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12 Days of Fun Family Car Games: Traditional vs. iPads

Kids in minivan - Family car games | Hong Kong Auto Service Wilmette IL“Where’s my iPad?”

Have you tried to make that promise of not giving in to technology to entertain your children in the car? We know how hard that can be!

Here are several ideas for traditional games you can play in the car with your kids this holiday travel season—along with educational and entertaining opportunities on the iPad.

Traditional vs. iPad

  1. iPad Mad Libs

    Remember the good ol’ days of Mad Lib entertainment? Today, you can pack the Mad Lib books and your pencils, OR you can download the Mad Libs App for your iPads. Not only will your kids love coming up with the funniest words they can think of, they will also need to remember noun vs. adjective vs. pronoun. Ready, set, Mad Lib!

  2. Traditional Storytelling

    Get creative with storytelling. The first player starts by saying, “Once upon a time, there was a…” At any point, the narrator stops talking (even mid-sentence) and the second player must pick up the tale. Each player continues building the story until it reaches a logical (or illogical) conclusion. It’s fun to see where your child(ren) take the story!

  3. iPad State Plate Game

    The goal here is to find every license plate from the 50 States, and I bet you did this in your family car trips. But today, there are many apps based on The State Plate game. So encourage the kids to play an interactive game instead of just watching a movie.

  4. Traditional Car Trip ABCs

    Each player attempts to find the letters of the alphabet, in order, on road signs, buildings and other stationary objects. The word must begin with the letter. For example, a player looking for an “E” would be delighted to spot an Exit sign. The player must call out the letter and the word when they see it, and no two players can claim the same word on the same sign. Competition really heats up when you’re looking for J’s and X’s! The first player to work their way through the alphabet wins.

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  5. iPad Road Trip Bingo

    As a parent, you probably remember the Road Trip Bingo game you had as a kid. You know, the one with tons of tiny pieces that got lost in the car, and little 4×6 cardboard cards with tiny printed pictures of what you were supposed to find while looking out the window. Well, your kids can do it on their iPad without all the little pieces. Search the app store for the one right for your family!

  6. Traditional I Spy With My Little Eye

    If you ever took a road trip with you parents as a child, we’re sure you played this all-time favorite, which keeps your kids looking out the window and seeing new things. The goal is to find stationary objects in the distance so it gives the other players a chance to find what it is they are looking at.

  7. iPad Playlist Sing-A-Long

    Plug in your kids’ favorite playlist and sing along during your journey. Even if it’s not YOUR favorite music, they will love seeing you try to sing along. If you have more than one child, alternate the playlists, or create a playlist before you hit the road with their favorites and yours. You may find your kids will come to like Journey by the end of your journey.

  8. Traditional I Went to _____ and brought a/an ____

    In this game, The first player starts and fills in the blanks. “I went to Arkansas and brought an apple.” Then the next player has to name something they’d bring along that begins with a “B.” “I went to Arkansas and brought an apple and a bear.” This continues on, with each player adding to the list until you can get all the way to the letter Z and each player has a turn to recite the whole list. The item you bring along can be anything.

  9. iPad Geography Drive Arcade

    Think you know your U.S. Geography? Find out in the fun quiz game you can download from the app store. Good for ages 4+ and comes with all of the mini-games from Geography Drive USA. Your kids will learn the states, capitals, flags, and more. This app even has four fun trophies to win.

  10. Traditional Geography Game

    This geography game doesn’t use the iPad. One player names a place anywhere in the world, and the next person has to name a place that begins with the last letter of the first place. For example, the first person says Bahamas and the next person could say “Spain.” The third person would have to name a place that starts with “N,” the last letter in “Spain.” You can only use each place one time during the game, and you are out of the game if you can’t come up with something. No Googling allowed! This also can be played with any topic of your choosing.

  11. Google Where Are We?

    If you want fun on the ipad without an app, play this game. Ask your kids to find a road/exit sign, and then have them look up the location on Google. Ask them to find interesting information about that location, and see who can find the craziest fun facts. You’ll be amazed at what they will find!

  12. iPad Family Car Games

    For an app that has several different car games for the whole family, check out Family Car Games. It has several topics you can choose from such as “Radio Games,” “Out The Window Games,” “Pencil and Paper Games,” and more. It also comes with different difficulty levels, so everyone in the family can join in.

Happy holidays!