Are you planning a Jurassic road trip this Summer? Even if you are just planning to visit a new dinosaur park or museum or go and see some dinosaur footprints with your little dinosaur fan, you will probably be in the car for a while. And as excited as they will be, your little dinosaur fan will probably need some distraction. We’ve tested numerous games on our various trips and can report on the seven best dinosaur games for Jurassic road trips.
Just to confirm: These games are also great for long flights and train rides!
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Jurassic road trip
noun /dʒʊˈræsɪk rəʊd trɪp/
- A road trip to a dinosaur museum, monument or park;
- A road trip with a little dinosaur lover
- Ideally both of the above
In order to play some of the best dinosaur games for Jurassic road trips, your child will need a tray table over their lap. This should have a lip around it to stop game pieces from falling onto the floor and ideally will also have pockets for a drink, game pieces, pencils, etc.
The 7 best dinosaur games for Jurassic road trips
Without further ado, we’ll get to the list.
1. A dinosaur box
One of the best dinosaur games we’ve purchased recently is a dinosaur play box. We’ve got the Dinoexplorer one from Playmobil, but we like this set too. It comes all in a carry case, which helps keep all the bits corralled and can be used as part of the game too.
You could find a dinosaur suitcase set, or, if you have the time, you could one for your little dinosaur fan. All you need is a small suitcase, some felt, a hot glue gun and some imagination – and some small toy dinosaurs, of course. Depending on what you have imagined, you could grab some polymer clay and make food for the dinosaurs, too. Here’s a good one with instructions.
Of course, you could just use some toy dinosaurs. This will still work well, especially if you use one of the dinosaur tray tables.
2. Dinosaur bingo
Dinosaur bingo: like traditional bingo, but has dinosaur pictures. Fortunately, the box is exactly the right size to fit the bingo cards. That way, there is no risk that the footprint discs will slip off entirely so that you can still see when you hit bingo.
3. Biggest, Smallest, Heaviest
We use a set of top trumps cards to play biggest, smallest, heaviest. We pick a category, then find a dinosaur that we think will win. Some categories are clear, but some are more subjective (and often result in a need for an umpire). Scariest? Most varied dinosaur? Fastest? Bravest? Dumbest? Ugliest? For the record, in our set, the ugliest is the Shonisaura, hands down.
4. What’s in a Name?
Some of the best dinosaur games for Jurassic road trips are also some of the simplest: Not all games need cards or toy dinosaurs or props. As Miss M gets older, we have started to play What’s in a Name? One person picks a dinosaur and gives either the name of the dinosaur or the meaning of the name. The other player has to guess the dinosaur or what the name means. One of my favourites is the Brontomerus, which means “Thunder thighs”.
5. I’m Thinking of a Dinosaur
When we play “I’m thinking of an animal” almost all of the animals that our LDA thinks of lived “in dino times”.
The first player starts by thinking of a dinosaur and describes it without revealing what it’s called. the others have to guess what it’s called. Depending on who is playing, sometimes we will start with just one clue, other times we will start with three or four.
Apparently, this animal‐themed guessing game supports children’s cognitive development and helps them to explore their vocabulary.
6. Colouring in
Yes, it might not technically be a game, but colouring in is still one of the best ways to pass the time on a long road trip.
There might not be any dinosaur colored pencils available, but there are plenty of dinosaur pencil cases that can be filled with pencils for a trip. We like these Twistables: felt-tipped pens tend to end up drawing on something unwanted, and normal pencils need sharpeners.
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7. Screen time
Let’s be real: a long road trip is difficult to imagine and get through without any screen time. Most tray tables come with a stand to hold the tablet in place. So yes, screen time is one of the best dinosaur games for Jurassic road trips. But what screen time?
We’re iPad fans, but you can use whatever you like. If you have amazon prime, you can download your favourite dinosaur shows onto the tablet to watch anytime you like. And don’t forget the headphones!
Taking your tablet with some downloaded dino show also comes in useful when you get to your destination, especially if you intend to stay a few days. Download them before hand as the hotel/motel wifi might not allow streaming. You might be in another country and not have the right to watch the program there.
Don’t forget to take some dinosaur books to read while you are there, too!
Some apps are also some of the best dinosaur games for Jurassic road trips and any time really. Our LDA really likes The Archaeologist Jurassic Life (the green one) and Archaeologist Ice Age (the blue one) from MagisterApp. Each one has various games.
First, you dig for various fossils (by tapping on the screen like a hammer) then put the fossils together to ket the skeleton of the dinosaur you have discovered. The game then gives you some information about the dinosaur and, in some cases, has a little 3D dinosaur that you can take photos with (point the camera at the ground and he appears). On the other side is a puzzle; when you’ve completed it, you can feed the dinosaur its favourite foods and watch the reaction. There is also an option to colour in some dinosaur pictures.
Do you have any good dinoapps that you’ve tried?
Enjoy your Jurassic road trip!
With these road-tested dinosaur games, your Jurassic road trip, long-haul flight or cross-country train ride will be a roaring success. Enjoy your trip!