Family Friendly Roadtrip Car Games
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?
Too funny about the beaver eggs! I have always loved the alphabet game, but we’ll have to keep the others in mind for our next road trip!
That scavenger hunt is a fun idea! We usually just turn on some DVD’s when we’re road tripping. I’m sure the kids would love some variety like this.
How fun! I used to play car games all the time and I’d love to share those games with our daughter when she’s older
I remember as a child we played games while on road trips. It was fun and kept us busy… till I got car sick and threw up everywhere…. HAHAHAHA. I don’t do road trips anymore unless we have a lot of stops! lol
These will be handy for our road trip in a few weeks!
Road trips are a blast with the family but when boredom comes things change quickly. These are so great games to keep everyone entertained.
We used to play the license plate game all the time!! I loved car trips we took as a family…HA!!
Love these fun ideas. The perfect way to keep my kids busy and enjoy their road trip
These are great suggestions. We do a lot of car trips up north, and it’s over five hours each way. So car games really help pass the time.
We used to play these games when I was a kid! I love them, and think that if I had kids now, I would totally be playing them again!
These are great game ideas for the car. We’re going to do a lot of road trips this season, so these will come in handy for sure.
We used to travel a lot for my husband’s job and we definitely used these games. Our favorite was the alphabet game.
What a fun, creative list of road trip games to have in the car on a road trip with your family. I bet road trips are super fun with you!
These are amazing ideas. We get so bored on car trips sometimes. It’s nice to have something to pass the time.
We live in a rural area and quite far from the in-laws. We do a lot of driving and these games will keep us busy.
We do both the alphabet game and the license plate game on every road trip! It is fun to do! I have never tried the scavenger hunt!
Whenever we’re on the road we tend to play those games, especially the license plate game. We love seeing the different states, but I also make sure that they have their electronics so they can do their own thing as well.
Such fun ideas! I wish we had a car so we could do some fun road trips together! My kids would love it!
These are such fun ideas. We usually play the license plate game and the kids always love it.
I used to play games like this with my son when we traveled. It’s a lot of fun on a long trip. Thanks for sharing your post at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.
I totally needed to see this. We are taking our son to the beach for the first time next week and it is going to be a seven hour drive. I’m pinning this list for easy access when I need a sanity saver. Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday! See you next time!
road games are fun and make the trip go faster. I like the alphabet game. Thanks for sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom
How cute, i used to love these games. Another alternative for the alphabet game is to choose a theme and you have say something relevant to that theme from A-Z for example animals or countries, and of course I loved I-spy when I was younger 🙂 x
Fun ideas! Makes me want to plan a road trip! Thanks for sharing at the #summerfamilyfun link-up!
Holly @ While I’m Waiting…
I wouldn’t mind playing that Scavenger Hunt game! It brings out my competitive spirit!
Because summer is about heading to the beach or other places you prefer, traveling is a huge part of the picture. And what better way to enjoy the travel time than play games as fun as these.
Thanks for sharing your creativeness at the Summer Family Fun Linky!
Enjoy the summer and the drive!
This brings back fond memories of road trips with my girls. I would get Mad Libs and Magic Slates but our favorite was the Alphabet game. They loved it because you could just start over when you are done and go through the alphabet all over again. Thanks for the memory.
We often play these games to and kids don’t recognize that the trip is far. I will pin it. Thanks for sharing.
Isn’t it a wonderful way to make the trip seem shorter with the children!
We used to play The Alphabet Game when we were little! My mom had these little road trip activity books for us, too, but I think her favorite game was “The Quiet Game”. Whoever could be quiet the longest would get a dollar. LOL
Oh my goodness. I can’t count the number of times we have played the alphabet game. We have gone many a mile playing it. I think it is good to have some games like these to play when you are on the road with the kiddos. In fact, I think my husband and I have played it several times when it was just the two of us in the car. Makes the miles go faster and involves the brain. Thanks for sharing.
My husband and I have played the Alphabet game as well. That’s funny 🙂
I love having the kids play the alphabet game in the car. Another one they love is counting how many cars we pass. Counting and letters for the win!
Car games to help the road trip boredom and keep the children from beating each other up 🙂
We used to play all of those fun games when the kids were small. Now we get to play them with the grands. What a great idea to have them all together in one place. Great post!!
We have fond memories of playing road trip games as well. A nice spin for grown-ups would be to take cell phone pics while on a road trip for the Scavenger hunt game! Grown ups can have fun too 🙂