Travel Games

In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been putting together some travel bags for the kids. I bought some cute backpacks during the back-to school sales and plan to fill them with games, puzzles, and anything else I can think of that’ll make them less insufferable while we drive.

I bought some activity books and ordered stuff that looks fun (Chicken ShuffleMagnetic Paper Dolls!)

I even came across some of those old-school mini pinball games like I used to play in the car when I was a kid (although Jim says the noise will drive me crazy).

I found lots of printables (Road Trip Bingo, an Alphabet Activity Sheet, even printable Battle Ship) which I laminated. I got dry-erase crayons for some of them and transparent counters for others – since Little still puts every. damn. thing. in her mouth, I had to look pretty hard to find chips larger than 3/4″ in diameter. I finally settled on these Overhead Color Tiles, which are square (non-esophagus shaped for the mother of the spider-snorting child!) and fairly large. I bought some clear velcro dots, which will hold the chips on the the games whilst we are driving.

I even made a game myself – after looking for a license plate printable and not finding exactly what I wanted, I decided I could make my own. I spent TWO HOURS on the internet looking for sample license plates for every state, only to discover that they were available all along in Microsoft Clip Art.

Anyway! After so much effort, I decided to make it available to print and save another poor idiot mom all that work.

Click on the pictures to get a printable .pdf of the License Plate Game Page 1 and License Plate Game Page 2.


If you came from Pinterest, pleast click the above links.

I was mortified to discover I had forgotten Nevada and had to correct it. The link below is not correct, but I didn’t want to delete it because I was not sure how that would affect pinners. You can also access all my printables on the Printable Travel Game Page in the sidebar.

We also like Slugbug Counting when we go anywhere – in fact, if I go anywhere alone, the kids order me to keep track of any slugbugs and report back to them. So I figured I’d make a printable chart to keep track of slugbug sightings.

Click on the picture to get a printable .pdf of the Slug Bug Graph.

And then I got a little carried away and made a couple more.

Click on the pictures to download printable .pdfs of the Construction Graph and the Things That Go Graph (that title is lame, I know).


I printed all the games and graphs on cardstock and laminated them.

For the License Plate Game, I stuck the loop side of the clear velcro dots in the middle of each picture and the hook side on the colored chips. The chips should stay put for a while so we can keep track over time.

For the graphing charts, I bought some dry-erase crayons and the kids can make an X or a checkmark or whatever in each square. I have even thought about printing out more graphs, but keeping them unlaminated, so we can write weekly totals in each column and end up with data to make even more graphs. We’ll see how into it they are, but I think graphing is cool. In fact, there’s a good chance I will make some more – maybe one for cows, ducks, and other animals.

Feel free to print out any of these graphs and take them along on your next road trip!

(most images courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art)


6 Responses to “Travel Games”

  1. Kristy Says:

    Those are some cool games/graphs that you devised. You will make some poor family’s roadtrip a dream-come-true.
    Kristy´s last blog post ..It’s been how long?

  2. Eddie Says:

    I’m relieved to see that (as far as I can tell, anyway) your slugbug page doesn’t include the newer, not-really-a-bug-so-don’t-punch-me-if-you-value-your-life cars. 🙂
    Eddie´s last blog post ..My baby is 4 today!

  3. Applie Says:

    Cute games! I printed paper dolls on magnetic paper, years ago, for my girls. Each girl had her own tin box, paper dolls, and a cookie sheet. lol
    They loved it. So much fun.

    There’s another game that might be fun, but pieces may be too small. I’ll email you.
    Applie´s last blog post ..Play Dough Bodies

  4. Kirsten is Comfortably Domestic Says:

    You just saved me on our next road trip. Trying to come up with new, entertaining activities to bust out in the final 2 hours of a trip drives me crazy.

    I loved those pinball games as a kid. We also played the “alphabet” game as a kid: everyone(as a group) tries to find the letters of the alphabet, in order from license plates, road signs, etc.
    Kirsten is Comfortably Domestic´s last blog post ..Fall is Here. You Have No More Excuses.

  5. Melanie Says:

    You are such an overachiever! My Goobs got books. And books on tape. And Cheerios if they were really, really quiet. Of course, I myself am endlessly amusing, so they never lacked entertainment. I taught them gross marching cadences on one trip. They were too young to pronounce anything properly, so no one knew how depraved I was. 😀
    Melanie´s last blog post ..A Week in Review (09/19-09/25)

  6. tracey Says:

    Those are cool. I like that you laminated them so you can reuse them instead of carrying loads of paper.
    tracey´s last blog post ..We’ve Fallen In Love with Ohio…