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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.

36 Comments on 6 fun games to play in the car

  1. You can try “Escape Animals”.Here’s how you play,when you spot something that looks like an animal, you say it’s name.It helps to have a book about animals.

  2. PIZZA DELIVERY GUY // March 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm // Reply


  3. or you coul play C e y. It is a fun rock paper sisers game except letters and lower lettrs win

  4. We play “Roadside Cribbage” where each type of animal (cows, horses, buffalo, deer, birds, etc) have a point value. Your score depends on the animals you pass that are on your side of the road. You count them and figure out your score from there. An example would be: cows are 5 points each and deer are 50 points (they are more rare). You automatically lose all your points if there is a cemetary on your side.

  5. You can’t play i spy in the car because your moving and it would get boring spying stuff inside the car 😦

  6. Fourteen Hours Vacation Ride in Car, Troop 350 // February 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm // Reply

    One game to play in the car is a variation of the license plate game. For every state license plate that you see on a vehicle on the road, try to name the state’s official tree, the state’s official state motto, the state’s official state slogan, the year that the state was accepted into statehood in the United States and the state’s official breed of dog.

  7. the i spy game is boring

  8. The License Plate Game is awesoma!!! I played about a hundred times now, and it’s still fun!

  9. Hey how about a game where there is two people and you start at the letter “a” and go on and you are tring to find words out side of the car who have the letter “a”.

    • researchin momma // June 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm // Reply

      When I was little, we played that game. Once, my dad couldn’t find anything that started with J so he made up “Jairplane” LOL…it was so funny. From that day on, we have called airplanes “Jairplanes”. 🙂

  10. makes time go by so fast in the small car

  11. this is awsome man! love it! do it every time in the car!

  12. awesome!!

  13. ilove it ❤

  14. harry potter // June 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm // Reply

    or you can play metal-lava-d saw

  15. Yea but I’m good with just watching movies on the way

  16. or play slugbug……..

  17. Or you can play the VW game, when you see a VW you hit someone near you.

  18. the ideas sound fun

  19. i count and name all recue veicals and cop cars

  20. West TEXAS // June 13, 2010 at 11:09 pm // Reply

    What I would do is count how many 18 wheelers you see with/without sleeper cabs. Also if your near train tracks, count those freight cars and locomotives too, and what kind of cars you see. Ex. tanker cars, box cars, scrap metal cars, car carriers, and freight containers, etc. (and rarely cabooses)

  21. thats a good idea i like it 😉

  22. How about counting the states of car plates and the one with the most ststes in a certin amount of time wins. All the other games are great for that trip to summer camp.

  23. darth jeffrey // June 11, 2010 at 4:35 am // Reply

    hopefully that’ll be usefull in my 12 hr. trip to ohio today!

  24. some are weird and fun

  25. you could do a license plate game where you try to find every state on lecense plates my family does that every year but we dont just do this on long car rides it is really fun give it a try

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