7 Super Creative Field Trip Games for Kids
By Michael Masone July 13, 2017
“Are we there yet?”
The most dreaded question parents and teachers hear all too often on family and academic field trips.
It’s no secret that kids are notorious for their short attention spans and becoming easily bored. It’s also no surprise that long road trips are not exactly the three ring circus kids are hoping for. And being cooped up in a bus for hours is not the ideal place for kids with pent up energy. But it doesn’t have to be a total wash of an experience. With a little planning and forethought, road trips can be a fun time for everyone, parents, and teachers included!
There are plenty of ways to keep kids happily entertained and enjoying each other’s company without breaking the bank. So before you hit the road this summer, pump the kids up on the promise of friendly competition. In this digital age, kids turn to electronics all too often as a source of entertainment. Stow away those Gameboys and iPads and give these 7 creative field trip games (and spins on classics!) a try next time you hit the road!
#1 I Spy
I Spy is a great game for all age groups, but especially younger kids. This game keeps their minds wandering for long periods of time and distracts them from fixating on the estimated time of arrival. In I Spy, one person spies something and recites the line “I Spy with my little eye…” ending with a clue. Each participant takes turns guessing the item. The game ends when someone guesses the object, and then another person can have the opportunity to be the spy.
You can also try challenging the child with a creative take on this game: I Spy 2D & 3D shapes. By describing objects in terms of mathematical terms (“I spy something with 3 straight sides and 3 corners…”, a traffic sign), your road trip games can also help kids develop important skills!
#2 I’m Going on a Picnic
This game is great for preschoolers who are working on memorizing the alphabet and can be a fun challenge for those who have known it for years. The first player says, “I’m going on a picnic and bringing…” and then names an item you can bring on a picnic starting with the letter A (like apples). The next player names something with a B. The game continues through the alphabet until players cannot name something that starts with the next letter of the alphabet.
For a different take on this game, try challenging kids with different themes. For example:
- I’m going to school
- I’m going to work
- I’m going on vacation
#3 20 Questions
20 Questions is another game that is suitable for everyone in the family, or on your tour group. One person thinks of a person, place or thing. Then everyone in the car takes turns asking a question that can be answered by a yes or no question. After each question, the person who asked can have one guess. Participants can take turns asking questions until someone correctly guesses the person place or thing. The person who guesses correctly gets to select the next person place or thing.
Make the game more challenging by establishing a certain theme that players have to stick with throughout the game. It will be hard to prevent someone from guessing early given the clue of your theme, but therein lies the fun!
#4 Treasure Hunt
We’re goin’ on a treasure hunt and we’re gonna find…anything!
In Treasure Hunt, players must decide on what they will look for while on the road. For example, you could be searching for a burned down house, a man in a plaid shirt, or you might opt to start with something a little easier: like a cow or a horse.
Prior to the field trip, come up with a list of 30 items, and print them out for everyone in the bus or car. Once the road trip starts, kids can cross the items off the list as they see them. The first person to get the items crossed off wins.
You can also adapt the game for smaller children by having one list, and all participants work together to cross off the items. However, if you are up for a little more of a challenge, arrange the items in a paper grid to make field trip bingo. The longer the trip, the more difficult to find items you should add to your road trip bingo game. A few ideas:
- A fancy new Tesla car
- A party bus
- The World’s Largest ______ (fill in the blank according to your surroundings)
#5 License Plate Game
Fifty nifty, United States! The goal of this game is to spot license plates from all 50 states. And to add a challenge for kids working on their geography skills, print out a map of the United States and shade in the states whose license plate you find. This could be a challenge for some adults, too! This is also a great game to play by instead trying to find different car models.
Once you’ve found all the United States license plates, challenge passengers to find the most unique bumper stickers. Each person gets to vote for their favorite, and the winner gets to choose where you stop for lunch!
#6 Cemetery Game
For this road trip game, divide the car into two teams. Each side looks for cows and horses. Each cow or horse is worth one point. However, when there is a cemetery on their side, the team loses their points and returns to zero. The first team to 100 wins.
#7 Connect the Name
This road trip games for kids option is a modified version of the name game. To play, the first person starts by giving a name that starts with the letter A, and the next person gives a name that starts with the last letter of the previous name. For example, if the first person says Abby, the next person gives a name that starts with a Y, such as Yvonne and the third person gives a name that starts with an E, and so on.
Connect the Song is a field trip game for kids that is similar to connect the name but with music lovers in mind. The first person starts with a song then stops at a word, and the next person sings a song with lyrics starting with that word. For example, the first person could sing “Happy Birthday to you” and the next person could sing “you are my sunshine.” The third person would have to come up with a song that had the word “sunshine” in it. Each person can decide when he or she stops singing.
No matter your mode of transportation, traveling with kids can be challenging and stressful. Sitting for long periods of time is never fun, but planning ahead and preparing fun games can turn your journey into one filled with bonding, laughter and whole lot of friendly competition.
Once you’ve strategized the perfect field trip games for your kids, it’s important to get serious about your transportation. If you’re taking a group of school children, consider renting a school bus. Or, if you’re going as a family, consider a mini bus or motor coach if your extended family is tagging along for the ride!
To learn more about how The BusBank can help with your academic and tour travel requirements, please call an associate today. We would be happy to answer any and all of your questions!