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Preventing Boredom: Car Trip Games for Kids

Car trip games

Preventing Boredom: Car Trip Games for Kids

On long road trips, sometimes the most challenging thing is keeping your kids entertained. When traveling through remote areas, there is nothing worse than looking out at a barren landscape. Parents need to think of ways to entertain their kids so that they rarely ever get bored.

There are quick and easy solutions to this problem. Before you hear the words, “Are we there yet?” on repeat, be one step ahead of the kids with these five fun and simple car game ideas.

I Spy – Car Version

This is a classic.  While driving in the car say, “I spy, with my little eye, something that is (insert with clue).”  Just be sure that if you happen to be driving on a freeway at a quick speed, that you ask the question before the kid misses seeing it completely. People in the car can take turns asking the others in the car what they see.

License Plate Game

For long cross-country trips, you are more than likely to see license plates from various states. There are two options with this game suggestion. The first: Ask the kids what state a particular license plate is from. The second: Ask the kids to create a phrase with the numbers/letters on another car’s license plate. For example, if you see a license plate with the letters “BLNKSL8,” ask what it could mean. Your child may come up with the phrase, “blank slate” or “blinks late”. The answers may make little sense, but it’s fun to see what the kids can come up with.

Slug Bug

Another classic game. While driving, see how many Volkswagen Bugs they can spot on the road.  Traditionally, one hits another and yells, “Slug bug!” However, in order to avoid your children from beating each other up, suggest that they each just keep a tally of how many VW Bugs they see.

Who Am I? (I'm looking for…)

Have the kids act out like specific people. It can be a relative, a friend, or even someone famous.  Depending on how the game rules are set, kids can act out these characters silently or incorporate different voices. Have everyone in the car try to guess. If no one guesses, continue to give clues or have the next person in the car act out someone new. If your kids are imitating someone they know, make sure the game stays friendly!

Word Play

This game might seem like a little more extra work, but at least it is time-consuming. Along the way, have your kids write down words, as they see them, from billboards, street signs, or even bumper stickers. Ask the kids to come up with 50 words. When 50 words are reached, ask that they create a short story, a song, or a poem with the list of words that they have. The results can be really interesting and silly.

Can You Find…

This is a fun game to keep your kids focused on something other than how far away your destination is. Give them something to spot on the road. It could be a car of a certain color, a house with a steel roof, a cow, or anything else. Make sure you pick something that you're likely to see on your travels, so that your kids aren't left too frustrated.

The first kid to spot the item of choice wins that round. Keep track of points on a piece of paper or on your phone. If nobody has spotted an item after five minutes, switch to something else to keep the game moving. Play as many rounds as you want, or keep playing until someone gets bored with the game.


With the right car games, your kids will be properly entertained for the entire ride. You won't have to repeatedly answer questions about how much longer it will be, or why you aren't there yet. These games are a great way to strengthen family bonds, too!

Switch up the car game you play on each trip, or play multiple games on longer trips. If you play the same game over and over again, your kids will eventually grow bored and the dreaded questions will return. You can also change up a game with new rules or an added challenge.

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