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Road Trip Games – Holiday Edition

December is a month for parties, gatherings, and all sorts of merry-making. Growing up, our annual drive to my maternal grandparents required several days of preparation. Wrapping gifts, baking (well, Mom did most of that, my brother and I were on kitchen clean-up duty), and decorating our home. The drive itself consumed the better part of a day, about 5 hours. What to do with a car full of holiday energy? Play road games!

We had two games we played to help pass the monotony of the road: the alphabet game and the license plate game.

The alphabet game is simple, spy a:

  • sign

  • billboard

  • the side of a truck

  • a roadside business.

Beginning with the first letter, sequentially A to Z, and repeat. We would make a contest out of it, best of, three games or first to win two in a row.

The rules:

  • No skipping letters, no skipping A to C.

  • Speak up! Say the word before anyone else, one point to you

  • As long as the letter is in the word, it counts!

  • If it’s a tie, decide if you want to give a point each or score half a point

For example, spotting a billboard for a favorite brand, on the sign, the word “awesome”, there’s your first letter! “J” and “Q” are usually the toughest.

The license plate game requires either a sheet of paper or a good memory, to track how many different license plates are spotted on the highway between points A and B. I still play this game when on the road.

Just like you, there are thousands of people traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, so there will be plenty of opportunities to spy these license plates! There are 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and if you or a member of your traveling party has a keen eye, you may see a native American (think Cherokee Nation) or an international license plate too! Your home state counts too! Just not your car. Also, commercial vehicles don’t count either, unless you want to make it super easy.

The holidays are a great time to play road games, have some family interaction, and spend some non-screen time!

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