Getting ready for that summer road trip? No matter if this trip will last 5 hours or 5 days, you’ll need something to do keep yourself occupied. Here is a list of road trip games you can play.
1. I Spy
This is one of the most common games to play while in the car. You start by having one person find an object and then say “I spy with my little eye something that begins with…” Or “I spy with my little eye something that is (color)” If the car is moving you usually want to stick with something inside the car. The others now have to guess what the object or color is. The player who guesses the object gets to go next.
2. A-Z – Alphabet Game
This is my favorite car ride game. It can last a few hours and it is a lot of fun. Everyone seems to have their own rules but this is how we play:
• Find words that start with each letter of the alphabet in order until you get to Z.
• Has to be a machine made sign – no handwritten signs
• Can’t use the same word as someone else in the car
• Must be outside the car
• Must be in front of the car – no looking back (not fair to the driver)
• Q, X & Z don’t have to be the first letter – just find a word with that letter in it.
3. 20 Questions
When you’re in a car with kids, they will ask “are we there yet?” about 20 times so to distract them play the game 20 Questions. You start by having someone thing of something….anything. Typically when we play we allow the first question to be “is it a animal, person, place or thing?” After that, you can ask any questions to try and guess as long as the answer is YES or NO. If you reach the 20th question and no one has answered correctly then you give everyone one last chance to figure it out before you reveal it and then another person starts a fresh round.
4. Who am I? (Similar to 20 questions)
Playing the guessing game Who Am I? is a great way to show everyone what they have in common. Think of someone that you and your fellow passengers all know: a family member, friend, or a celebrity. Then each person in the car will start to ask only “yes” or “no” questions about the identity of your secret person. Keep giving clues until someone figures out the identity of the individual you have in mind.
5. License Plates
There are a lot of ways to play with license plate game. When playing with my kids we let them just call out the letters in alphabetical order. The first one to Z wins. When I play with older kids or adults we spell words from the license plate. If the plate says ATN then you could use VACATION as long as the letters on the plate are in the same order as the word. You can set up a point system or just play for fun to pass the time.
** You can also keep track of all of the license plates you’ve seen while you’re driving on this sheet License Plate Game and add it to your activity binder.
6. Buzz Word
At the beginning of the trip, determine a word that will be taboo for the entire trip. (Choose something common, like “Mom.”) Give each passenger 10-20 paper clips. If a passenger says the buzz word during the trip, another passenger can buzz them by saying, “Buzz!” and collect a paper clip. Passengers must get careful and creative in their communication in order to win.
7. Car Bingo
Here you can print out Bingo Cards and place them in plastic liners, add them to a binder and reuse them as many times as you want. As you see each object you can cross it off with a dry erase pen or use stickers. Road Trip Bingo . This can be added to your activity binder.
8. Punch Bug or Slug Bug
This is a fun but brutal game. The rules are simple, if you see a Volkswagen Beetles you punch the person sitting next to you and say one of the following….”Punch Bug (color), no Punch Backs” or “Slug Bug (color) no slug backs” (for kids I tell to tap or soft punch them). If you don’t say “no punch back” or “no slug back” the other person can punch you twice. You can set up a point system or just play for fun to pass the time.
Count the… can be anything: cows, telephone poles, headlights, train cars, blue pickup trucks — you name it. Shouting out the thing to keep track of is all that is required.
10. Scavenger Hunt
This is similar to the counting game but with this you can mark them off as you go and the first one to get all of their boxes checked wins! You can put these in your Activity Binder and use a dry erase pens so that you can use them over and over. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt This can be added to your activity binder.
11. Rock Paper Scissor
This is a classic game. It might not make the time pass as fast as the other games but it’s a lot of fun. The players shake their hands in a fist up and down saying, “Rock , Paper, Scissors, Shoot!” When the players say “Shoot!,” they each use a hand to create the shape of either a rock: closed fist, paper: open hand or scissors: closed fist with two fingers extended. The winners are as follows:
• Rock defeats (breaks) Scissors.
• Scissors defeats (cuts) Paper.
• Paper defeats (covers) Rock.
12. Ninja Cowboy Bear
You start by turning so you are back to back with your partner and think about which character you will pose as. When you’re ready, count out and take three steps away from each other (when in a car, just turn away from each other) On ‘three’ turn and strike your pose! See who wins – then play again. Ninja beats Cowboy, Cowboy beats Bear and Bear beats Ninja.
13. A. Dry Erase: Hangman, Tic Tac Toe, Dots, etc.
Bringing a white board and dry erase pens is a fun and simple way to pass the time. There is no mess and nothing drops on the floor! You can play Hangman, Tic Tac Toe, Dots, etc.
14. Mad Libs
This is a quick and fun way to get a laugh and pass the time. You can print sheets out and add them to your Activity binder or buy an actual Mad Libs book. You will have one person providing the answers and one writing them down. The person giving the answers can’t see what the story is until they are done. The person writing will just ask you to give them either a noun, adjective, verb, place and sometimes a number. Once you are done the person writing will read your story out loud so you can hear how funny it is.
Mad Libs 1 | Mad Libs 2 | Mad Libs 3 | Mad Libs 4 | Mad Libs 5
Don’t underestimate the power of a deck of cards. It presents endless possibilities for all ages and can provide hours of entertainment and concentration. If your kids are sick of the standard Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and Rummy games, buy — or borrow from your local library — a kids’ card games book for new ideas. Or buy a deck of quiz or trivia cards to keep their brains busy.