10 Best Road Trip Car Games for Kids

For many, summer break means road trips with kids.  Whether it’s a road trip to a national park or a new city, there is almost certainly one common denominator that unites parents everywhere. It is the age-old question, “Are we there, yet?” How kids learn this question is a mystery to parents. Maybe, “Are we there, yet?” is a question the littles discuss during the school day equivalent of water cooler talk. However it is learned, parents need a cool bag of tricks filled with all the best car games for kids, if they hope to survive their next family road trip. Here are 10 of the best road trip car games for kids.

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Top 10 Car Games for Kids

Road Trip Bingo

A game of chance with no skill required, Road Trip Bingo tops this list of car games for kids. One can download a printout online or score the durable Road Trip Bingo Playing Cards from Mr. Toysmith. Road Trip Bingo is generally easy and quick, so cycling through a few rounds gives this car game for kids lots of staying power, especially for long rides. To keep it interesting, offer a tasty treat or sticker each time a passenger successfully claims “Bingo!”

Spontaneous Storytelling

Think of this as a short-form improvisation game akin to the television show “Whose line is it anyways?” This road trip game is one for both kids and adults to get creative (and sometimes silly) taking turns telling parts of a story, adding in characters and plot twists until someone has drawn a plot that stands together as a satisfactory and fun conclusion to the story.

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I Spy

This might be one of the top five best road trip games ever, and for good reason. “I Spy with My Little Eye” requires no equipment, other than some good observational skills, and is easy enough for any person in the car to play, including the driver.

Boogie Board Drawing Tablet

Boogie Board drawing tablets are the work horses of road trips. With drawing tablets, kids can play car games like Tic Tac Toe and Hangman, not to mention draw and scribble to their hearts content. The best part about drawing tablets is that they are made for on-the-go fun without any mess whatsoever. These tablets transition from the car to the restaurant table so be prepared to make a minor investment in one of these for the next trip.

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On-The-Go Magnetic Game

For one of the best car games for kids, look no further than on-the-go magnetic ones. Magnetic car games can range from robots and princess assembly toys (think magnetic paper dolls) to classic board games like Scrabble, Battleship and Connect 4. Magnetic games are a great way to keep kids entertained and component pieces in one place, while trying to keep their tablet time in check.

Classic Card Games

When it comes to classic kid card games, Go Fish and Old Maid take the cake. These games need no introduction and are wholesome, laugh out loud fun for any age. For chubby little hands, invest in “The Original Little Hands Card Holder,” which helps little ones fan their cards out so that they can play with the big kids.

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Tablet Games & Books

Not all parents subscribe to the use of electronic devices such as tablets or video game consoles, but used in moderation, they can be a good thing. It is recommended that parents put time limits on the use of tech devices and follow the 20-20-20 rule (20 minute time limit, device held 20 inches from the face, and look away from the screen every 20 seconds). It is also a good idea to preload games and books to keep kids stimulated without burning through cell phone data that might incur additional overtime charges.

Mad Libs

Mad Libs are a paper-based word game that was first developed in 1958. This fill-in-the-blank game is comical and non-sensical, and that’s why they are still enjoyed by kids of all ages today. In terms of car games for kids, Mad Libs can be played the old school way with pen and paper or online.

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Quiet Game

Let’s face it. The Quiet Game is really for the benefit of adults. If the kids have taken the “Are we there, yet?” to a whole new level, then its time to pull the Quiet Game out of the road trip games bag of tricks. Implement this game sparingly, as it is the nuclear button of road games and parenting tricks.

Good Old-Fashioned Conversation

When all other car games for kids have come and gone, one of the best ways to pass the time on a road trip is to strike up conversation. Talk about anything and everything. Keeping open lines of communication will always be important so use a road trip to establish or reinforce healthy conversation habits.


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Road trips can be great fun, especially if you plan ahead. Being confined to a car, plane or train for hours on end can be an exercise in patience, and that should be rewarded. For long rides, a grab bag of inexpensive prizes keeps enthusiasm high and road trip fatigue at bay. On long road trips, it’s easy to let the “Are we there, yet?” become an irritating phrase but with these car games for kids, your road trip will be a grand adventure and you’ll have the memories to show for it.  

10 Best Road Trip Car Games For Kids

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Michelle Garrett
Michelle Garretthttp://www.wonderclubexplorers.co
A little about me, my name is Michelle and I spend my days working on projects to improve the quality of life for the citizens of my community and my nights reading books to my 5 year-old about every kind of dinosaur there ever was (there are 900 validated species, in case you’re wondering). Together, my son and I created Wonder Club Explorers, a company to inspire wonder and curiosity in kids. I carve out time for myself on the weekends as an early morning exerciser and metalsmith of fine jewelry. I reside in Altadena with my husband and son amongst California Oak trees and a stone’s throw of the San Gabriel Mountains.

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