License Plate Bingo

Wyoming license plate 2020 on car with bucking bronco pictured in front of mountains and river

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Road Trip Fun

Wyoming license plate 2020 on car with bucking bronco pictured in front of mountains and river

  • What: License Plate Bingo
  • When: 5 years and up
  • Why: Entertaining
  • Where: On the road

Hitting the road with your elementary aged kids this summer? Want an easy way to entertain them in the car with zero preparation necessary? Try a game of license plate bingo.

Illinois land of Lincoln 2020 license plate on car
It can fun to find different license plate designs.

Next time you go for a long drive, or even on a jaunt on foot or bike around the neighborhood, see how many states your kids can collect. Kids who can read can join in the fun of examining nearby license plates. We used this game recently on a six hour car trip, and now my kids play without prompting every time we get in the car. Interstate highways usually boast a larger number of states, though you can find plenty in shopping centers and even side streets if you pay attention. 

California license plate on minivan on city street
You can find different license plates all over town once you start looking.

The best part? You can play this game over and over again, and compete against your last score. Kids can try and recall if they’ve ever been to each state, and how far away it is. You can award bonus points for the person who spots the state furthest away, or work together as a team to get as many states as possible. It works best if someone records the states you spot, which means kids can practice with state abbreviations, too. If you don’t want to write them down, you can get a board to help keep track, like this wooden Flip to Win Travel License Plate Game from Melissa and Doug.

Travel License Plate Game on Amazon

I love that this I spy type game keeps my kids’ attention outside the car instead of focused on each other, especially when they ride three across for long periods of time. No matter how you choose to use it, this game builds awareness and reading skills while making it fun for the whole family on the go.

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