Whether you’re embarking on a long car ride, driving carpool, or running errands with your little ones in tow, it’s always great to have a few car games for kids at the ready to beat boredom and help pass the time. We’re sharing 11 of our favorites below which are sure to be a hit with the entire family – even with your tweens and teens!
11 Fun and Easy Car Games for Kids
1. 20 QUESTIONS
If you’re looking for car games for kids that don’t require any preparation, 20 questions is an easy idea you can play with kids of different ages. To play, one player thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the rest of the players ask 20 yes or no questions and attempt to figure out what/who it is. If a player guesses correctly after asking 20 questions or less, they earn a point and become ‘it’! If no one guesses, no one earns a point and someone else is randomly chosen to be ‘it’.
2. FAMILY TRIVIA
If your family is competitive, a good game of car trivia might be just what you need to pass the time during a long car ride. Hasbro has a family edition of the game Trivial Pursuit for kids aged 8+ with 100 cards for kids and 100 cards for adults, making it a great option if you’re looking for car games for kids the whole family will enjoy. Take the cards with you in the car, and pack the rest of the game in the trunk so you have a fun board game to enjoy at your destination!
3. WOULD YOU RATHER
‘Would You Rather’ is another great idea to keep in mind if you’re looking for car games for kids because it’s easy to setup and suitable for every age. To play this game, all you need to do is write out a list of questions with 2 scenarios, and then read them off while everyone takes a turn saying which scenario they prefer. You can make this easy for younger kids (Would you rather it be summer or winter? Would you rather eat cookies or cupcakes?) and more thought-provoking for older kids (Would you rather be able to fly or be able to breathe under water? Would you rather travel back in time or visit the future?). Once kids get the hang of this game, they can take turns coming up with their own questions!
4. ROAD TRIP SCAVENGER HUNT
Whenever you’re in need of a good boredom buster to keep kids entertained, one of the easiest things you can do is create a scavenger hunt. Take some time before your departure to write out a list of items for your kids to look out for while you’re in the car. For example, your list could include the following:
- Stop light
- Fire engine
- Police car
- Tow truck
…you get the idea. You can create several lists for different parts of your trip, allowing you to make them more specific for each part of your journey. Print them off, attach them to a clip board, give your kids a pen, and see who crosses all of the items off their list first!
5. THE ALPHABET GAME
When I first started thinking about ideas to include in this list of car games for kids, I kept remembering a drinking game we played in college called The Alphabet Game. To play, pick a category (i.e. fruits, vegetables, animals, countries, cities, etc.) and then one person starts by saying the name of something that falls within that category that starts with the letter A. The next person comes up with something within that category that starts with the letter B, and so on and so forth. The idea is to keep it going without pausing. The first person who can’t come up with a word is out, and you continue the game, and start new ones with new categories until you’re left with one winner!
6. I SPY
A list of car games for kids wouldn’t be complete without ‘I Spy’, amiright?! To play this game, each player takes a turn describing an object they see. For example, if they are trying to describe a herd of cows, they may start with, ‘I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter C.’ Each time they provide a clue, everyone takes a turn to guess what they are describing. If no one guesses, they provide another clue. In this example, they might say something like, ‘I spy with my little eye something that is white, black, and brown.’ The first play to guess correctly gets a turn to describe an object.
If your kids enjoy this game, there are tons of fabulous I Spy books on Amazon that kids can enjoy together or independently while in the car.
7. I WENT TO MARKET
This is another one of my favorite car games for kids as it usually gets pretty silly towards the end. To play, the youngest person in the group starts off by saying, ‘I went to market and bought a ______’, adding a grocery item he or she would buy. The next player continues by saying, ‘I went to market and bought a ______ and a ______’. Each player continues, adding items to the list as they go along. When a player makes a mistake, they are eliminated and the game continues until there is only one person left.
8. ROAD TRIP BINGO
The internet is FULL of printable road trip BINGO boards, with tons of options to choose from – road signs, vehicles, license plates, landmarks, etc. I really like this bundle from Teachers Pay Teachers as it has 10 different BINGO boards, allowing you to play over and over while on a family road trip!
9. FINISH THE STORY
Kids love it when people tell them stories, but if you’re not the story-telling type, it can be difficult coming up with something captivating. Another option to consider is creating a story collectively. One person starts the story off, and then each person adds a few sentences until you have a silly narrative that probably doesn’t make any sense.
10. CONVERSATION STARTERS
While not a car game for kids per se, having a list of fun and creative questions at the ready can help ward off boredom when everyone starts to get restless. This is a great way to get everyone talking while finding out cool things about each other, and it can lead to some interesting conversations with older kids! THIS POST by the Caffeinated Introvert has over 200 questions to inspire you. Bookmark it and/or print the list off and store it in the glove compartment of your car so you always have it handy.
My final idea for those who are in need of car games for kids is to stimulate everyone’s creative thinking through age-appropriate riddles! It’s a great way to get kids laughing while also challenging their problem-solving skills. Amazon has tons of child-friendly riddle books. THIS ONE is one of our favorites!
I hope this collection of car games for kids keeps your little ones entertained and happy on your next car ride!