road trip games for kids

21 Fun Road Trip Games For Kids

Traveling long distances with kids can be quite a challenge. We have learned this in the course of our full-time RVing lifestyle, especially when we were on our Southern New Mexico road trip with Peri and Kai. They get bored quite easily and you probably don’t want to keep them busy with screen time for hours on end. Fortunately, your next road trip doesn’t have to be torture for any of your passengers. And, better yet, it’s been well established that it’s beneficial for kids to play games! Below, there are enough road trip games for kids to keep the entire family entertained for the duration of your trip and beyond!

If you have road trip game suggestions you think we ought to add to this list, leave us a comment below, as we’re always looking to expand our collection!

1. Road Trip Bingo 

You need to prepare this game before you depart, but it’s a hit amongst travelers. All you have to do is print out a bingo template with some landmarks that’ll be along your route, like a McDonald’s or a hotel. Hand each child a piece of paper with their bingo card, and have them check each thing off when they see it. The first player to get five in a row wins the game. 

2. The License Plate Game 

This is one of the classic road trip games for kids, but frankly, it works best on US road trips. Print out a blank map of all 50 states before you leave and hand each child their copy with a pencil or some crayons. They need to watch passing cars and spot the different license plates. The first player to spot all the states and colors in their entire map is the winner. 

3. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt 

From tractors to cows, you can add anything to a road trip scavenger hunt list. Create a list or make a grid of images consisting of places, things, animals, and objects that you may encounter on your trip. Every person ticks an item off when they see it and the first person to see every item wins. 

4. I Spy 

I spy is an absolute classic and a favorite amongst kids. You start with “I spy with my little eye…” and then you give a cryptic clue about something around you. For example, “I spy with my little eye… Something blue.” Then, your fellow passengers need to guess what you see.  

5. Who Am I?

This is another one of the classic road trip games for kids, but it won’t work as well with smaller kids unless you choose their favorite cartoon characters or members of your family. Nevertheless, it’s a very entertaining game for the rest of the passengers. Think of any individual and keep it to yourself. Everyone gets 5 yes-or-no questions that they can ask to help them guess who you are thinking of. 

6. 20 Questions 

Think of any object but don’t tell anybody what it is. Every player can ask 20 questions to try and figure out what they are thinking of. Yes-or-no questions work the best but you can loosen up the rules for smaller kids. As soon as someone guesses correctly, they become the leader of the next round. 

7. Don’t Say It!

Make a list of random objects and write them down on cards. For each object, add a few terms that are closely related, like ‘pillow’ and ‘sleep’ are related to ‘bed’. Let every player draw a card and hide the word away from the rest of the players. 

They need to describe and explain what’s on their card without saying the word or any of the related terms. It’s up to the remaining players to guess the word. 

8. Music Trivia 

There are no specific rules attached to this musical game. You can play your favorites and the first person who guesses the song name or artist is the winner. An alternative would be to finish the lyrics after you stop the song. You can play the songs directly on the car audio system or use your tablet, which is one of mom’s travel essentials recommended in this article

9. The Grocery Game 

Start with “I am on my way to pick up __ from the grocery store” and fill the blank with something starting with the letter A, like apples. The next person continues the game with something starting with the letter B, like bananas. So they say, “I am on my way to pick up apples and bananas from the grocery store.” 

A few letters in and the list will get harder to remember. This is a great way to test your memory while keeping you entertained. Try the picnic basket or suitcase alternatives if the grocery game gets worn out. Voila! Another one of our favorite road trip games for kids that’ll help those miles fly by!

10. New Rule 

This game can last from point A to your final destination. It’s a fun way to keep everyone’s eyes and concentration on everything that you pass. Allow every player to come up with a silly rule, like making a loud moo sound when you pass a cow. To make it more exciting, give away new rules as prizes to the other road trip games. 

11. Hangman 

All you need to play this game is a piece of paper, a pencil, and an imagination. Think of a word or phrase and stick to the standard hangman rules. 

Let each person name a letter that they think features in your word. If it is in the word, fill in the blanks with the letter. Draw a limb each time the letter does not fit into your word. A full body means that the players lose while guessing the right word is a win. 

12. Carpool Karaoke/ Sing-Along 

This is yet another one of those classic road trip games for kids, and it can entertain every single member of the family. Play at least one favorite song of each passenger and let everyone sing along if they know the words. 

Note that if you plan to bring a newborn along on the trip, maybe choose a different game as this one might be too loud for them and will disturb their sleep. Before that, make sure to be aware of when it’s safe to bring a newborn on a road trip.

13. Alphabet Hunt 

Alphabet hunt is like a road trip scavenger hunt, but the different list items need to be found in alphabetical order. In other words, you can’t mark something starting with a B off your list if you haven’t found something starting with the letter A yet. The first person to reach Z is the winner. 

14. The Alphabet Game 

This game is best suited for older kids, but the little ones can still play along. The aim of the game is to find every letter of the alphabet on road signs, license plates, and billboards. As soon as a player spots a letter, whether it be at the start, end, or in the middle of a word, they need to call it out. For example, “X in Texas.”  

15. Trivia Quiz 

If you’re worried about your kids forgetting what they learned in school, you can brush up on their knowledge on your holiday road trip. Fortunately for them, this can be done in a fun way. Make a list of trivia questions that are suited to the different age groups of your passengers. The person who answers the most questions right is the winner. 

16. Name The Most 

Nominate someone to choose a category, like movies, music, or brands. The rest of the players each get a chance to name as many things that they can think of in the chosen category. Some other categories can include grocery items, Disney categories, animals, and countries.  

17. Tell Jokes 

Knock-knock jokes are always a hit, especially with kids! While this might not technically be considered one of those road trip games for kids, it’s certainly fun. Let each passenger try out their best jokes. It doesn’t have to be a competition but there is always the option to do so. The person who gets the most laughs can be the winner, or perhaps the person who kept a straight face throughout the game.

18. Fortunately/ Unfortunately 

This improv game can go any way. Start with a regular sentence and take turns adding something to the story. The first part is typically a normal sentence and the part that gets added should be an unfortunate event. After that, something fortunate gets added again and so it continues.

For example, “There once was a plane flying through the clouds.” Next, someone can add, “Unfortunately, it was being flown by terrorists.” The next player gets the opportunity to make the story good again by adding something like, “Fortunately, there were policemen on board.”

19. Hot Sauce Or Chocolate 

Hot sauce or chocolate isn’t a competition but it’s a nice game to play when the kids are getting bored or sleepy. It starts with the choice between hot sauce or chocolate. 

If the first player chooses chocolate, they get to choose a new option for the next player. The next round is between chocolate and something else, like ice cream. The game continues with new options in each round.

20. Cows And Graveyards 

You can use the default rules, which include cows and graveyards, or choose two different things. Every player gets a piece of paper, on which they add a point for every cow that they see on their side of the road. All of these points get taken away if they pass a graveyard. The person with the most points at the end of the trip is the winner. 

21. Go Fish 

From kitchen counters to long drives, Go Fish can be played anywhere thus we definitely think it deserves a place on this list of road trip games for kids. This game is a family favorite and all you need is a deck of cards. If you know the standard rules of the game, you can have hours of fun on your trip. 

Every player gets 5 random cards and the rest get put on a heap facing down. You get a turn to ask a specific player for any card. If they have it, they need to give it to you. If they don’t, they tell you to Go Fish, which means you draw a card from the heap. 

The aim is to get rid of your cards by giving them away to other players or by making as many packets of 4 matching cards as possible. 

Bonus: Backgammon

Backgammon is a game that combines luck and strategy, making it an excellent choice for road trips. The game is easy to learn but offers deep strategic play, perfect for engaging the minds of kids and adults alike during long drives. 

You can bring a portable backgammon set or play online at Backgammon Online, ensuring the journey is as entertaining as the destination. The objective is to move your pieces along the board’s triangles and off the board before your opponent does, offering endless hours of fun and competitive play.

Conclusion – Road Trip Games For Kids Make The Miles Fly By

If you’re anything like us, you are well acquainted with what it’s like to road trip with your kiddos. Armed with these road trip games for kids, you and your family should be able to make more miles more effortlessly and keep your little ones more content all the while. If you have game suggestions you think we ought to add to this list, leave us a comment below, and thanks in advance!

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