Family road trip? We’re sharing a DIY Mini Road Trip License Plate Game with free printable! Find out how you can transform an empty mint tin into this fun road trip game.
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As the popular song says: “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”! Of course, that song sang of parties for hosting and marshmallow for toasting, which are great, but it’s not the reason for our excitement. If you know anything about my family and I, you know the real reason:
IT’S COMIC-CON TIME!
The yearly event in San Diego is almost here! We’ve been waiting all year and anxiously counting down the days.
Well, it’s more than 2 days away, but a photo to illustrate how our girls countdown every year…
A lot prep takes place the last few weeks before we hit the road. Car maintenance is one of my top responsibilities. I’m also the guy for making our road trip breakfast. And cleaning out the ice chest. And laundry. I’ve got stuff to do.
The kids are beyond excited and, this week, they started talking about road trip games. More specifically, they started talking about the license plate game — where you keep track of all the different state license plates you see while on your road trip.
Years ago, we had a magnetic version of the License Plate Game. The kids played it on every single road trip. But, we started losing pieces and it was time to retire it. They still play the license plate game on paper, but they liked the magnetic version a lot. This got me thinking…
You know those mints that come in a metal tin?
My wife loves those and it looked like a perfect option for a DIY Mini License Plate Game.
To make a DIY Mini License Plate Game, we needed a few supplies. I also needed to get an oil change on our van and pick up some stuff for our road trip. That meant heading out to Walmart, where we could multitask and GET STUFF DONE in the one stop.
Because of this, it was cool to learn that the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® Oil Change (perfect for vehicles over 75,000 miles) was on Rollback for $35.88 from June 15 – September 28, 2016 at the Walmart Auto Care Center. I usually get my oil changed there, even without a price Rollback, but this was a nice bonus.
While the van was getting its oil changed, we picked up all the supplies we need for making our License Plate Game, plus other last minute road trip shopping, like trail mix, water bottles, and sunscreen.
Once we were back at home, the kids got started making a Mini License Plate Game. They turned out really cool and they were easy to make too.
Magnetic DIY Mini License Plate Game
What You’ll Need:
- Free Printable License Plate Game
- Empty Mint Tin with Hinged Lid
- Painter’s Tape (optional)
- Spray Paint (or other items like paper or tape to decorate the outside of your tin)
- Double-Sided Tape or Adhesive
- Adhesive Magnets (available at Walmart, office supply, or craft store)
How to Make Your Own Mini License Plate Game:
First, make sure your empty mint tin is clean. Carefully remove the lid from the bottom of the tin to make it easier to spray paint.
You may also wish to use painter’s tape to protect the inside of the tin from getting paint on the inside.
Decorate the outside as you wish. One of our girls picked the red glitter spray paint (the glitter texture helps to hide more of the embossed design on the tin), so I gave it several light sprays, allowing it to dry in between each layer. Don’t rush the process or you’ll have a drippy mess. You can use any spray paint color or even decorate the outside with paper, duct tape, washi tape, etc. After your tin is completely dry, reattach the lid.
Next, print our free printable license plate game. I recommend doing this on basic printer paper since it’s thin and won’t be too thick for magnets to hold through.
CLICK BELOW to PRINT:
Free Printable License Plate Game
Cut out the two sections. Adhere the part that says “USA License Plate Game” to the inside of the mint tin lid.
Adhere the bottom section of the free printable(the US states), to magnets. The adhesive magnets I used are business card size. I attached the sticky side to the back of the USA States printable and trimmed away the excess.
Then, cut apart each state. The individual state magnets will be placed for holding in the bottom of the mint tin. While you are on your road trip, look at the license plates of the cars around you. When you spot a license plate from a certain state, move that state magnet up to the top section. Keep repeating this with each state you find. The person who finds the most wins!
I would recommend making a separate tin for each person who wants to play. You can also make up your own rules. Since our kids are older, we usually have a rule that cars parked in parking lots (like at restaurants or gas stations, and especially hotels) don’t count. This makes the game a bit harder, but if your kids are younger, you might want to allow this.
I hope this DIY Mini License Plate Game is a lots of fun for you and your family on your next road trip. And, before you hit the road, be sure to find your local Walmart Auto Care Center and get your vehicle an oil change with Pennzoil.
We’d love to hear from you: where will the road be taking you and your family this summer?
Originally posted July 14, 2016. Updated June 8th, 2019.