As you back out of the driveway to hit the road toward your vacation destination, your kids are energized with excitement and anticipation- for about 20 minutes. Before you know it, the complaining begins. “Are we there yet?” “I’m SO bored.” “How much longer?” But fear not, harried parents! We’ve compiled a list of road trip games that will keep your kids entertained, thereby helping you maintain your sanity.
License Plate Search: The classic family road trip competition! The object of the game is to find a license plate from every state. The player who gets the most states wins! Download a great plate checklist here.
Fortunately, Unfortunately: In some families, it’s better to avoid competition to keep the peace. Try a silly game! “Fortunately, Unfortunately” is a great way to get everybody laughing. One person starts off with a Fortunately phrase (ie. “Fortunately, mom packed us a lot of snacks!”). The next person has to counter with an Unfortunately phrase (ie. “Unfortunately, Timmy ate them all while you weren’t looking…"). Continue building the story.
Word Searches and Word Scrambles: Desperate for some quiet time? Pull out the word games! They provide hours of entertainment and a little bit of brain stimulation. Hundreds of games are available in stores and on the web, but we found our favorites here.
Who Can Find It?: This game puts a fun twist on the classic “I Spy.” The person who is “it” thinks of a random person or object, not something they currently see (ie. a woman with a blue skirt or a green mini-van). The first person to locate the subject is the winner and thinks of the next item.
Draw and Fold: Unleash your hidden artistic talents! Holding a piece of paper vertically, fold it into fourths. The first person to take a turn will draw a head and shoulders in the top box. When finished, fold the paper back to hide the drawing and pass it to the next person. Artist #2 will draw the chest and upper arms, fold it, and pass it to the next person. Artist #3 draws the waist, hands and upper legs. Artist #4 draws the lower legs and feet. Finally, unfold the paper to see the crazy creation. Be imaginative! Originality makes for hilarious drawings. Find a template here.
Window Drawing: Before you head out, grab some window markers from your local craft store (be sure they’re the washable kind!). These specialty pens provide hours of entertainment. Play hangman and tic-tac-toe or draw a silly picture for passing cars to enjoy. Don’t forget to bring a cotton cloth to use as an eraser.
ABC Memory: Another tried-and-true classic. The first person begins by saying, “I’m going to Myrtle Beach and I’m bringing an alligator” (or anything that starts with the letter A). The next person repeats the first person’s statement but adds an item beginning with the letter B: “I’m going to Myrtle Beach and I’m bringing an alligator and a boogie-board.” Keep taking turns. If someone can’t remember one of the letters, they’re out! See if you can get all the way to the letter Z.
20 Questions: This game has been entertaining families for years. Player 1 thinks of a noun (animal, person, object- anything!). The other players ask up to 20 questions that will give them clues as to what noun the player is thinking of. Player 1 is only allowed to respond with "yes", "no" or "sometimes." If no one has guessed the object after 20 questions, Player 1 is the winner! Otherwise, the person who guesses correctly takes a turn coming up with a new noun.
Remember, the joy is in the journey, not just in the destination. Look at the long drive as an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. These bonding moments are the ones you’ll treasure forever. But, when that moment does come that you need a break from the car, be sure to visit The Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor. You’ll find clean bathrooms, snacks, and all the Myrtle Beach information you’ll need to create the perfect family vacation!