15 Games to Play in the car



There are several times a year that may cause us to pack up our families in the car and go for a really long car ride to Grandma’s house. Okay, maybe it isn’t necessarily Grandma’s house, but you may have somewhere to travel to. Putting your kids in a car, together, can be a challenge, especially if the longer the drive will be.

To help you out, here are 15 games you can play in the car to help you get to your destination.

1. I Spy As you are driving, take turns spotting something in the distance. I spy with my little eye…something yellow. Everyone else in the car tries to figure out what it is.

2. Car Bingo You can either create your own Bingo cards, purchase them or the easiest way is to print some you find online. Kids mark off when they find things like a train, a California license plate or a cow.

3. License Plate Game Either write or print out a list of each state. As you are driving, have you kids cross off each state’s license plate as you see them on the road.

4. Tic Tac Toe If you have more than one child this works out best. Print off several tic tac toe boards and allow them to play in the back seat.

5. I’m going on a picnic…. This is more fun with the larger the family you include. One person starts by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, I’m brining XXXXX” They start with something that starts with an A, like apples. Then the next person says, “I’m going on a picnic, I’m bringing Apples and Bananas (or whatever else they want that starts with a B). You keep going around the car until someone forgets or gets something wrong.

6. 20 Questions One person chooses a person, place or thing. Others in the car will take turns asking a total of 20 questions in order to be able to guess what they are thinking of.

7. Hang man Bring a small dry erase board and play hang man.

8. Find the car If you have older kids, you can play spot the car type instead of the license plate game.

9. Maps Give your kids a map, showcasing where you are going. Then give them crayons and paper to create their own map of where you are going and things they see along the way.

10. Counting Cows This doesn’t have to be cows, it can be anything that is predominant in the area you are driving. Have your kids count how many cows they see as your driving.

11. Read out loud This might be something easily overlooked. Simply read a book out loud to the car, or have your child read a book to everyone.

12. Karaoke Put on some fun music and sing as loud as you can, car dancing along the way.

13. Take pictures Put the kids in charge of taking pictures of fun things you see along the way to create a scrapbook when you get back.

14. Aluminum Foil Art Give each person a piece of foil and ask them to shape an animal, jewelry or anything else you can think of.

15. Movies When all else fails, play a movie on a portable DVD player or iPad.

If you still have some travel left over the next while with New Years, I bet these would be fun! 


  1. We are planning a long road trip this summer I will keep this in mind for sure… Thanks for the great list

  2. Masshole Mommy says

    This is a fun list. We play the license plate game a lot and the kids love it.

  3. becca112971 says

    I remember playing I spy in the car. It was so much fun.

  4. We played some of these games growing up and I always loved the license plate game the most.
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  5. shaunatorres says

    Oh what a great post. I remember playing games in the car with my parents, so why not do it with the kids. LOL. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh! I remember the time we were on vacation in Pennsylvania, and we were playing the license plate came. and we saw cars from BOTH Alaska and Hawaii! It was an EPIC day!
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  7. This is such a great list! Perfect for those long car rides.

  8. I love this post. Talking, singing and playing games is so very important for school and reading readiness!

  9. kathrynbaugher says

    THANK YOU! Great idea. We just drove from NC to TX with a 5 and 9 yr old and are about to have a 16 hr flight in two more weeks.

  10. We play a lot of I Spy and it's perfect for the little ones too! What a great list!
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  11. This post brings back such great memories of when I was a kid!

    Car rides we always an adventure. **happy sigh**

    We will have to play some of these on out next trip.

  12. Great ideas. Fun way to keep the kids occupied!

  13. With all of the traveling technology it makes me happy to see that people still play car games!

  14. janeanedavis says

    These are great ideas. I am going to try these during our next trip back from the market!

  15. Goody Bag Mall says

    These would have been so helpful when we first moved to a new sate. The kids were so bored driving around, learning the area and finding a new home lol.

  16. jennyatdapperhouse says

    I LOVE road trips for many reasons, but playing car games is a big reason why! I have played many of these but you also gave me some new ideas – woot!

  17. I love all of these ideas! We always played I Spy and Hangman when I was a kid.

  18. These are some really great game ideas. I pinned this to try to use for later. 🙂
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  19. Took me a very long time to seek out out this pikece of info, thank
    you for spending the time putting aall of it together, very
    much appreciated.

  20. Great list, I am always trying to think of new games for my kids to play so they will fight less in the car!

  21. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I love these ideas. When my kids were younger we used to play I Spy and have a sing along on all our car rides. It keeps the kids entertained and makes the car ride go by much faster.

  22. springmount6pack says

    We go to North Carolina every summer and keeping the children entertained can sometimes be a challenge on an eight hour drive. The more games to know the better. Great list.

  23. We did a lot of road trips as a kid and my favourite game was the alphabet game 🙂

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