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Monday Madness: Games for Kids on the Go

(Last Updated On: January 9, 2013)

Thanks to everyone for sharing all of your awesome game and toy ideas!
We’re planning to pull together an article to share for all the 2010 travel that we’ll be doing with the kids.

Congratulations to all the winners who contributed on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter:
kbcmom (trekaroo talk), RunnerGrrrl, Nikki Wang, Ami, familiarycerz, Carrie, msrigs, Maria Legato (FB), BAT (Trekaroo Talk), and Kim.

Entertaining little kids when traveling is often the most exhausting part of a family “vacation.”  We thought it would be fun for all of us to share the tricks we have up our sleeves to create an exhaustive list of boredom busters. Leave a comment here or on twitter/facebook with your FREE or almost free activities or amusements.  (Don’t forget to tell us your Trekaroo screenname or blog name so we can give you credit for your genius when we quote you.

The Steal – Win a Kid’s Travel Game travel candyland kids

We’ll be giving away ten fun toys to keep your kids occupied on the road.

Number of Winners: Ten (10)

Prize: 1 Travel Game (We’ve got CandyLand, Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Travel MagnaDoodle, and 7 Wikki Stix sets)

To enter:

Tell us one FREE game or creative activity you use to keep your kids entertained when traveling and why it works so well.   Each idea is one entry.  You can leave a comment below, tweet your idea to @trekaroo, or leave a comment on Facebook. One entry per idea.

Rules and guidelines:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • US Residents only
  • One entry per person

Deadline to enter: Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 11:59PM PST

Related articles:

What is Monday Madness?

Every Monday, Trekaroo announces on our blog, either a fantastic giveaway or an incredible deal.  It could be a green water bottle or Broadway tickets. Return every Monday to the Talking Trekaroo Blog for the details. Want a reminder? Become a Trekaroo member or follow us on facebook or twitter.

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Esther Lee is a contributing author on Trekaroo – a reviews site dedicated to exploring and traveling with kids.

Travel with kids to: CA | CO | DC | FL | HI | IL | MA | NY | PA | TX | VA | WA



23 Responses to Monday Madness: Games for Kids on the Go

  1. kailani January 26, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    We print out free coloring pages and worksheets from websites like It’s great because I can customize them for the different ages of my daughters.

  2. minnemom January 26, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    It’s an old standby, but we do a lot of the alphabet game, finding the letters in order on signs, license plates, etc. Sometimes not all the kids will play, but if everyone participates we can usually go through the alphabet very quickly.

  3. minnemom January 26, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    For something a little more difficult than the alphabet game, we play the number game. Starting with 1, we find numbers in sequence. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a 12 or a 27 on a license plate, sign, or whatever. On our Texas trip, we made it to the 60’s but it takes a lot of concentration.

  4. teammom January 26, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    We print off maps of the US and play the license plate game, our trip to Disney we got all 50 states for the first time!! Also we use the brain quest cards, road trip bingo and play trivia.

  5. familiarycerz January 26, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    During road trips we play “I Spy”. PapaRycerz or I will start with: “I spy in my little eye … something that is green!”. It’s a great game to involve everyone in the car, and with such varied ages in our brood (4-11), whatever we can get ALL the kids to participate in is best for us!

  6. Kim January 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    We try to time travel with naps. 😉 Also, I just got an awesome magnetic marble maze game:
    which I’m counting on for the next airplane trip.
    There’s also this fish one:

  7. RunnerGrrrl (Michelle) January 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    We took an old cookie sheet and the magnetic fridge letters on the road to practice letters and numbers. While he is just learning, I imagine eventually we will have him spell words. You can use an air bake pan, but the cookie sheets have the little lip that keeps the letters from falling off into the floor. Recently, we used our My Busy Kit from – he loves the acrobat people! And, lastly, we recently discovered audio books. He flips along in his book to the audio – awesome!

  8. Ami January 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    We count how many different state car plates we can find and then if we can pass this on the way back

  9. Nikki January 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    We play “I’m thinking of an animal” on long car rides.

    My 4 year old loves it, and keeps us entertained for a long time. It great, because it is totally portable (just need your brain), educational (leads to great conversations) and can be played at night when there is nothing to look at but endless headlights on the road.

    To play, 1 person comes up with an animal and everyone has to ask specific questions to figure out what it is. For example: Does it have 4 legs, 2 legs, or no legs? Does fly? Does it have scales? Is it extinct? Does it eat meat?

    Whoever gets it right first wins.

  10. larissatharris January 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    We love the IPhone app “CarGames!”

  11. Cher January 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Since my boys are 3 and 18 months, I play music and we sing along or I give them board books to play with.

  12. Richard Chun January 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Our game is “connect the words!”
    So one person starts with a word, and the next person has to use the last letter of that word to give the next word, and so on.
    example, first person goes “Car” second person goes “Roast” 3rd person goes “Train” …”Noodles” … “Soup” and so on.

    We have a 5 and 8 year old, and it helps the 5 year old learn new words, phonetics, and spelling,
    and a great way for the 8 year old to practice her new learned words as well.

  13. msrigs January 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    We love to play the Punchbuggy Game (finding as many Volkswagon beetles as possible to get points). You can also print free Bingo cards online and play Car Bingo with inexpensive markers like Cheerios or pennies or whatever. For a longer car ride, set the kids up with a Scavenger Hunt — a list of cool things to find or do along the way. You can make it up yourself based on where you’re going or print out already-made-up-ones from the internet. Makes traveling so much more interesting!

  14. Bridget Smith January 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    My son and I played a fun letter game while waiting for the doctor yesterday. One person thinks with an item that starts with a letter, (We did S) then gives clues. e.g. I’m thinking of something that starts with the letter S and is cold and wet. Answer snow. You could make them related to your trip e.g. roller coaster for Las Vegas, Sea Otter for Monterey.

  15. Michelle January 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    My kids love audio books, which we check out from the library. There are even these things called Playaways which are a little black box loaded with an audio book, so you don’t need a cassette or CD player. Just hook up your headphones and go!

  16. Michelle January 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Another thing my kids love to do when we travel is watch DVDs they chose from the library on the portable DVD player. Often they choose “learning” DVDs so their brains aren’t mush at the end of the movie!

  17. Michelle January 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Maze books and activity books are a big hit with them, as is a plain pad of paper to draw pictures.

  18. nolangel January 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    We play the quiet game. Last silent person is declared the winner. Winner gets to choose next eating place or gets the seat of honor.

  19. Lydie January 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    We play I SPY. My youngest sometimes names something that we are just passing by so that can frustrates her older sister but that game can keep them busy for a while.

  20. nolangel January 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    My boys are small, 5 and 3 years and need something they can play with unsupervised while in the backseat. I made my boys felt board play centers out of three ringed binders…one a road with cars,trucks,police cars, people and bikes and the other train tracks with trees, a bridge, the engine and cars. The various items attach to the board with round Velcro patches I glued on the back of each. You can make many pages to add to your binder and keep all your items in a felt pocket glued to the inside cover. They play with these centers for hours and as they grow I plan to make more with older themes. I have also made some for our pre-school home school with the alphabet, numbers, colors…etc….and they love them.:)

  21. Karen D January 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    We live near 2 busy interstates so our kids love to find as many out-of-state license plates as we can, especially on trips longer than 15 minutes.

  22. Carrie January 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    When I was growing up, we played 20 questions a lot- taking turns thinking of things and then guessing what the object was. Sometimes it was something we could see in the car, sometimes something we had spotted outside, you name it. A good time-passer!

  23. Karen D January 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Another game the kids like to play is guess the animal. We each take turns describing the animal we are thinking of (3 or 4 hints) and then everyone gets a turn to guess. According to their age, we make the clues easier or harder!

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