Car Games for Kids – how to keep the kids busy in car trips

27 Car games for kids to keep them busy during your road trips

Who has not heard the sentence “Are we there yet?” hundred times when travelling in car with kids.
My son used to start asking the question less than 10 minutes after the beginning of our journey. 
As he is sometimes car sick, he can’t watch a movie or read or play on the tablet. Plus he doesn’t sleep – he got that from me, so I can’t really blame him.

Although breaks are really good and help, we still need to drive if we want to reach our destination at some point.
So we have to find a solution to make the road trips a little smoother for everyone and car games for kids were really helpful. We played loads during our Croatia road trip – as they were quite a few mountain roads, my son couldn’t use the ipad at all.
Here is a list of car games for kids that should help during your car trips.

If you are looking for other road trips ideas with kids, check out our Iceland with kids post.

Car games for kids – Playing with the surrounding

Car Games for Kids - Playing with the surrounding

1 | I Spy

This is a very popular and easy game, that you can play on school runs, while waiting for the train, on car trips.
The person to start looks around him/her and spies something and then recites “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letter …”. Then everyone else tries to guess what the first person spied.

2 | License Plate Game

Depending on which country you live in or a visiting, you could look for states, countries, areas.
When we were in Croatia, we played this game a lot as there were cars from different European countries.
While in the US, we tried to spot as many different states as possible.
You can use a free printable license plate game and cross off the states or countries you come across, or use maps if the kids are a bit older. 

3 | Color car counting

If your kids are still young for the licence plate game, you could pick a color at the beginning of your trip and look for cars of the chosen color. The winner is the one with most points at the end of your trip.

4 | The Banana Game

Similar to the color car counting game, this one is only for yellow cars. Each time, someone spots a yellow car, they have to shout “Banana!” and the winner is the one with most points at the end of the journey. 
That’s an easy game that you can play in parallel with something else.

5 | Spot the car

This game works best in a traffic jam or busy area where cars move slowly. The first player asks the others to spot the car with… giving them clues about the car he chose. 
This game can be fun at all ages as you can increase the difficulties of the clues depending on who is playing. 

6 | Where is the Alphabet?

The first played needs to look around and state something starting with an A, an Audi or an Apple, or an Airplane,etc. The next player then, looks around him until finding something starting with B.
The game ends when you reach the letter Z.

7 | Road trip Bingo

This game is similar to the I spy game, but you will need to lookout for the items in the bingo card and mark each one you see.
The first to finish his card needs to shout the famous “BINGO!” to let everyone know that he won.
There are a lot of printables available on internet. 

8 | Pictionnary

For this game, the players need to draw a picture of something they see on the road to match each letter of the alphabet. Depending on the age of the kids, you could give them clues or indicate items starting with letters they are stuck at.

Car games for kids – Creativity and Imagination

Car Games For Kids - keep the kids busy with these 27 games

9 | I’m going on a Picnic

This is a memory game that can be played with preschoolers or older kids. This first player starts with “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” followed by something that begins with A. The second player repeats the sentence including the item the first player chose and add something that begins with B. And you keep on adding items. 
If someone forgets an item, he can use a joker or be disqualified depending on the age of the kids.

10 | 20 Questions

This is a popular guessing game. The first player choose an item, a person or a place and the others take turns asking one yes-or-no question and having one guess after each question.

11 | Simon Says

Simon Says is a very popular that your kids have probably already played.
One player is Simon and gives instructions to others starting by “Simon says,..”. Sometimes, he will deliberately skip the Simon says part and directly give the instructions. If players follow the instruction (without the Simon Says bit) then they are out of the game!

12 | Storytime

In storytime, a player starts telling a story with a first sentence (once upon a time…). The second player repeats the first sentence and adds his own sentence to the story.
The game ends when the story is complete.

13 | Fortunately – Unfortunately

Like in storytime, players take turns in telling a story but need to alternate with Fortunately and Unfortunately. 
It could like: Unfortunately I forgot to pack your swimming costume. Then the second player could reply, Fortunately I grew enough to fit in daddy’s one. 

14 | Two truths and a lie

You probably have played this game with colleagues or friend. The first person starts by saying three statements one of which is a lie. And the other players need to guess which one is the lie.
My daughter loves adding I did a wee in my pant to her three sentences. She is four and I have to say she had me quite a few times with that.

15 | Would you rather?

My son loves this game and will come up with some impossible dilemma. You have to come up with two choices and let the other players choose between somewhat ridiculous options. Here is a list of suggestions.

16 | Spelling Bee

This is a game for older kids and that mixes fun while learning at the same time. You choose a word and the other players have to spell it. Depending on the age of your kids, you can increase the difficulty of the word they need to spell. The winner is the one that spells all the words correctly.

17 | Geography

This is a fun game where the first player states a country, a city or a river for example and the second needs to state the same item but starting with the last letter of the word the first player chose.
If you are playing with countries it could go: FrancE, EnglanD, Denmark, etc.

18 | One minute of words

You select a time period and a letter and ask players to write down words starting with the letter you chose. Once the period ends, you count how many words each player has and the winner is the one with the biggest number of words. 

Car games for kids – Singing games

Car Games For Kids - Play these singing games during your road trips

19 | Sing-along!

You can either use some CDs, a Spotify list or Youtube to play and sing all together. We love singing in the car, and I am often surprised that my kids know the lyrics of some Pitch Perfect songs (oops!).

20| The Song game

In this game, the first player picks a word. The other players will need to sing a song starting with the same word.
I play this game all the time without even paying attention. My son would say a word and I will start singing a song that starts with this word. This usually annoys him a lot!

21| Blind Test

Start a song your kids are supposed to know for a few seconds and let them guess. If they don’t guess, you can play it a little longer, and so on. We love playing that with the kids but also with our friends!

22 | Karaoke

If your kids can read and are not car sick, you can print the lyrics of famous songs and turn your car into a Karaoke.
You could alternatively look for the lyrics on your phone and start singing!
Although my kids can’t read properly yet, we often look for lyrics to help them learn the song.

Car games for kids – Popular games

Car Games For Kids - Tic Tac Toe

23| Don’t Say it

You can play the well-known “Yes or No” game or select your own words, the game remain the same: the player is not allowed to use the chosen word during the whole trip!
You will have to trick the other players to get them to say these words. It’s funny to see how the kids can be very creative to avoir certains words!

24| Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock, Paper, Scissors is a classic but yet still funny game to play – and can still keep people of all ages entertained while on the road.  
To play this, each player makes a fist and says out loud, “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” swinging down his/her fist on each beat. After the third beat, each player makes one of three hand gestures: a closed fist representing “rock,” an open hand representing “paper” or a V representing “scissors.”
Rock beats scissors, paper wraps rock and scissors cuts paper.

25| Hangman

I have played this game so many time when I was a kid.
The first player thinks of an item and marks an underscore for each letter in the word or the sentence. The second player will then guess a letter. If the letter was used in the item chosen, than the first player will place this letter on top of the corresponding underscore. If the item didn’t include the letter, the first player draws the head of the hangman.  The games finishes when either the item was guessed or the whole body of the hangman is completely, whichever happens first. 

26| Tic Tac Toe (X and O)

With a pencil and a peace of paper, you are ready to play this game. Start by placing an X on the grid, while the second player places O. The first one to have three Xs or Os across wins.

27| Connect the dots

The most famous ‘Connect the dots’ games are those of the hidden figures. Draw a line, by connecting the dots in the right order until the figure appears. This is an easy game that will keep your kids busy for a while.


I would love to know what else you play while in a car with your kids, so feel free to let me know in the comments.

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27 Car Games for Kids to keep your children busy during your car trips.

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