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20 Games to Play in the Car With Family

By Unnati Bhattarai | 4 September 2023 06:07 AM

Family going on a roadtrip in car
Source : kidsworldfun

Road trips are often portrayed as a fun experience in movies. In reality, traveling long hours on the road is challenging because of fatigue, stress, anxiety, and constipation.

Especially, kids are easily bored during travels. Remember to keep them busy by planning a few interactive games to pass the time. Here are some of the most popular car games for road trips with family, friends and kids.

1. The License Plate Game

A kid playing License Plate Game
Source : kcedventures

The objective of this game is to spot and note down license plates seen during the journey.

The participants should try to collect the license plate numbers from different states. The first person to finish collecting numbers from all 50 US States or the person with the most states wins a reward.

2. Word Association

Word Association Game sample
Source : games4esl

Have one of the players say a random word. Then, the next person will say another word associated with the first one, and so on.

Create a chain with related words like "Music, Guitar, Concert, Stage,...".

3. Guess the Movie

Guess the movie game
Source : rd

Say a line from a famous movie like "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."

Kids should try to answer "Kung Fu Panda" as fast as possible. It's best to note down enough lines to last the game for hours.

4. Would You Rather

Would You Rather sample questions
Source : happymomhacks

This is a game involving hypothetical scenarios and uses the logical skills of the players involved.

One of the passengers will ask a fictional question to another passenger like "Would you rather be the smartest or the strongest person alive?" The other person should come up with a choice and provide the reasoning as to why they chose it.

5. Story Time

A toddler in car holding storybook and toys
Source : toddlerapproved

One of the passengers will start with a random sentence. The other passengers will take turns adding one sentence each.

The sentences should be added such that they form a story in the end. Record the whole interaction and have fun listening to it later.

6. The Singing Game

Kids having fun in the car
Source : parents

Create an enjoyable sing-along game by linking song lyrics together. Initiate the game by singing a song. The next passenger should connect it to another song using a lyric from the previous song.

Keep the game going until someone falters with the lyrics or gets stuck.

You can also try to connect by starting the next song with the alphabet the previous song ends at. This song is also called "the game of the ending letter."

7. The Alphabet Game

Never stuck in Alphabet game with these boards in the highways
Source : reddit

Divide the players into two teams, one team is assigned the left side of the road, and the other team is assigned the right side.

The players should note down the first alphabet of the things appearing on the road or words in billboards and signs. The first team to collect words from every letter of the English alphabet wins.

8. The Animal Name Game

Names of Animals with pictures
Source : byjus

Start by randomly choosing an animal. The second person has to state an animal whose name starts with the last letter of the first animal.

For example, if the first person says Bear, the second first can name Rabbit, the third person can name Tasmanian Devil, and so on. If the kid can't name an animal during their turn, the player is eliminated and the next person has to guess. Continue until only one player remains.

9. Guess the Color

Guess the color game
Source : readwitherica

This game is suitable for families with kids big enough to know about different colors.

State a bunch of things of the same color like "trees, traffic go signs, beans." Continue to add things to the list until one of them guesses "green."

10. Don't Eat Pete

Don't Eat Pete chart printable
Source : davivienda

Take a few candies on a plate. Take one and write Pete or put a mark with a pen or marker on one side; the side with the mark should be facing down and the other players mustn't know which piece has the mark.

On each turn, a player will try to guess a candy that doesn't have the mark. If they wrongly select the Pete candy, the next player gets the turn.

Continue the game until every player gets their turn. The player who can guess the most non-Pete candies before their turn or the player to first eliminate all the non-Pete candies is the winner.

11. Twenty Questions

Family in a car trip
Source : autotrader

Select a celebrity recognized by everyone in the car. It's best not to choose your favorite celebrity if you are traveling with people you've known for years.

Let each of your co-passengers ask 20 questions regarding the celebrity. The questions should only be such that automatically warrant a yes/no response. For example, you can ask questions like "Is the celebrity a singer?", "Is the person a he?", "Was that person in a movie?", and so on.

The person choosing the celebrity has to answer the questions until someone figures out their identity.

12. Top Ten Items

Top 10 game kit and cards
Source : spiel-des-jahres

This is a great pastime for friends to get to know each other better. A person will say "Name your top 10 favorite actors" or "Top 10 things you will take on a vacation".

The next person will have to name their top 10 items and make a similar direction to the next player. It is not a competitive game as it has no winners or losers.

13. Question Tennis

Question Tennis game illustration as a meme
Source : makeameme

This game involves answering a question with another question. The rule is simple: the players should try to have a conversation using only questions and no statements.

For example, if a player asks "Why does the sun come up every morning?", to which the other can reply, "Does it never take a holiday?", and so on.

Try to keep the conversation as long as possible without anybody answering a question by mistake.

14. Grocery Game

Grocery store items stacked in the rack
Source : delish

One person will think of an item available in a local grocery store. The other players will take turns asking yes/no questions. 

Players can ask questions like "Is it found at the produce department?" or "Does it cost less than a dollar?" to which the first person will honestly answer.

The player to accurately guess the item will get to choose the next item.

15. Triple Threat

Three Words Story Game
Source : gbhbl

Give three random words to the kids like coffee, skiing, and sword. The kids will then have to make up a story that includes all three things.

Have goofy fun making silly fictional scenarios while out on the road.

16. Commune

Bunch of cards spread all over
Source : google

Commune is one the best card games to play in car with family. This game is a variation of Poker and doesn't involve winning any money.

The rule is simple: you get three penalties, and then you're out. Penalties are given if someone catches you bluffing or if you wrongly guess someone of bluffing.

17. Old Maid

Old Maid card game
Source : instagram

Take a standard deck of cards and remove one of the queens. One of the three queens left, two are of the same color, whereas the third queen is called the Old Maid.

Distribute the remaining cards randomly to the players with the numbered side facing down. The objective is to pair two cards of the same numbers.  If you have three 4s, you can put two of the cards facing up.

A player will then offer a card from his stack to the next player. The second player should choose a random card. If it makes a pair with one of their cards, they are allowed to put it aside. If it doesn't make the pair, the card should be added to their stack and offered to the third player.

The player left with the Old Maid at the end of the round is eliminated. The game continues until one player is left.

18. Make Ten

Make 10 Card Game
Source : whatdowedoallday

Make Ten is an interactive game for kids to use their maths knowledge. The game only required numbered cards; so, remove all the face cards beforehand.

Distribute 5 random cards to each player who then makes mathematical equations that result in 10. For example, if you have cards with the numbers 8, 2, 4, 4, and 5, you can make the equation 8+2+4-4=10. Set aside the cards used in the equation and let others make their own equations.

As you have one unused card, you will be given four more cards in the next turn. Continue the game until all the cards in the deck, except the face cards, are used.

The player who has used the most number of cards in their equations is the winner.

19. James Bond

James Bond Card Game
Source : groupgames101

The primary objective of this game is to collect all four cards of the same number/face in all of their piles.

Divide the cards randomly to all players with four cards remaining which will be placed in the middle facing up. The players must divide the cards into piles of four without looking.

The participants will then pick one pile at a time. If the pile has 2, 2, 8, and 9, and there is another 2 card in the middle, you can exchange the 8 or 9 with the 2 in the middle.

Wait until another player places a 2 card in the middle to pick up another; you can then pick the 2. After a pile has all four cards of a number, you should then place the pile facing up. The player to complete all the piles first is the winner.

20. Guess the Artist

Guess the artist game
Source : google

Tune into a random radio station that is playing music. The passengers will have to guess the name of the artist or singer as fast as possible.

At the end of the game, the player with the most accurate guesses is the winner. You may need to go back and forth in the radio channels or wait for the song to finish with a sing-along session.

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