There’s a lot to be said for family road trips. They create opportunities for precious family time together, as well as chances to visit exciting places. But those endless hours in the car together can become tedious without activities to help pass the time. And after you’ve played the alphabet game for the thousandth time, it’s time to try something new.
Trivia games offer challenges for everyone, and can require more creativity than the standard looking-for-letters-on-billboards games. Your favorite trivia board games may not work so well in the car with their little pieces, but with some ingenuity you can come up with several new and exciting games for your family to play as you travel.
Adapt a Board Game
You might not be able to play a standard board game in the car, but who needs the board to enjoy the game? Just bring the box of questions along with you, or buy some at a thrift store. Or, you can pick up a book with trivia questions. Then make your own rules for your new game. Some families are content to read a few questions aloud and see who knows the answer. More competitive families might enjoy keeping score or using a stopwatch.
Create Your Own Questions
Older children can write their own questions during the trip. Bring pencils and a stack of index cards, and pass them out when it’s question-writing time. Then give each passenger a brochure or two from your destination, and have them write questions based on what they read in the brochures. If you do this on the trip out, before you reach your destination, your family will have a better idea of what’s unique and exciting about the places they will be visiting.
You could also have family members keep journals of their trip. On the way home, have them write trivia questions based on things that they did and saw during the vacation. This can be a lot of fun; what each family member remembers could surprise you.
Base Questions on Schoolwork
If your child is memorizing something in school such as states and capitals or multiplication tables, make a game out of it. You can drill just that child, or you can open the game up to everyone. Prepare cheat sheets for younger children who haven’t studied that topic yet, and let them call out the answer if they can find it first. Its fun for older children to see what they remember from when they learned the material themselves, and fun for the younger children to try to beat them.
Play Twenty Questions
This classic game doesn’t require prepared questions. Players take turn choosing something—an animal, vegetable, or mineral—while the others ask them questions about it and try to guess what they’re thinking of. Questions requiring more than a yes or no answer are not allowed. Try to discover the right answer within twenty questions.
Twenty Questions can be adapted for all ages. To make the game more challenging, provide books or other reference material for players to use. This can expose them to all kinds of information that they might never have encountered otherwise.
Traveling together in close quarters for hours on end can be difficult for any family. But providing quality games goes a long way toward making any road trip a good one. After all, your time together doesn’t start when you reach your destination—it starts when you begin your journey.