Going on a holiday road trip? We have ideas for games in the car!

We love car travel as  family and – gasp – don’t allow electronic devices. Music is ok, but no games or videos. So what do we do? We talk, we look at the scenery and we play games! These can be really fun if everyone joins in.

Here are a ton of ideas for games we found around the internet to play on the road with your family:

The License Plate Game

Simply call out letters from the license plates on the cars around you, then make as many ridiculous phrases as possible. For example, QJR = Quiet Jumping Rodents or Quiet Jelly Roadster. Even the hard letters are fun!

Alphabet Sign Game

The Alphabet Game is good along roads with a lot of signs. Find a word with an “A,” call it out, then look for a word with “B” and so on. First one to the end of the alphabet wins.

I Spy – a classic!

In I Spy, pick out something you see nearby in or out of the car, but keep what it is to yourself. Say, “I spy with my little eye …” and then provide one description of the object. You can use colors or a letter. For example “I spy with my little eye, something blue” or “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with the letter “R””.

Word race

Everybody gets a pencil and paper. Someone has to be the timekeeper, this person picks a letter, announces it alound, and shouts “Go!” Players write as many words as possible that start with that letter. When a minute is up, the timekeeper says “Stop!” and all the 2012-11-23 14.27.24players put down their pencils. Whoever has the most words wins.

Race to 20

Two players take turns counting to twenty. On each turn, a player can say one or two numbers. (If the first says “One,” the second might say “Two, three.”) Try to force your opponent to reach twenty first.

Imagine a story

Invent stories about people in the houses or cars you are driving by. What do you think they do for work? What’s their favorite food? Where do they go on vacation? Get into lots of details, such as whether they snore loudly or are afraid of spiders. Give them names, hobbies, pets, and so on.

Mystery Celebrity

In this game, one person selects a famous person, such as an athlete, politician, musician, or actor. The rest of the group have to guess who they are with yes or no questions  If you get a “yes” answer you get to ask another question. The first person to guess the mystery Celebrity wins.

Billboard Poetry

Take turns picking out four words from road signs. Give the words to the other players who have 1 minute to turn the words into a four-line, rhyming poem using one word per line.

Color Scavenger Hunt

This all-ages game is easily adaptable to your kids’ attention spans and the amount of time you have to play. Agree on a basic color and challenge the players to 100 items that are this color. You can shorten te game for short attention spans to 10 or even 25; older kids will be challenged if you set a time limit and make it a race.


Start with A to Z anyplace in the world: Kansas, say. The next person has to think of a place that begins with the last letter of Kansas, such as South Africa. Whoever goes next needs a place that starts with A. It has to be a real place — and no using a map!

Secret Highway Messages

I really like this one – pass out the pencils and paper, and watch for road signss. Each time you spot one, write down the first letter. When you’ve passed five to seven signs — and have five to seven letters — you can crack the code. Each letter stands for a word. So the letters T, R, F, S, and C might stand for: “Turn Right For Secret Code.”

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