21 Games to play in the car

Activities & Days Out / 12 June, 2023 / Nanny Anita

21 Car Games For The Whole Family

Do you ever get tired of listening to “are we nearly there yet?” I know I do. Here are a collection of car games, that will hopefully put an end to any whining about how bored they are.

Make sure you follow my travelling with kids board on Pinterest for more ideas.  Don’t forget to save the pin for later. 

I Spy

Let’s start with a classic. Depending on your child’s age you might want to change it slightly; if they are younger you might want to use the phonic sound it starts with rather than the letter name. E.g rather than using c for church, use ‘ch’.

I Went to the Market and I bought…

This one is a great memory game.

  • The first person starts out with saying “I went to the market and I bought…”, they then add an item that they have bought;
  • The next person then has to remember what has been bought previously and add their own item;
  • This keeps going until someone forgets.
  • For older children, if they forget an item then they are out and the game restarts until you have a winner.

20 questions

  • One person thinks of something, then everyone has to guess what it is within 20 question;
  • You can only ask questions that can be answered with either yes or no;
  • The object normally has to be in one of these categories: animal, vegetable (plant), person, place or thing;
  • To make it easier for younger children the person whose go it is can give the category outright.

The Alphabet Game

  • Some chooses a category i.e. girls names;
  • Then everyone takes it in turns to say a name in alphabetical order i.e. if there were 3 of us playing we would all have to come up with a girls name beginning with A before moving on to letter B.

The Colour Game

  • Someone chooses a colour and a number e.g. blue and 7
  • Then everyone has to find that many objects that are that colour;
  • First one to reach the number set wins;
  • You can add the rule that you can use certain objects for certain colours. e.g. if you choose green you could say nobody can use trees, bushes or grasses as an object.

First One to Spot …

  • Somebody names an object and then the first person to spot it wins the round.

We use to play this game when I was younger and we were going to the coast, it was always first one to the sea wins a penny!

Cloud Pictures

This is normally something you would do outside lying down looking up at the clouds, but it can easily be done looking out of the car windows.


This is similar to the alphabet game, but it is faster paced and doesn’t need to be done in alphabetical order.

  • One person chooses a category i.e. countries
  • Then everyone takes it in turn to say something;
  • If someone takes too long or repeats a word that has already said then they are out.

Name That Song

  • One person hums the first part to a song;
  • Everyone else tries to guess it;

Travel Bingo

Download the bingo sheets.

  • Every time some sees an object on their list they cross it off;
  • First one to cross all the boxes wins.

One Word Story

  • The whole point of the game is to make up a story with people only saying one word at a time;
  • Begin the story with Once upon a time …
  • Then each person takes it turn to add ONE word to the story.

When I use to play this with a bunch of tweens and teens we would have buzz words that if they said then they would be out of the game. The longer the game went on the more buzz words would be added. It is actually surprisingly difficult to complete a story that makes any sense, but it is a lot of fun to try.

How Many More Miles

If travelling by motorway use the signs to guess how many more miles you have left until you reach your destination.

  • e.g. Say your going to Oxford, when you see it on the motorway sign look to see how many miles you have left;
  • Then guess how many miles it will say on the next sign for Oxford.

Yes/ No Game

Another oldie, but a classic game where you can’t use the answers yes or no to any of the questions.

  • Choose someone to answer the questions;
  • They can’t use the answers yes or no to any of the questions, if they do they are out, and it is the next persons go.

Silly Answers

  • Make up a silly answer like “I like smelly socks”
  • Choose someone to be it;
  • Everybody else asks that person questions, but the answerer can only reply with their silly answer;
  • If they laugh then they are out and the game starts again with another player and silly answer.

Two Lies and a Truth

This one is better for older children.

  • Everyone comes up with two lies and a truth;
  • They can be personal stories or random bits of information;
  • Each person takes in turn to say their 2 lies and a truth, then the others need to guess which one is the truth.

Yellow Car

I still play this game every time I get into the car with my family, it is great for short and long journeys.

  • Every time somebody sees a yellow car they shout out Yellow car;
  • Every yellow car is worth one point, at the end of the journey the person with the most points wins.

It doesn’t have to be a yellow car, you could use a specific model of car instead. My friends and I use to play it in France using Twingos instead of yellow cars, if we saw a purple Twingo we would have to say Twingo Twingo.

Buzz Numbers

  • Set a number between 0-9 to be a buzz number;
  • Then taking it in turns you start to count;
  • When you reach a number with that buzz number in you say buzz rather than the number.
  • e.g. if your buzz word is 4 it would go: 1 2 3 buzz 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 buzz etc
  • For older children you can add more buzz numbers or have numbers that divisible by 3 etc.

Who Lives Next Door

  • This is a make believe game;
  • Imagine that you have new next door neighbours;
  • Take it turns to come up with something about your new neighbours; who they are, what are there names, what jobs do they have etc
  • You could also do the same for the people in the car next to you if you get stuck in traffic.

Fingers Out

  • This is a perfect game for 2 children to play;
  • They face each other and count to 3;
  • On “3” they put out one hand – either as a fist or with 1, 2 or 3 fingers out;
  • At the same time they shout out at the same time a number between 1 and 6.
  • Add up the number of all the fingers extended;
  • If a child guessed the exact number of fingers shown they score 2 points. If they guessed nearest the number of fingers shown, they score 1 point. If there is a tie, no points are scored. The first to a given number or points, say 10, wins.

Guess the letter

  • One player gets to draw a letter in the other persons hand.
  • The other players then have to guess what the letter is.
  • If letters are too easy, your children can also write out whole words.


This one is simple

  • When you come to a tunnel, see who can hold their breath the longest;
  • It is probably best if the driver doesn’t take part in this game.

Pin for later:

21 fun games to play in the car.

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