Going on a road trip? Car games will save your sanity on a long car trip with the family.
Car games have long been cherished as good free entertainment for children on a road trip. Sometimes competitive adults enjoy car games too.
Here are four classic games to pass the time while on your road trip. Free printable links included.
Some of these games can be played without pen and paper but you should always carry along a notebook such as a spiral-bound for road trips.
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Table of Contents
- The Alphabet Game
- License Plate Game
- Name The Capitals Game
- Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
- More Family Fun Ideas
The Alphabet Game
I wonder how many parents always win the Alphabet game? The Alphabet game may be the most popular and oldest of car games.
Rules are subjective to family values. If your family has high regard for competition, make the rules much harder. Although we are not a particularly competitive bunch, we always require the letter being sought could only come from the first letter of the word currently being viewed.
Basic rules for the Alphabet game
- The object of the game is to locate, verbally, all 26 letters of the alphabet
- Words must be found outside of the vehicle you are traveling in. For instance; the letter ‘A’ would-be announced first by saying, ‘A’ for Ambulance because you just saw an ambulance.
- Letters must be found in consecutive order only
Your family can make up their own rules. Maybe you have younger children, just learning their alphabet and you will be much pleased for them to recognize the letter anywhere in a word.
All of the participating passengers may be on different letters at different times. Whoever finds all 26 letters first is the winner.
When we played this game, we continued to play until all participants completed all 26 letters.
My daughter loved to play this game when she was a little girl. We were once sitting at a drive-through window when she announced, ‘B’ for Beaver Eggs! (beverages)
License Plate Game
A classic road trip car game that has been played since the interstate system made vacation travel popular.
Object of the game
The object of the License plate game is to find license plates from as many different states as possible
This game is really easy and in fact, can be played concurrently with any other game.
- Pen and paper are needed for this game if you don’t grab the free printable pictures above (grab the free printable game pictured above from our sister site Explore The South)
- Write down the state name each time you see a different state tag
- You may want to write them in alphabetical order for easier tracking. A nice twist to this game is to make tic marks by the state names and calculate how many from each state you actually saw once the road trip ends.
Name The Capitals Game
Object of the game
The object of the game is to name as many state capitals as possible.
The State Capitals Game can be a competition or not as the parent determines. Our free printable list of capitals is a cheat sheet for parents. Use it to check the answers when the child(ren) finishes the game.
Free Printable list of All 50 States and their Capitals (Opens in a new window. Print as many copies as you like)
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
Object of the game
The object of the game is to complete as many items as possible from the list of objects pre-determined.
Free Printable Scavenger Hunt Here (Opens in a new window, print as many as you like)
Enjoy your road trip with the family by playing these family-friendly car games to pass the time quickly. What car games are popular with your family?