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9 Games for Long Car Rides with Kids

9 Games for Long Car Rides with Kids
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“Are we there yet?””Can We Play A Game?”

Those dreaded words that we tortured our parents with as children, and now cringe at as adults. Instead of letting your trip get off to a rocky start due to bored children, start it off right next time by arming yourself with a stash of fun games to play in the car that is sure to keep everyone entertained, and to make the car trip to your destination part of the fun!

Going on vacation is a great time filled with opportunities for making great memories. The problem however usually arises with the time between leaving home, and arriving at your destination. There is nothing worse than a long car ride during which siblings squabble and everyone in the vehicle ends up being miserable. How to survive a long car ride? Here are some fun games for car rides.

Games for Long Car Rides with Kids

The Alphabet Game

Kids take turn listing an animal that starts with each letter of the alphabet. You are out if you get to a letter and cannot think of an animal that starts with the letter. You can play this game with any topic: names of stores, kinds of toys, things you can buy at the mall, cities, movies, vacation places, etc.

Yellow Car Game

Kids get points for being the first to see a yellow car. Once it has been spotted and called, no one else can claim it and everyone has to look for another. You can modify the game by adding extra points for things like a convertible, school bus, hummer, etc.

20 Questions

This tried and true game will keep everyone thinking while you are traveling. The person who is ‘it’ thinks of an object, and the other players in the car try to guess what they are thinking of by asking a series of questions that can be answered with a yes or no answer.


One person in the car begins a story. The next person adds a part, and the story is continued by everyone in the car adding on segments. This usually makes for some pretty crazy and outlandish tales!

Scavenger Hunt

Each play has a list of things they need to find along the route and be the first to check them off their list. For example: a bridge, a silo, a truck stop, a sign for a certain product, a type of vehicle, a certain animal, etc.

My Name Is

Each player takes turns taking a letter from the alphabet (in order) and completes this story: My name is _________. I live in _________. I am married to _________. And we sell _________.

Odd or Even

Each player guesses how many of the next 10 license plates will be odd or even. The player that comes closest wins. Extend the game by making it 20 or 25 plates.

With or Without List

Think of all the things you can think of in a certain category “with” something special; i.e. Bands with a number in their names; states without an A in their spelling; Musicians with acting experience; movies with one word titles, etc.


One person starts with a “fortunately” statement, and the other person has to finish it with an “unfortunately” statement, or vice versa. For example:

  • Fortunately we have a tank full of gas. Unfortunately, our tank has a hole in it.
  • Unfortunately there are a lot of bears in the woods. Fortunately, I packed my bear repellant.

Car rides do not have to be a torture exercise for kids or parents! By having a few clever games for long car rides in your back pocket, and perhaps a bag packed with a few odds and ends activities to keep your kids entertained, you will be there before you know it!