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Muffy Mendoza is the mama-in-chief at brownmamas.com, a lifestyle site that focuses on helping Black mothers enjoy everyday life. She often blogs about making life easier for moms using technology.
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Jul 20, 2017
“Can I play games on your cellphone?” Most parents despise this question, but it’s inevitable, especially when on a family road trip. These days in-car entertainment is all but mandatory for extended stays in the car. The good news is there are a ton of kid-friendly car games and apps you can take along with you. Whether you’ve got a cellphone, tablet, or just pencil and paper, here are some easy ways to keep your kids from constantly asking, “Are we there yet?” on your next family road trip.
If unplugging is on your list of summer to dos, an old school game of Hangman likely qualifies. Challenge your kids’ spelling skills with this guessing game. Pick a subject, and then a word. Players get two hints: the number of words and the category. Then they must guess letters to the word while you draw one part of the hangman with each letter they get wrong. The first person to guess the phrase or words before the hangman drawing is finished wins. This unplugged game can be played on teams or every man for himself. If you don’t mind plugging in during this family road trip, both Android and iOS devices have a number of Hangman apps to choose from.
If you plan on making stops in local towns, at rest stops or even at gas stations, a road trip scavenger hunt will be tons of fun for the entire family. Beforehand, make a list of items to be found and distribute to each family member. Your list can include everything from a roll of toilet paper to a map of Idaho. Some families even add hashtag challenges on their road trip scavenger hunt list, like take a picture in front of a McDonald’s in Wilmington, Alabama. A road trip scavenger hunt is sure to provide lots of fun memories and some great selfie opportunities to remember your family vacation by.
Make Taboo mobile with the family-friendly gaming app Heads Up! When playing Heads Up! you must pick one traveler (not the driver) to draw digital cards. The player will place their cellphone on their forehead and a word will appear. All other players will give the cardholder clues as to what the word is without actually saying the word. Once the player guesses the word he/she will bow their forehead to reveal the next word. Each game is timed and has a theme.
There’s no reason to argue over whose music plays in the car if everyone is engaged in a game of karaoke. Karaoke Anywhere is an easy way to pass the time while on your road trip and give everyone a chance to sing their favorite songs. This app even lets users playback their hilariously, soulful song skills. This app is great whether you’re in the car or just enjoying some down time on your next family vacation.
The car game possibilities are endless with Car Bingo. This takes a little preparation because you have to print out the bingo cards prior to your trip, but it’s well worth it considering the variety of ways you can play. Your car bingo cards can challenge kids to find different color cars, stop signs, livestock, welcome signs or even restaurants. A search for ‘car bingo’ will turn up a ton of websites with printable car bingo cards with many unique game boards. Parents might also want to have some prizes on hand for this unplugged game.
If your family road trip includes long distances through places like Nebraska, Colorado or Wisconsin a game of Cows on Your Side will keep everyone busy. Each time a player sees a cow they yell, “COWS ON MY SIDE,” and they get a point. The trick is that they can also yell “COWS ON YOUR SIDE” if they happen to see cows on the other side of the car before no one notices. Your opponent then claims a point for your cows.
Kids will remember that “A is for apple” after the road trip game Memory Test. The first person will say “A is for ___.” The second person will then come up with a word for the letter B, and must also repeat the “A” word. This will go on until you get to the letter Z. The person who messes up the sequence or forgets a word is out.These car games should stop the whining and complaining during your next family road trip. And remember, if your trip is going to include some gaming, make sure your digital devices are uploaded with parental control software to keep your family’s digital surfing fun and safe.