road trip games and toys for kids,

Top 10: Holiday Road Trip Toys and Games for Kids

Holiday Road Trips Games for Kids!

My husband loves a good road trip. It’s his dream to rent a Winnebago and do a family trip half way across the U.S. He drove from Boston to Los Angeles for golf tournaments and did a cross country trip to bring my car to Boston. Back then, it was simple. He just needed water and coffee to drive 8 to 10 hours a day. He didn’t even have a navigations system! Shocking because I have a terrible sense of direction and need mine just to navigate adjacent towns!!

Kids necessitate more planning for successful road trips. We think the age of the child roughly determines the number of hours they can tolerate being strapped into a car seat. We always pack a cooler of drinks and snacks. We stop frequently for bathroom breaks. And we pack plenty of entertainment for kids.

Our Top 10 Toys and Games for Road Trips with Kids

10. Madagascar for the DVD player.

I’m not sure why Madagascar and its sequels are the common denominator of movies for my three kids but this is the movie that we seem to the play on every single trip. Hairspray is another movie that is purely a road trip movie for us. The car DVD is a must but it drives us crazy to have it on the entire trip so we try to break up the movies with games.


9. Sparkle!

My kids made up this game and it’s perfect for a December night. It’s very simple. First person to yell “Sparkle” when you see any form of Christmas tree lights wins. Surprisingly addictive.

christmas lights

8. Bridge and Tunnel

My husband made up this game. When the car goes over a bridge or tunnel you scream “Bridge!” or “Tunnel” depending on what you are driving through or on as loudly and as long as you can. Whoever says it the longest wins.

Another variation is to hold your breath when you come to a tunnel. Longest breath holder wins. Not recommended for the driver of the vehicle.


7. I Spy!

I Spy with my little eye … This is a classic! We use it as a last resort when the kids are about to go nuts in the car. It usually buys us 15 more minutes.


6. Alphabet I Spy Road Signs

Using any street sign or license plate, you need to find the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order. This game is great when the kids are fresh and in a good mood. I’d try it before or after the movie.


5. Punch Buggy!

The Volkswagon bug is the star of this game. Spot a VW Bug and be the first to shout “Punch Buggy” and then you can do the honors. Gently!

vw beetle, vw bug

4. Jeep Beep!

My kids made up a variation of Punch Buggy! Instead of punching (lightly!) when you spot a VW Bug, you need to spy a Jeep and then you can (gently!) beep someone’s nose.


3. Mad Libs

I love Mad Libs to sneak in a little grammar that kids don’t notice. Here are some fun travel themed booklets.

The Mad Libs Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel

Mad Libs on the Road


2. Etch A Sketch

The big Etch a Sketch is perfect for car trip! I would get one per child. The smaller pocket size is great for restaurants or air travel.

Full Size

Pocket Size


1. Trivia for Kids

If you can read in the car without getting a headache — I can’t! — then try playing a game of trivia. Score keeping optional!

National Geographic Kids Quiz Whiz: 1,000 Super Fun, Mind-bending, Totally Awesome Trivia Questions

The Ultimate Road Trip Games & Quiz Book For Kids


What is your favorite road trip game or toy to keep kids entertained? Please share!

Click on any toy to view more closely at Amazon.

road trip games and toys for kids,


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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors. I am part of the Kia Social Club and I received a small stipend for participating. I chose this image because I am truly dependent on my navigation system and envy anyone with a good sense of direction. I’m convinced it’s genetics!

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Lian

    One game I would play with my kids in the car would be the alphabet game. First choose a category e.g. animals, countries, fruits, scriptural words. Then each person has to give a word that begins with the letter A, then B, then C …. that corresponds with that category,
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