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Our Tried and Tested Road Trip Games to Keep Kids Entertained!

The kids all ready for our road trip! (Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

If you are on a long road trip with kids there are a few things you will need to pack for a family road trip. Some fun games for kids that parents will also enjoy, can make that car journey pass a lot quicker. We also include free printables, for you to download for everyone and go!

These are some of our favourite, easy games for the car, which are perfect for a family road trip or when you are out and about.

Revisit old classics and discover new family favorites games to play in the car with kids, whatever their age. We’ve included the age groups each game is suitable for.

(For some more specific travel toys ideas for babies and toddlers see this post)

Listed first are free games that don’t need any preparation at all – just download the free printable below to remember the rules and keep in the car. Many are screen free for children. More fun travel games and activities for kids which are easily available to buy are also listed.

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You can print some of these games for the car out by clicking on the image below. Just leave in your car for future road trips!

toddler in a car
(Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Road Trip Games Which Need Zero Preparation.

Great for school age and older kids who know corresponding sounds age 6+

1. The Alphabet Game

This classic travel game doesn’t require any resources or pre planning. For the alphabet game, players attempt to find words starting with every letter of the alphabet, going in order from A to Z. for anything they spot outside of the car.

A great travel version of this game, which is more for older kids, is where each player has to finish the sentence using the specific letter.

So player one could say,” I’m flying to Australia and the the other players respond with, “what will you do there?’ and player one answers, ” I’m going to look for ant -eaters.

Great for school age from 5+

2. Connections

A favourite of all the road trip activities for little ones. With Connections, one person begins with a single noun eg horse and the next person has to say the first word they think of which is related to a horse, eg, stable or animal.

Then the next person, continues with another connection, eg, hay or goat and so on as everyone takes turns. This elaborated version of the animal name game game finishes when no one can connect a word.

Rainbow Spotto Game road trip
Rainbow Spotto Game – click image to download printable.

Great for toddler and preschoolers

3. Rainbow Spotto

For this car trip game, all players work together and start with the colour red to find 5 red things, and then 5 orange things and so on, until they complete the rainbow. When they find the item, eg a red car, they need to say, ‘Spotto, red car! and can mark a circle off with a crayon. A great twist on a counting game and scavenger hunt and great for preschoolers.

Great for school aged kids 5+

4. Twenty Questions

For Twenty Questions, players take a turn to think of an object, person or animal. The other players have 20 questions to work out what or who it is. The answers can only be yes or no. A super easy but one of the best car travel games.

Great for school aged kids 6+

5. Add-on Storytelling Game

This storytelling game is so fun and perfect for everyone to join in! One person begins a story, with just a sentence or two, but stops mid sentence.. The next person continues the story in their own words, and repeat with each player for an often hilarious tale.

Great for school aged kids 5+

6. Memory Test

For this Memory Game, The first person says, ‘A is for ___’ and fills in the space with any noun beginning with ‘A’, the second person continues with B, eg banana but must also recall what was said for A, eg, Armchair, Banana..

Great for school aged kids 6+

7. Three Words

Choose 3 words for the player, who then has to make up a story including those three words.

Cow on My Side road trip game free printable
Cow on My Side – free printable game. click to download and print

Great for toddlers and preschoolers and above

8. Cow on My Side

This simple kids’ road trip game is perfect for little ones to join in when you are driving through the countryside. When you see cows on your side of the road, yell “Cows on my side!”

You get a point for each time you spot cows . If you spot cows on the opposite side, you can yell “Cows on your side!” and steal a point from your opponent. Passing a cemetery?

The first person to yell “Ghost cow!” steals all the other side’s points.

Great for toddlers, preschoolers and school aged kids

9. I – Spy

You can play I-spy the classic way with the, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with..” or change it to a color for younger players. We also have a free printable version for i-spy road signs for the U.S.A and U.K. Just click on the images above to download and print.

Road Sign I Spy USA printable
Road Sign I Spy USA printable – click image to download and print
Road Sign I Spy UK printable
Road Sign I Spy UK printable – click image to download and print

License Plate Game U.S.A
Click to download and print this free printable License plate game

Great for school aged kids 6+

10. License plate game

Write down the list of the states and then look for license plates from every state. The first person to complete all is the winner, but to make it easier and quicker for kids so they don’t get bored, the first person to find 10 usually works best. For trips in Europe you can spot number and license plates from different countries.

Great for all ages from preschoolers and up

11. Rock, Paper, Scissors

The classic Rock Paper Scissors game that everyone can play, where you hide a hand behind your back and then at the same time reveal with a scissor shape with your fingers, a rock with your fist, or flat hand as paper. Paper trumps a rock, a rock trumps scissors and scissors trump paper.

Great for preschoolers and beyond kids 4+

12. Would you Rather

The classic game of choice, usually two bad things like would you rather eat dirt or a pie made of worms

Great for school aged kids 5+

13. Tic-tac-toe

A pencil and paper for this game of naughts and crosses.

Great for toddler, preschoolers, school aged kids 6+.

14. Car Karaoke and Name That Tune Sing-along

You can make this for younger kids with nursery rhymes

Road trip activity books and printable games are also available, offering a variety of puzzles, coloring pages, and word searches specifically designed for car journeys.

Download the printable image and take with you!

More Fun Road Trip Games for Kids

Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel Hangman Game

A take on the retro with no pieces to lose and great for readers aged 6 and up. This travel-friendly wooden word game includes an erasable whiteboard, a self-storing dry-erase marker, and eraser.

Fat Brain Toys Coggy

Keep kids busy and less likely to ask, “Are we nearly there yet?’ with Coggy by Fat Brain Toy Co. This sensory travel game is designed as a single strand of connected patterned cogs, which players match to a series of corresponding pattern cards. It’s ideal for kids aged 6 and up

Briarpatch I SPY Travel Card Game for Kids

You can play the game with the normal, I Spy with my little eye, something beginning with…. or something the colour of… for younger players making it one of the easiest car games for toddlers. Alternatively, try the I Spy Travel Card Game. This road trip game for ages 4 and up. The game contains 48 jumbo cards with simple pictures and corresponding text.

Educational Insights Travel Blurt! Word Game

A great fast paced word association game where you hear a definition and need to guess the word ! The first player to “Blurt” correctly moves ahead on the game board. The first player to reach the top of the scoreboard wins! Travel Blurt is for three to four players, ages 10 and up.

Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel License Plate Game – Wooden U.S. Map Game Board

A U.S.A License Plate Game for two players. The U.S.A. License Plate Game helps kids learn the name and location of all fifty states, identify states by their license plate design or simply plot your trip by flipping the states along your route. A spin on car bingo.

Interstate Highway Travel Bingo Set

Includes 4 reusable car bingo cards that provide hours of entertainment for families at home or on the road.

Skillmatics Card Game – Guess in 10 Cities Around The World

It’s the just like the Game of 20 Questions, but guess in 10 instead. In ‘Guess in 10-Cities Around the World’, players draw clue cards and, through the process of elimination, make guesses to identify a locations. Clues may be about food, landmarks and more which are associated with the world’s most famous cities, from New York to Paris. This card game is ideally for players ages 8 and up is one of the best road trip games to pack in your bag.

Take N Play Anywhere Bingo

For ages 4-8 years.

Bingo can range from numbers or pictures to cover meaning they are ideal for a range of ages. This magnetic bingo game is easy and quick for those little times you need to fill perhaps whilst waiting for dinner or for a quick wait at the departure gate as they are easy to pack away too.

Magnetic Hangman Travel Game

An old favourite but without the need to rustle around in the bottom of your back for a scrap of paper and a working pen (why do we needlessly carry around so many that don’t?!). Great spelling practise with the added fun of body parts to add to your magnetic hangman.

The Purple Cow Magnetic Travel Snakes & Ladders

Magnetic board games are fun, competitive and easy to follow. The best bit about this being magnetic means no more losing the dice with any overzealous throws with this magnetic snakes and ladders!

For magnetic travel games for toddlers and preschoolers, these suggestions may prove useful too! We hope these idea help you with how to keep kids entertained in the car.

Need more road trip activities ideas? How about animal alphabet, road trip bingo, counting cows, spot the car or guess the movie?

Road Trip with Kids tips to keep the peace

  • Busy bags – make a road trip busy bag for each child using a ziploc bag. We pop in a fidget toy, a small snack, an activity book with a pen, and a toy. If it’s a long journey I make 2 for each child but only give the second one half way through. These little surprises help kids get through the longer car trip! These are particularly good for preschoolers.

What family car games are your favorite? Let me know in the comments (and the rules too!)

Further reading and more trip ideas:

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Fed up of 'I'm Bored'? These fun road trip games for families are full of car travel games for kids of all ages, that adults will enjoy too.

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