Driving to a faraway camping site? Long ride ahead before arriving at the beach? Anticipating traffic on the way to grandpa’s house? No matter the final destination, you can easily make any car ride fun for your little one!

Classic Car Games

Not all activities require props! Take the timeless “I Spy” game – all you need to do is pick an object you see on the road, say “I spy with my little eye…” and follow up with a clue! (If you have a stop sign in mind, the clue could be “something red” or “something that starts with an S.”) You could also help your kiddo practice their ABCs by encouraging them to spot every letter of the alphabet on 26 different license plates. Or make the time fly by with silly “Would You Rather?” questions! Would you rather be able to fly or to be invisible? Have a pool or a trampoline? Eat pizza or ice cream for every meal?

Sack o’ Surprises

Before hopping in the car, you can prepare a little bag of goodies for your toddler to discover while they’re on the road! Grab a bag or an easy-to-open box and fill it with itty bitty surprises such as small cars, their favorite plush buddy, drawing materials, new toys, stickers, and even fun snacks such as a pretzel necklace or a cereal bracelet! And make sure to build up the mystery before hitting the road! Knowing that surprises are in store can pique their interest and make playtime that much more fun, even if some of the items in the bag are familiar to your child.

Smiling boy with a drawing board in a car.

Road Bingo

Put a twist on the much-loved game of bingo by taking out the numbers and using road-inspired images instead! If you’re feeling creative, you can draw or design your own 5 x 5 grid and add illustrations of what you can easily find on the road in every square. You can include things such as a car, bike, motorcycle, warning sign, traffic lights, construction cone, wild animal, tree, bridge, a roadside restaurant, and more. Or simply find an existing template online! Although the look changes, the rules remain the same: once you cross off 5 items in a row horizontally or vertically, shout out BINGO and win!

Get even more inspired this summer with our sunny backyard activities, splashy play ideas, and tons of outdoor fun!

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