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