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Top 8 Road Trip Games for Children

road trip games for children

It takes a lot of courage to take a child on a road trip. Children get bored. Easily. When they’re babies, there’s usually no problem. They take a nap as soon they’re put in the car seat and everything’s fine. But now your child is 3+, you know all the answers to the question “Why?”, and you’re ready to hit the road.

When you travel with a toddler, preschooler – or even worse, a grade schooler – things get serious. It’s essential to have a backup plan. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of fun games which you and your child can play when on the road.

road trip games for children

Traditional road trip games like bingo (who saw a gas station?) are always great for kids to play on their own. You can find workbooks, portable games or print your own. For even more family fun, parents can participate in the games below.


Recommended age: 4+

Storytelling is an appropriate game for children aged 4 years and up. The game goes like this: you come up with a sentence like: “Once upon a time, there lived a princess.” Let your child continue: “She lived in a castle.” And so on. If you want to make this game more challenging, play with an additional rule that players need to repeat the whole story before adding their own sentence.

ABC Conversation

Recommended age: 6+

This is a game you can play with grade schoolers and teens. Start a conversation by making a sentence beginning with the letter A. Then your child has to answer with a sentence beginning with the letter B. The next sentence starts with C, and you can continue playing in alphabetical order all the way to Z.

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You: An alligator is a dangerous animal.
Child: But a bear is faster.
You: Cougars are the fastest.

I Spy

Recommended age: 3+

This one is a classic. Look around and choose an object – something like a landmark, a tree, or a car. Then say: “I spy with my little eye, something green.” Or “I spy… something that begins with an F.” Or give a hint based on the material: “I spy… something that is made out of plastic.” Take turns. This is an easy game which is perfect for preschoolers. Believe me, they will be entertained for hours.

Name the Tune

Recommended age: 8+

Turn the radio on to a music station. The first person to name the song wins. This game is more appropriate to play with adolescents (and they will definitely beat you at this one – sorry, Mom and Dad!)

Hum That Song

Recommended age: 4+

You can hum the tune of a song or nursery rhyme, such as “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and your child has to guess the name of the song. The selection of songs you use will, of course, vary based on your child’s age. If your child is in high school, the list of songs can become much longer and more complex.

20 Questions Game

Recommended age: 4+

Your child can start the game by thinking of a person, place, or thing. You need to guess who or what s/he has in mind by asking questions which can only be answered with “yes” or “no.” You can ask a maximum of 20 questions, and then you must make a guess.

Artsy kids can try the Bumpy Car Ride Doodle Contest, like bumpy Pictionary, or Bumper Sticker Scrapbook during a road trip courtesy of Wikibuy.

Place Your Bet

Recommended age: 6+

Ask your child to place a bet on something like “In the next 3 minutes, a green car will pass us.” Then you place a bet on something else: “In the next 2 minutes, we’ll pass four blue cars parked on the left side of the road.” Whoever’s bet is closest to the truth wins.

Math Is Fun

Recommended age: 7+

This game is fun and best to play with grade schoolers and teens (although we’re not quite sure about teens; if puberty hasn’t kicked in, then it’s definitely safe to play). The game goes like this: whoever is first to add up the numbers on the license plate of the car in front of you, wins. The math operations you use depend on your child’s age and math knowledge. You can change the rules to use addition, division, subtraction, etc.

SR4K added Bonus: Going on Picnic

Recommended age: 7+

The first person starts the game by saying,”I’m going on a picnic and I’m taking…” That person chooses something that starts with the letter “A”. The second person repeats the first part of the sentence, repeats what the first person is bringing then adds something starting with the letter “B”. This continues around with everyone starting with the first part of the sentence and repeating what the previous people brought and adding the next letter of the alphabet. To add a little more fun, make every letter into a tongue twister. “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing Aunt Annie’s absolutely awesome apples!” (You can also play, where each person brings an object that starts with the first letter of their name to make it a fun name game!)

Remember, you’re not a bad parent if you let your child watch videos on an iPad or tablet!

When nothing else works, that’s your only escape.

Guest post: Maja Ferjancic, content editor at Vehicle Rent. Tired (exhausted) mother of a three-year-old, ex-journalist with a bachelor degree in philosophy.

Copyright 2019 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

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