query before (a hundred times or more!) and don’t want to plug your kids into technology for the duration, consider playing some fun road trip games together instead. Here are a few we’ve come up with or adapted from games we played when my husband and I were kids.

Pick a Point
Everyone in the vehicle gets to pick two things that are “point worthy.” (If you have a large family, you may want to do one apiece.) Some choices we’ve made include: lawn maintenance trucks, signs for fast food, theme park buses (we see a lot of those here in Central Florida), Smart cars, boats on trailers, double trucks, emergency vehicles, a tire piece on the side of the road, etc. Once the “pointable” things are chosen, select a game range time such as “Starting when we get on the major interstate, and ending when we get to exit 150.”

If a person sees something on the list, they point at it and say “Vaccuum truck (or whatever) point!” Someone else (besides the one who sees it) has to confirm each point, and points are deducted when you mis-identify something (like an RV for a Big Rig). Play continues simultaneously among all players, with other car-mates probably having to step in once in a while to referee who correctly pointed and named the point first.

Decide ahead of time what point value goes to a vehicle sales lot! (It’s downright impossible to count ALL motorcycles, RVs, etc., so pre-determine if there’s a bonus for a sales lot, or decide sales lots won’t count at all.)

We usually keep a running total mentally, but a tally sheet works, too.

The Guessing Game
One person thinks of something the other members take turns trying to figure out what “it” is. Questions usually are asked in order of general to specific. (Our first question is usually: Is it man-made, or nature-made?) Guessers take turns asking 3 “yes or no” questions, asked in either a clockwise pattern, or according to age (though in the car, just going round robin is way easier!).

Some helpful questions include:

(For man made)  Is it related to transportation? Can you eat it? Is it found in our neighborhood? Is it larger than this vehicle? (Tip: Don’t ask “Is it large?” Large is a relative term. Is it larger than a ______ or heavier than a _______ works much better.)

(For nature made) Does it live in water? Is it covered in fur? Is it a mammal? Is it weather-related? Can you eat it? (Note: This question works for both nature and man-made since a processed strawberry candy can be eaten as well as a nature-made strawberry.)

How Many Homonyms?
I like to sneak in education games without anyone “catching on.” Thus the “How Many Homonyms” game was born to keep riders from being bored (not board, LOL). Players take turn naming homonyms and using each in a sentence. There are usually no points given, but the person who gets one right is cheered, while a stumped player gets a loud “aww man!”

road trip single carDie Cast Match
Every trip we take (with a duration of 2 hours +) includes the “Box of Cars.” You know the die cast cars I’m talking about! Whether Matchbox or Hot Wheels (or off brands, or WHATEVER), you have a box, too, I’m guessing.

The kid or kids in the back must correctly retrieve the die cast vehicle that corresponds to the real life version seen on the road. Front seat passengers might have a tiny bit of trouble reaching back, so this one is for rear passengers only. The first one to get their hands on it, get a point.

Alphabet License Plate
Take turns finding each alphabet letter, in order, on license plates. Youngest goes first. Others in the car must confirm a find. Each person gets 1-5 minutes to find one, or their turn is forfeited. (You determine how long you’re willing to wait between letters, LOL.) If you pass, you get a demerit, and the next person must repeat the un-found letter. Like in golf, in this game you want the lowest score.

Someone needs to watch a timer, and someone needs to tally demerits. Set a specific game time duration, or go through the alphabet “X” numbers of times.

What games do you play in the car to while away the hours? I’d love to hear your ideas!


Ka-Chow! Richard Petty Ride-Along Now Features CARS Cars

Tomorrow Disney Pixar Piston Cup Cars will be unveiled at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Petty Holdings, LLC, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney World have brought to “life” two characters from the Academy Award-nominated 2006 animated feature film “Cars” — Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin — and we’re SO excited to meet them!

Number 28 car

Aiken Axler, Car 28, likes exercising and Tai Rod meditation when he’s not racing.

Starting Saturday, June 14, Kids ages 6 to 13 (and at least 48 inches tall) will be able to ride in the front passenger seat of a 600HP race car, driven by a racing pro at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Piston Cup Cars Jr. Ride-Alongs will be first-come, first-serve basis. Guests simply show up to the track to queue and then wait their turn to take a spin in what will seem like the “real” Piston Cup! The cost is $59 + tax.


Sage VanDerSpin, Car #80, is the youngest winner of the Junior Piston Cup Pro Series and has mad dodgeball skills when he’s off the track.

Now, you need to know my son has not seen a lot of movies. (He’s more into cooking shows, DIY, and programs that highlight engineering marvels, LOL.) He does, though, LOVE “Cars” and all the personalities (and “Planes,” for the record!). His favorites are Mater, Mr. The King (voiced by Richard Petty, you’ll recall), Lizzie, and the Sheriff. (My favorite is Sally Carrera because I think Bonnie Hunt is just awesome, if you were wondering.)

Getting to touch a movie hero in life will, no doubt, be one of those childhood memories my son will re-live over and over, kind of like the lap after lap action in his (and his dad’s favorite) NASCAR action. I, for one, am excited to see the ear-to-ear grin on his face as that little gentleman “starts [his] engine!”