With the cost of airline tickets continuing to skyrocket, many families will hit the roads this season in an attempt to save some money. Road trips can be scenic, convenient, and (even with today's gas prices) cost effective, but admit it – if you’ve got young children, you’re probably fretting over the thought of all those hours in the car.

Take the boredom out of the back seat, with games that are fun for both kids and parents.

Young Children (3–5 years old)

  • Alphabet Game – Search for the letters of the alphabet, in order, on signs, billboards, and license plates. If you finish the alphabet, you can also try finding numbers.
  • Backseat Bingo – Before you leave home, make a bingo card of objects you may see in your travels (a blue car, a horse, a stop sign, etc.) using stickers, or by drawing them yourself.
  • The Never Ending Story – Engage your child’s imagination with their own made-up story. Everyone in the car takes turns adding a few sentences to the story. The twists and turns to the story are bound to be endless and enjoyable.

Elementary School (6–9 years old)

  • Find the States – See how many different states your child can find on license plates.
  • The Adding Game – Add the numbers on road signs. For instance, a sign with a speed limit of 35 would have an answer of eight.
  • Make a New Tune – Everyone in the car picks a familiar tune and creates a new song by changing the words.
  • How Many – One person names the subject (example: trees). Another person has to come up with as many types of that subject that they can think of (aspen, birch, etc.).
  • My Color Car – Each person picks a color. The first person who finds 10 cars in their color wins.

Older Children (10 years and up)

  • State Capitals – Try to name the capital for every different state license plate you see.
  • Twenty Questions – One person thinks of a subject. The other person tries to guess what they are thinking of, by asking no more than twenty questions.
  • Backwards Spelling Bee – One person says a word. The other person has to spell this word backwards. It is a lot harder than you may think!
  • License Plate Phrases – The first person to think of a phrase using the letters (in order) in a license plate wins (example OUD – one ugly duckling).