Time spent in the car, no matter how long or short, can be made more fun for everyone when you have games to play in the car with each other. Some require only your eyes to play, while others may take a little more preparation, but ultimately you’ll have a great collection of games to play in the car that can be played as a group or individually.
Alphabet Games (2 variations)
- Find letters on signs (in alphabetic order): This is an easy game to play with kids of all ages. It can especially be helpful to younger children who are still learning their letters.
- Pick a category and say word that fits it (in alphabetic order): This is a good game to play in areas where you might not see a lot of signs or buildings. You simply pick a category (movies, food, actors/actresses, etc) and then you go around and everyone says a word/name that fits the category. For example, if the category is food, the first person could say, Apples, the second person could say, Bananas, and so on.
License Plate Game
For longer road trips, the license plate game is fun because you have to look around and stay focused to find the different states. To keep track of the ones you’ve found, you could write it down on a piece of paper, print out a map of the United States and color in each state, put a check mark next to a list of the state, as well as many other options.
My kids have loved magnetic puzzles because they don’t lose the pieces. We made simple ones using small puzzles we found at the dollar store, magnetic tape, and a small cookie sheet. You can find the full tutorial from Sunshine & Munchkins here.
Would you rather…?
This is a fun game for older kids and for parents to join in with as well. It’s great because it gets everyone talking and laughing. You can find a list of 50 kid-friendly “would you rather…” questions from The Quirky Bohemian Mama.
Road trip scavenger hunt
Kids can be pretty observant, so why not put that to the test and give them a list of items to find as you drive. You can make copies of items to find that are different for each kid (great for different ages), or have them all work together to find what’s on the list. If you don’t have time to make a list beforehand, write some things down on a piece of paper or a napkin while you’re in the car.
You can theme your I Spy games for different categories, such as shapes, colors, restaurants, road signs or cars (make/model). There are many different free printables available for you to keep in the car. If you laminate them and use a dry erase marker or dry erase crayons, you can reuse them over and over!
This version of slug bug is a little different than the one you may have played growing up where you slug the person next to you when you see a VW Beetle until they guess the color. Print out this simple printable and have your kids color in a box each time they see a slug bug of a different color.