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6 fun games to play in the car


Stuck in the backseat on a long drive? Here are some classic (and free!) games to help travel time go by faster.

Already a seasoned traveler? Take our Summer Vacation Hot Spot quiz


For long trips, the License Plate Game might be the thing. In this version, call out letters from the license plates you see, then make as many ridiculous phrases as possible. For example, AST = Aardvarks Singling Tenderly or After-School Trampolining. You get the idea.


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. You might want to skip trying to find “Q” and “Z.” Or not.


Use graph paper for a couple of travel games. With Lines and Dots, draw lines on the paper. Take turns drawing one side of a square at a time, trying to make boxes. When you complete a box, put your initials in it. Whoever makes the most boxes in 15 minutes or so wins.


Another game with graph paper is Infinite Tic-Tac-Toe. In this game, the first person to get five in a row wins, and there are no borders except for the edge of the page.

Share these summer vacation jokes for a break between games


In I Spy, pick out something you see nearby (that other players can also see), but keep what it is to yourself. Say, “I spy with my little eye …” and then provide one description of the object. For instance, with the windshield wipers you might say, “I spy something long” or “something black.” After each hint, players take a turn guessing what the object is.


Rock-Paper-Scissors and 20 Questions hardly need explaining. There are variations of these games, such as Foot-Cockroach-Nuclear Bomb, and 20 Questions about movies you’ve seen or books you’ve read, instead of some random object.

15 Comments on 6 fun games to play in the car

  1. Thanks! Since i am going on a train trip tommorow (it’s pretty much the same) and it has no wi-fi, I needed some games to play with my younger sister and mum.

  2. I have a rock-paper-scissors version! Water Lightning Rubber. Rubber beats Lightning, Lightning beats water, water beats rubber

  3. Alphabet Shopping game: Each person as they start “shopping” says, “I went to the store and bought…” They can buy anything in the world but it has to be in alphabetical order. And it continues with the next person relating what the previous person(s) have bought. As such: person 1: I went to the store and bought an aardvark. Person 2: I went to the store and bought an aardvark, and a banana. Person 3: I went to the store and bought an aardvark, a boat, and a chisel. Etc…..

  4. Scout No. 64 // May 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    Bored, bored…omg! Games!?!?

  5. Never knew about the nuclear bomb version of rock paper scissors!

  6. Foot, cockroach, nuclear bomb, *nuclear explosion*!

  7. Awesome games especially infinite tic tac toe and wat is foot cockroach nuclear bomb???

  8. wolf cub scout // August 2, 2015 at 9:53 am // Reply

    these are fun

  9. pee wee 3271 // July 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm // Reply


  10. Minnesnowtan // June 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm // Reply

    I print out a list of all 50 states, and all territories and Canadian provinces for each person to see who can spot the most state license plates. If it is a longer trip or near DC, I also have a list of all of the Federal Government license plate prefixes

  11. Stealthcamper // June 17, 2015 at 12:08 pm // Reply

    great games for our 30 hour car trip from south Florida to Nebraska.

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