sm_travelgame_image1

Printable travel game

avatar
by Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca Cooper is a 34-year-old wife and mother of four who lives with her family in beautiful Alberta, Canada. As a photographer, crafter, author, and blogger, she finds joy and fulfillment in celebrating everyday moments. She loves to read and eat chocolate, and is a firm believer in afternoon naps. Rebecca shares her family’s adventures, photo tips, simple craft projects + more at Simple as That.

A few weeks ago our family hit the road as we made the big move from Alberta, Canada, to sunny Arizona. Along with packing, cleaning, and the various tasks that come with a move, I knew I’d also need to prepare for the long drive ahead of us.

With an ample snack assortment,  a handful of dollar store toys and some favorite movies, I was surprised to find that one of the kids’ favorite activities on the trip was a simple “search and find” game that I’d printed out off the internet.

I’ve expanded on the original printout I used and wanted to share this fun little travel game with you in the hopes that it will come in handy on your next family road trip.

You can download the printable game cards to the travel game here. There are four sheets, 48 game cards in total. I printed mine out at home on white cardstock and cut out the cards using a paper trimmer. I added an extra step and used a punch to round the corners of each card but that’s completely optional.

Once you’ve printed and cut out your travel game cards, you could have them laminated to make them more durable. The amount of white paper and ink needed to print these is pretty inexpensive, so leaving them as-is is fine, too – printing out another page or two if they get worn won’t break the bank.

Printable travel game [SimpleMom.net]

sm_travelgame5

sm_travelgame6

You can store the cards in a ziplock bag or in one of my favorite storage containers for carrying small items like felts, crayons and card games in the car.

sm_travel_game4

What to do with your travel game cards:

• play a family game of “I Spy”, using the cards as prompts for what to look for

• have each family member draw a card, and the first person to find the item on their card wins

• deal each player five cards, then players search for the items on their cards. As you find an item, draw a new card and continue until all the cards are found

• print out two sets of the game cards and play a game of go fish

• have the whole family work together to find each item in the deck of cards throughout your trip

And for a free printable BINGO version of this fun travel game, please visit my blog.

Our family loves taking road trips together; they can be a lot of fun and a great family bonding experience.

Are you planning a family road trip this summer? Where are you headed? What are some of your family’s favorite things to do in the car for fun?

Join the Conversation

Like This? Subscribe for free and have it delivered to your inbox.

Comments

  1. If traveling with only one progeny, or if there is a large age difference in young kids, you can use individual games to entertain a progeny by himself. Mazes, hidden objects, hue by number. Nice post.

  2. Ooh, Rachel, this looks great! My kids love travel games, too. We’re thinking of taking a road trip when our littlest baby is just a bit bigger… we’ll see how that goes!

    • And by “Rachel” obviously I mean “Rebecca.” Sigh. Late nights: good for baby feedings, not so much for clear thinking. ;)

      • No worries @Melissa…I get Rachel all the time and I completely understand about that fog your living in right now with late night feedings + the like. I lived for an afternoon nap when my babies were tiny. :)

  3. We drove 1000 miles each way earlier this month with our 3 (almost 4) year old. The biggest hit was a printable i spy travel bingo I found via google. We played a lot of that as well as just straight up asking questions (do you like chocolate milk or strawberry milk better? etc). I wish I would have known about yours before we left, it looks super fun too!

  4. What a great idea! We’re planning a trip to the zoo which happens to be a lovely 3 hour drive. I can’t wait to try a new game! Hope you’re enjoying Arizona.

  5. Holy moly, this is fantastic. Maybe I’m just new to car games :), but this looks great. Excited to find one even my 3 year old can do.

  6. Our favorite game to play in the car is the license plate game. Print off a North American map that has the states on it. Then try to spy a license plate from every state. Mark off the states as you see them. You can make it competitive by putting initials on the state of the person who found it. You can even give a small prize for the one who has the most.

  7. No road trips this summer, but we do like to listen to books on tape. I like to pause the at the end of each chapter and discuss what happened. I might be the homeschool mom in me though….lol

  8. We recently did a 12+ hour road trip (each way). We found the following to be really great travel entertainment:

    – Hands down, biggest hit with the kids was modeling clay. Some friends had suggested play dough but it crumbles and we didn’t want it all over the car. The modeling clay doesn’t crumble and the kids could make new colors by continuing to knead two colors together. They also sculpted animals, flowers, pretend moustaches, etc. Will do this for every car trip we take in the future!
    – Clipboard with blank sheets of paper and crayons/colored pencils. Our oldest drew for hours.
    – Small dinosaurs, trucks. Our youngest loved playing in his seat with his little toys and making up scenes for them to play out.
    – I had a number of travel games printed and we ended up not using any of them because they were a little too advanced for our youngest.
    – By not putting on movies for the entire trip, our kids did a lot of make believe. They made up their own language (which was hilarious), made up stories, etc.
    – Made up little songs each time we crossed a state line. We were running a little low by the fifth state. ;-)

    We did let them watch two movies on the way down but we ended up never getting out the DVD player on the way home because they were occupied with the items above.

  9. What a fun idea! I love this. I think I will use it for our trip this weekend, thank you for sharing!

    Bekah,
    On behalf of-
    A Moment with MOM

  10. Love that they’re individual cards instead of just a board. So many possibilities. =) And welcome to Arizona, definitly not the best time to move here considering the heat. Only going to be 118 this weekend. Yay! Winter time will be great considering where you’re coming from though. :)

  11. This would be great! Next week we are driving up to San Diego for 4th of July. Its a 6 hour drive from here and I need to find something to entertain my son :)

  12. Former Albertans, unite!! =) We moved from Edmonton to Nova Scotia, still in the same country but a long move nonetheless.

    This game looks fabulous, I’m always on the lookout for simple car activities. =)

  13. I just did this type of game for a recent road trip with my 4 and 5 year olds. I actually drew the pictures (not knowing about this great source) that I thought would work, and laminated them. They each had a card with 9 images, could mark them off with the marker, erase, and trade. I also made them specifically for the places we would be in – interstate highway driving pictures were different than the ones for town driving or National Park driving. It doubled as homeschool topics because we could talk about environments, habitats and such as well!

  14. Seriously brilliant and made my heart go pitter-pat to know the low tech game won out.

  15. Fabulous! We have 2 road trips coming up and this will be so great to have with us!

  16. This is really fun I love games for holidays for the children, looks fantastic for road trips and we travel for three hours one way every fortnight to visit parents so this will come in very useful

  17. What a cute idea! I’m pretty sure my 3 boys will love it. We live in Germany right now and take road trips at least once a month. Next week we’re headed to Prague and I’ve been looking for something new.

    We have three favorites, a drawing faces game for my 6 year old Pick and Draw (http://pickanddraw.com) Imaginets- magnetic tangrams for my 3 and 5 year old (http://www.mindware.com/p/Imaginets/44204). When we were still in the states, the license plate game was a total lifesaver- it kept my 6 year old occupied all the way from Utah to Texas, to Kentucky, Alabama and back again! I wish I could find a European version of this… ((http://www.melissaanddoug.com/usa-license-plate-game)

  18. Hi Rebecca! Where are you moving to in Arizona? We live in Tucson and absolutely love it. 350+ days of sunshine, spectacular sunsets, magnificent mountains, wide open spaces, and lots of friendly people.

  19. Oh fun! We aren’t doing any super-dee-duper LONG road trips this summer, but do have several shorter jaunts planned (2-4 hours each way, tops). I love the idea of these cards, as well as the Bingo print-out on the other blog. Plus one of the readers here commented about packing up some modeling clay, which is simply ingenious, so THANKS, fellow reader! Oh, and clipboards — big DUH — I will def. be investing in one of those bad boys! So many ideas, it’s a shame we won’t be doing a longer trip. But then again, I can parse these out so each shorter trip has a new form of entertainment. You people are great.

  20. Awesome game! Thanks so much for sharing!

Speak Your Mind

*