Classic and Fun Car Games to Play on a Road Trip
Teach your kiddos a bunch of road trip games to make your next family road trip a fun and whine-free one. These favourite classic games just take some imagination and don't cost a thing!
"I spy with my little eye something that is..." a certain color, a license plate with a certain number, a particular car model, or something inside the car. The first person to guess correctly is the next spy. This one will keep young kids entertained for long periods of time.
I'm Going to a Restaurant
This game can be played using any fun subject. The first player says, "I'm going to a restaurant and I'm eating ..." and then names a food beginning with A (apples); player two repeats the introduction, the first food player one named, then chooses one with B ("I'm going to a restaurant and I'm eating apples and bacon"), and so on until someone misses or forgets a part of the sequence. Great themes to use are cities, foods, movies, picnic, athletes, and more — just come up with a new intro and add to the sequence, i.e. "I'm going on a Picnic and I'm bringing..." or "I'm going on a Trip and visiting...".
Don’t Say It
This is a very competitive game to play in the car with kids. At the start of the road trip, select 5 words that are not allowed to be said the entire journey. If a person says one of those words, they gain a point. The person with the least points at the end of the car ride is the winner.
Think of an object (something), a person (someone) or a place (somewhere). Tell your kids which of these three categories the item falls into. They can ask only 20 questions to get clues for what the item could be. Play continues until a player guesses the person, place or thing correctly. To play with more than two children, the ones guessing could either split the 20 questions between them, or to make it easier, they can each use 20 questions and whoever guesses the correct answer first wins the round.
Spot the Car
This scavenger hunt is fun for older kids and adults. Players look for different car models. This printable game sheet is great to use for a "Spot the Car" scavenger hunt. Or you can create your own.
Who doesn’t love to sing in the car? This car game can be played a few ways. The first is when one person starts by singing the lyrics of a song, and the others have to guess it and singalong until it is finished, or until nobody knows the lyrics. The other is to mix songs. One person sings a line of a song, then the next person sings the line of another song and so on.
Driving through the countryside? Each time you see a group of cows, yell "my cows!" Keep track of how many herds of cattle you have and see who can get the most! But watch out – if you drive over a bridge, the first one to say “no more cows” can keep theirs, but everyone else loses all their cows!
Would you Rather?
Would you rather questions are a great way to get a fun conversation started, just ask "why" after a "would you rather question". You’ll get some really interesting answers and probably learn a lot more about the person you are talking to.
Alphabet Continuation Game
This game could go on forever and ever, and it stays fun for a very long time. First, players choose a theme. If the theme is song names, for example, player one would name any song ("Say Something"), and the following player must name a song beginning with the last letter of the previous song (so for this example, it would be a song beginning with G — "Genie in a Bottle," then E, and so on). To make it more difficult, limit the song names to a particular genre or artist. Other fun themes include countries, celebrities, foods, etc.
The Movie/Celebrity Continuation Game
Similar to the alphabet continuation game, this one revolves around movies, TV shows, and celebrities. The first player has to name a movie (Mrs. Doubtfire), the second player names a celebrity in that movie (Robin Williams), and the next player names a movie or TV show that this celebrity is also in (Good Will Hunting). It's a great way for teenagers to show off their movie knowledge.
Write out a numbered list of 20 things that you'll likely see on your route. Include vehicles (truck, minivan, motorcycle, police car), animals (cow, dog, horse, bird), and buildings and other roadside items (barn, stop sign, church, fence, bridge) — you get the idea. Photocopy the page for every child. For kids too young to read, use pictures instead of words. At the end of the trip see who has the most things crossed off their list. You can print one from this site, along with other car game printables.
Hold an age-appropriate spelling bee right in your car. Who wouldn't want to brag about being the family spelling champ for the rest of the trip?
Count the blue cars, count the Hondas, count the cars with two people in them, count the speed limit signs — count anything. First person to 10 (or 20, or more) wins, and then you can count something else!
Another version of this game involves searching your surroundings. Children have the alphabet written down on paper. Then, they can look out the window and when they spot something, they write it down next to the corresponding letter. The first person to finish the entire alphabet wins.
One person starts telling a story saying just one sentence. The next person then continues with one more sentence. Continue adding to the story and see how creative and funny your story becomes!