Category: Growing Families article

Car Games for Family Road Trip Fun

Distract your children from the inevitable “Are we there yet?” with these driving games on your next road trip.

Road trips can be a great way to see the country and create family memories. When you’re traveling with your children, pass the time together with a memory game or just something silly. Take a look at these car games for kids before you hit the road, and you’re sure to keep everyone entertained.

The Movie Game1

If your children love movies, this game can keep you going for hours.

To start, someone in the car should name a famous actor or character. For instance, let’s start with Kristen Bell. Then, someone else names a movie or TV show in which the actor or character appeared. So, in this case, Bell voiced Anna in “Frozen.”

The next player names another actor or character from the same movie or TV show mentioned. You could choose Anna’s sister, Elsa, or Olaf. The cycle continues until someone can’t come up with an answer. After a player gets out, the game starts over with a new actor or character until there is a winner.

Team Storytelling2

Team storytelling can be an entertaining game for people of all ages, but it’s especially popular with kids.

To get it going, someone in the car will say the first line of a story. Then, someone else says a second sentence, and a third person adds on a third, and so on, to create a story. The cycle continues like this, with no one knowing what the next person will say, as the plot builds and builds.

If you’re feeling especially creative or looking for a challenge, set special rules, like making each of the sentences rhyme. For instance, a story might start: Once upon a time, there was a boy with red hair. And the second sentence could be: He was on his way to his dragon friend’s lair. And the story would continue from there.

Riff Off3

The license plate game (looking for license plates from all 50 states) is a tried-and-true road trip favorite, but the riff off game takes license plate-spotting to a whole new level. Although, it might be best for the driver to sit this one out and keep their eyes on the road.

As cars drive by, players look at license plates and come up with words that use all of the letters on the plate. For instance, a word from the license plate “YMT23” would be “Yosemite.”3 Rather than taking turns, each player just shouts out words as they see them. If another player can think of a longer word using the same letters, they win the point. The first player to get 10 points wins.


Keeping your children entertained with car games while seeing the sights is a great way to add to your adventure.

Ice Pop Stick Playing Cards4

Instead of bringing a traditional deck of cards, consider making ice pop stick playing cards for your next road trip. These sticks are easier for small hands to hold as you and your kids play Go Fish, War, Crazy Eights and other favorites to pass the time.

Memory Test5

Memory test is one of the simplest driving games to play with your family.

The first person will say a word that starts with the letter “A,” then the second person repeats the “A” word and adds a word that starts with the letter “B.” For instance, if the first person says “apple,” the second person would say, “apple, banana” and so on.

This cycle continues through the entire alphabet with each player repeating the growing list of words and adding a word with the next letter. The players who make it the furthest win. You can make the game more challenging by choosing a category like foods or animals.

Keeping your children entertained with car games while seeing the sights is a great way to add to your adventure. Make a list of what to pack for the big trip, and make sure to also include plenty of snacks, water and other supplies for the road. Packing for a family road trip is about safety and functionality, so be sure to plan ahead.


  • The Best Road Trip Games to Play with Family and Friends for Guaranteed Fun, Timeout, 2017.
  • 10 Boardless, Priceless Road Trip Games, HowStuffWorks, 2011.
  • 6 Fun Road Trip Games for Adults, Real Simple, 2018.
  • 18 Road Trip Games to Play on Your Next Family Vacation, Good Housekeeping, 2018.
  • 12 Fun Car Game Ideas, Parents, 2018.

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