Want Your Kids to Not Watch Their Tablets on Your Next Road Trip?

Want to keep sibling fighting to a minimum? Then these games are for you.

Road Trip Games to Play with the Kids
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When taking a family vacation, a long car drive or day trip, keeping your children busy (and behaved) for the ride can be difficult. Why not consider playing one or more car games for kids. These car games can keep them entertained and attentive while you drive to your destination.

The License Plate Game

This game is for 8-9-year-olds and older as they need to be able to read quickly and know their US State names.


The object of the game is to find the most amount of license plates from the different U.S. States.  For instance, let's say someone drives by and their license plate is from Massachusetts.  Whoever yells out "Massachusetts!" first gets a point.  

Before the car ride, you need to either write out all of the U.S. State initials, type them up in a note on your iPhone, or search Pinterest for a printable for this game. You, as the referee, will keep track of who yelled out which state. Whoever finds the most amount of U.S. States wins the game.

Watch out!  The game can become competitive and addictive.  This is a game that you and your significant other will get in on.

Car Bingo

Hop on Pinterest to find a numerous car bingo games you can print out.  If you are creative and want to make a few of your own the bingo cards have things you find on the road like as trucks, buses, stop signs, fire hydrants, sidewalks, houses and traffic lights.

Take these sheets on your car ride, and allow the kids to put an X on every item they see. The first person to get bingo wins. Depending on the length of the drive, make the winner be the player who wins the most out of a certain number of rounds.

Going on a Picnic Memory Game

This traditional children's memory game is perfect for long car rides.

You begin a player saying an item they'd bring to a picnic that begins with the letter "A". They would say, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring an apricot."

The next person says the item the first person will bring and add the item they'd bring to a picnic that begins with the letter "B".  They would say, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring apricots and brussel sprouts".  See how funny this can get?  The funnier thing you'll bring, the greater the laughter, and the greater the chance they'll mess up the order.

Whoever messes up the order is out!  If there are arguments about who goes first start with the youngest person.  

Travel Diary

Have the kids record all the activities they have experienced or plan to enjoy on their trip in a travel diary. Allow the kids to add photos from the trip or draw some of their own. This not only occupies them during your car ride, it serves as a memoir of your road trip.  If they are more into technology, have them download a travel diary app like Travel Diaries

Sing Traveling Songs

Use the melodies of popular tunes, like "I've Been Working on the Railroad," and change the words to reflect your traveling journey, such as "I'm Taking a Trip to Disney World," as a lyrical car game for kids.

You can even have a contest to see who makes up the best song.

Play Card Games

The easiest game to take along on a car ride can be found in a simple deck of cards. From Crazy Eights to Go Fish, there are many card games kids will enjoy playing on a long car drive. Cards are lightweight and easy to pack. If there isn't a sturdy surface to place the cards, bring a baking sheet.

Share Spooky Ghost Stories

If you're traveling at night, pack a flashlight.  There's no better car game for kids than a contest about who can tell the best ghost story. You can make it more complicated by requiring that the stories include people and places you pass or spot in your travels.

Look and Point Out Odd Sightings

Tell the kids to keep their eyes open for any out of the ordinary sightings, such as a bear coming out of the woods, or a deer crossing a city street.

Whoever finds the most amount of sightings wins!  Plus this is something they could add to their travel diary.  This car game for kids will surely keep youngsters occupied during the whole journey.


The last thing you need is prizes because what's a game if there is no incentive!  Pack small Hershey kisses, hand out crayons from a large box, or whatever you can find at your local Dollar Store.  It needs to be small, not take up too much room, but cause a little bit of competition.  Hope you enjoy your trip!