10 Fun Car Games You’ve Never Thought to Play with Your Kids
When you start hearing “Are we there yet?” from the back seat, start one of these games to keep your kids (and you) entertained through your whole road trip.
The best car game if you like animals
Name an animal. The next player has to think of another critter that starts with the last letter of the previous one. Keep going until someone gets stuck and can’t think of a new one—there are no repeats. You can also try this game with movie titles, girls’ or boys’ names, books, or any other category you can dream up.
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The best car game for making your kids laugh
Read off the letters from a license plate you pass. Go in a circle and let every player think up a phrase with those letters. For example, GFT could turn into “glowing flower trees” or “gophers forget things.” The zanier, the better—your kids will crack up at the wacky expressions. Switch to another plate when everyone’s out of ideas.
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The best car game for fast food fans
If you’re driving through a city or town, have each player pick a food joint (McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc.). Tell your kids to keep their eyes peeled for the restaurant they chose—they’ll get a point every time they see the eatery or a sign for it. Next time you stop, the person with the most points wins. You can also try this game with more general categories; assign each person to fast food stops, gas stations, or sit-down restaurants.
The best car game for counting
Pick an item or a colour, and challenge your kids to find 50 objects in that category. They might hunt for American flags, churches, yellow cars, or anything blue. To keep them occupied even longer, up the stake to 100 items.
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The best car game for telling stories
First have your kids scan outside for words on signs, billboards, shops, and bumper stickers, then write ten of them on a sheet of paper. When they’ve made their lists, tell them to use all those words to write a story, song, or poem. They’ll work their creative juices come up with an inventive storyline.
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The best car game for scavenger hunt fans
Before you hit the road, fill a clean soda bottle or plastic jar about two-thirds full of uncooked rice, along with about 20 little items like buttons, pennies, and marbles. Keep track of how many objects you added and shut the lid tight. While you’re on the road, let your kids roll the bottle in their hands while they search for all the pieces inside.
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The best car game for kids who love cars
Pick a type of vehicle—maybe pickup trucks or Volkswagen Beetles—and ask your kids what they think is the most common colour of that car. Tally up how many of each hue you see. Whoever guessed right by the time you reach your destination is the winner.
The best car game for playing with small toys
Pack a cookie sheet and some magnetic letters and toys, and let your kids spell words or play with the magnets. A baking sheet can also turn into a makeshift dry erase board, or act as a hard surface for kids to write, draw, or drive Matchbox cars on.
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The best car game for playing hide-and-seek on the go
Play hide and seek around your house, even when you’re not home. Have a player pick a spot in your home (it can even be in a drawer or somewhere else your kid wouldn’t fit). Ask yes or no questions such as “Are you in your bedroom?” or “Are you under something?” until you guess the spot.
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The best car game for kids with good spatial skills
Choose an object in the distance and let everyone guess how far away it is. Use your odometer to measure the real length away. The player whose guess was closest wins and gets to pick the next object.
Sources: kidshealth.org, momsminivan.com, parents.com, sixsistersstuff.com
Originally published as 10 Fun Car Games You’ve Never Thought to Play with Your Kids on ReadersDigest.com.