10 Games to Play in the Car
1. Slug bug. Remember the good ol’ days of the one-head light Beetles? Bring back this game, but with some new rules. The person who sees a VW Beetle, yells slug bug and gets to “slug” their partner on the shoulder. With my boys I have to adjust this to have them “slug” the seat instead of slugging a shoulder because they don’t know how to be gentle. Your little ones will have their eyes centered on the road just searching for those slug bug opportunities!
2. License Plate Bingo. This is an old-school classic. The point of the game is to see who can discover the most license plates of varying states located on the other cars. There are printables out there that you can print off with all 50 states on them, or just have fun and write them down on a notepad as you go. Will anyone be able to find Hawaii or Alaska? You’ll never know until you try.
I also like this License Plate sticker book License Plate sticker book for all ages of kids. It is a great way to keep track.
3. I Spy. This game can literally be played throughout the entire road trip. Be quick though, it can be hard to keep up on clues when you’re driving 70 mph down the road! Think outside the box about things to spy. “I spy, with my little eye….something blue”. If you guessed the sky, you’re right!
4. The Rhyming Game. Say a word, any word. Then each person has to come up with a word that rhymes with it. Fly, guy, spy, lie, my, alibi….go until you can’t think of any other real words to go along with it. Be careful, there may be some silly words slipped in there causing lots of laughs!
5. The Alphabet Game. Start out with the first letter of the alphabet, A. That person has to find something on the road that they can see at that point in time that starts with the letter A. Once done, it goes to the next person with the next letter of the alphabet, B. and so on and so on until the entire alphabet gets through. Have fun finding something that starts with X!
6. What am I thinking? One person thinks of something in their mind. Then, the remainder of the people in the car has 3 questions that they can ask to try to figure out whatever the person is thinking in their mind. The questions can build on one another, as all remaining family members are trying to figure it out together.
7. Freeze Dance. Yes, it is possible to dance in the car…but the rule to this game? You can only dance with your arms. The person in the passenger seat has control over the radio stations (safety first!) and plays a song. Once the song starts playing, the arms start waving…once the music stops, everybody freezes! And stays frozen until the music starts again.
8. Add up the Mile Markers. It’s possible to have math time, fun time in the car. Say a random number on the mile marker…then wait and spout off another mile marker a few miles down the road. Have ’em add the numbers together to see who can answer the quickest and correct!
9. Story time. Have each person in the car tell a portion of a story. Each person gets 30 seconds to tell their portion. When their time is up, it goes on to the next person and round and round it goes. The ending that it stops at? Nobody knows!
10. Count larger semi’s and vehicles on the road. Have your car keep their eyes peeled for larger vehicles on the road and keep track of them!
I also like to have some new travel games I pull out throughout the trip.
And I keep these Magnetic Travel Drawing Boards in the seat pockets all the time.
Also if you have a child that likes to draw. This lap table makes it easy.
And don’t forget stickers! Always a favorite.
Road trips don’t have to be painful! Try implementing some of these fun suggestions for ways to add some awesome games to play together as a family!
Turn your road trip frowns upside down.
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I have such fond memories of playing car games as a kid! We went on a long road trip two summers ago and had times where we made the kids put away all electronics and play car games instead. They had a blast!
I love car games! Last summer we drove from Wisconsin to Florida to go to Disney World. We played the license plate game. We found plates from at least 40 different states!
These are great ideas! Thanks so much for putting this together!
Love all of these! Long car rides can be so fun, until they are not! These are great ideas to keep the fun going. Thanks for sharing.
Joanna Clute says
Those are such adorable game ideas. We are always looking for ways to keep the kids preoccupied in the car.
I played a lot of these games with my siblings when we were all young.
We play Yello Car Bingo when we are in the car. Every time we spot a yellow car, the first one to see it yells Bingo and gets one point. It is surprising how many yellow cars are out there. 🙂
My family growing up (I’m 50) and our kids now (late teens to early 20s) all enjoyed “The Initial Game”. One person picks first & last initials of someone (e.g. “AR”). Everyone else has to ask yes/no questions until they guess who “AR” is. Rules: The person who is “it” can ONLY answer YES or NO, younger kids are allowed to ask for help from an impartial party (parent), and they have to be reasonably sure everyone playing KNOWS the person/character being guessed. You can choose real, fictional, living, dead, etc people. Our kids started very young and still enjoy playing. Some stumpers we’ve had over the years include: “B” for “Blue”, “S” for “Steve”, “PP” for “Pontius Pilate”, “FM” = “Fa Mulan”, “C” = “Cher”, “CS” = “Cole Sprouse”, etc.
Omg! I love the game license plate bingo. That’s so creative and clever! We just took a 20 hour road trip from Texas to Colorado and that would’ve been a great game to play.