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Part of making a holiday a

 is having fun and playing games.  We have gathered a number of games that can be played in the car, in the air or on route with some that may be suitable in a hotel room or restaurant and games that can be played at rest stops, picnics, at the beach or any outside play area.  We hope your family will enjoy these games as part of a great 

Scroll Down or click on List Items to view Game Suggestions:

No Tools Required

Pencils, Paper and Colouring

Pack a Knapsack

Outdoor Activities

Here are some games that require no supplies and are limited only by your imagination!!!

Take turns with the oldest or youngest starting the game and the first person to guess or win goes next:

  • I Spy with my little eye - give clues - can be done with letters and colours also
  • ABC - each person picks an item starting with next letter in the alphabet.
  • Old MacDonald - take turns adding an animal
  • Guess the animal, person or thing - give clues
  • Guess where I am - give clues
  • Guess the Pokemon - just for kids usually - give clues including HP points and evolved forms
  • Statue Game - last person to stay still wins 
  • Quietest the Longest - last person to remain quiet wins - this makes for a quiet car ride.
  • Spelling bee with age/ability appropriate words or backwards spelling to make it harder for older children.
  • Domino Spelling - first person starts with a letter and the next person adds a letter and continues with each person adding a letter.  The person who cannot add a letter is out and a new word is started until only one player is left.
  • Category Lists - these can be done randomly or alphabetically - eg - farm animals, states or provinces.
  • A variation on the "I'm going camping and I will bring" game where each person picks an item to bring to the travel destination and each subsequent person must recite the entire list.  First person who forgets an item on the list is out.
  • Video Trivia - make up questions about favourite children's videos.
  • Counting and shape game - have children count the number of a certain shape or colour item they see along the way.
  • Licence Plate games - these can involve finding all the letters to the alphabet, numbers, looking for words or how many states or provinces you can see.
  • Sing-alongs are fun and increase oxygen intake while you play to reduce the feeling of fatigue while travelling, especially action songs like "The Wheels on the Bus".  You can also have a christmas sing-along which is really fun for a summer holiday.
  • Sound contest - see how many different sounds you can make.
  • Simon says clap your hands, etc.  when the caller asks for an action without saying "Simon Says" anyone who does the action is out.

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These games require only a pad of paper and some pencils, crayons or washable markers to play.  See Crayon Safety for concerns with chewing crayons.

Pens  can also be used

  • Hangman - or you can use the format of wheel of fortune to guess letters that form the word indicated by the spaces on the pad.
  • Tic tac toe is always a family favourite
  • Many children just love to draw and a quiet time for this is a welcome respite
  • Spelling games can also be played this way.
  • A visual scavenger hunt - make a list of things to see and kids can cross it out when they see it.
  • Catagory list game can also be used this way.
  • Keeping a journal either by pictures for younger children or older children can write down their adventures for a keepsake. See Tips to make learning part of Summer Fun.   See
  • Tracing - pick objects or hands to trace and colour.

 

Colouring books, word search, crossword puzzles, dot to dot, sticker, maze or game books and puzzles are great for keeping kids busy and giving parents some relaxing time.  Travel time is a great time to learn and teach your children card games - go to the book store and pick up a book that will help teach your children some games - these are great learning tools.

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Here are some games and suggestions that kids can pack in their knapsack or you can purchase and surprise them with along the way.  Some of these products require batteries.

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  • Hand held video games, while noisy, can provide a lot of entertainment for older children.
  • Individual Tape player and cassettes with music or read-along stories, books and even homework can make travel time pass quickly for children. 
  • When all else fails, bring out the surprise bags.  These can be packed with little surprise toys (watch for choking hazards for little children and don't give sugary treats) and can occupy the mind with new play adventure.  See Safety tips for Buying Safe Toys and Using Toys Safely
  • Many different craft supplies can provide entertainment without mess - pipe cleaners for making sculptures, ,make a tape ball - give each child a scotch tape dispenser and ask them to make a ball.
  • Have children bring along their favourite toy, action figures, cars or dolls - these are tried, true and familiar items that can settle weary travellers.  See Tips on Buying Toys for Children
  • Babies and young children love puppets and a little show can provide a lot of joy and laughter for everyone.
  • Maps and brochures for your destination can help kids acquaint themselves with the area you are visiting.
  • Magnetic travel games are an interesting way to pass the time without loosing too many pieces.
  • A laminated country map and markers can provide a way to keep track of licence plates on cars.
  • Books can be fun and provide a learning experience along the way. 

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Rest stops, picnic areas and the beach (even a grassy area by your Hotel or resort) can be a great place to get some exercise and play with the kids at the same time.  Here are some activity suggestions:

  • Playing catch, soccer, frisbee, baseball, football or tag is a great way to burn off some energy
  • Variations of tag can include freeze tag, TV tag (player must name a different tv show to avoid being tagged).
  • We recommend that you never play hide and seek in a strange or unfamiliar area.
  • Red Light/Green Light - players line up and one player goes a distance away and yells green light, the players start to run towards the caller until they hear red light - then they must stop.  First player to reach the caller wins.
  • Marbles can be used in many ways, any shape can be drawn with a centre and players can toss or roll marbles to see who gets them closest to the centre or try to knock other marbles out.
  • Skipping is great exercise and usually children know some skipping songs from school.
  • Hopscotch squares can be drawn on a hard surface with caulk or the sand with a stick.  Anything can be used as the stone - a branch or even a beanbag or small toy.  Numbers are put in each square starting with one (usually 8 squares).  Player starts by placing stone in first square and jumping in all squares except where the stone is.  This is repeated for each square.  Stepping on a line or falling means the player losses a turn.

Tossing the ball in the pool or in the water at the beach is great fun.

 

  • Blowing bubbles, kit flying and catching and releasing butterflies or frogs can also occupy children and parents while on vacation. 

 

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All Tips are offered as suggestions only

While we have tried to provide you with a list of suggestions to help parents when travelling with children to keep them safe, unfortunately, we can’t think of everything and it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children’s safety.

 

Looking for Kid's Travel Products to entertain children when travelling go to:

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See the following sections for specific tips:

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