As the summer months fly by, many families are taking a vacation before school starts. 

 As fun as it is to go places, the drive to get there can often be a bit stressful. 

Below are a few of the many activities that families can enjoy together while on a road trip.

  Travel safely!

1.  When traveling, let your child be the navigator. Teach them to use a road map.  Show them how to tell what town is next, how many miles to the next town, the population of that town.  Have your child read the directions to your destination and help look for street signs.

2.  Count railroad cars while waiting for a train to pass.  How many different kinds of railroad cars are on the train?

3.  Identify license plates—how many states can you find?  How many from each state? 

4.  Alphabet spy game.  Follow the alphabet A to Z (omit X and Z). Players must spy an object that starts with the letter of the alphabet before going on to the next letter.  You can also play this with signs.  Spying a sign that has the letter you are looking for. 
5.  Sing this modified version of an old song:   “100 bottles of soda on the wall.”

“100 bottles of soda on the wall, 100 bottles of soda.  Take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of soda on the wall.”  Continue until there are no more bottles of soda.

6.  Play “Slug Bug.”  Each time you see a Volkswagen Beetle (or use another car like a SMART or Mini Cooper), yell out “Slug bug.”  The first person to find ten “Slug Bugs” calls out “Splat.”   (Source:  Parents  May 1988)

7.  Play “20 Questions,” or “I Spy”

8.  Add-On-Story.  Someone starts a story and then stops.  The next player picks up the plot and adds to the story.  Continue with several rounds of the players before stopping.

9.  With or without?  Look for cars with or without certain things.  Examples:  with passengers, luggage rack, whitewall tires, people wearing glasses or sunglasses, pets, no men, no women, four doors, two doors, without a front license plate, etc.

10. Count how many pickup trucks, semi trucks, green (or any color) cars, etc. within a certain time period or number of miles.

11.  Copy a lap size map of the United States before leaving home. Clip this onto a clipboard.Teach children how to make hash or tally marks.


Mark the state with a mark each time you see a license plate from that state. Younger children can color in the state as a license plate is spotted.

12.  What are YOUR favorite travel games?


This Blog Post is from page 107 in the book:
Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:
Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share
by Becky B. Baxa
If you would like more fun ideas to share with your children
(that do not require batteries or electronics )
you can purchase this 180 page book,
full of color photos,
for $21.95
from or
from the gift shop at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO
Silver Dollar City General Store in Branson, MO
This book can also be checked out of the following libraries:
Scenic Regional Library – Union and Pacific, MO
First Christian Church – Washington, MO
Hawaii State Library – Honolulu, HI
Story City Public Library – Story City, IA
Ellsworth Public Library – Ellsworth, ME


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