Road Trip Games for Kids – 38 To Keep Them Happy

Road Trip Games for Kids are important to have on hand. Ever since my kids were babies we’ve been on the road traveling with them. My in-laws live in Pittsburgh, which is a 10-hour drive from Rhode Island – so as you can imagine – my kids have been used to road trips for years.

Road Trip Games for Kids

road trip games for kids

I actually don’t think they think there’s any other way to travel! Road Trip Games for Kids has been my saving grace throughout the years. My. Saving. Grace. I have an arsenal (full) of road trip games for kids that I know by heart and keep on hand that has truly been our traveling lifesaver.

McClelland Family

I have one rule in the car when it comes to traveling with the kids – you cannot say the dreaded words – “I don’t have anything to do.” With the creation of mobile technology for our kids today, there’s always something to do.

Whether they’re watching a DVD, playing on an iPad, or tuned into their phones – there’s ALWAYS something to do. When I was a kid, it wasn’t that way at all. I mean – Road Trip Games for Kids nowadays is Fortnite on their phones. I’m being real here.

I grew up traveling a ton with my family – we never had a ton of money – so we ALWAYS were traveling by car. I would dread a long road trip and a long trip meant hours on the road. Unfortunately, road trips were the only way to go and fun games passed the time and it was a great way to ignore the hours of road time.

McClelland Family Vacation

We drove to Florida. We drove to Maine. We drove to Canada. We drove EVERYTHING! Road Trip Games for Kids were our saving grace, too. With no technology – we really needed to rely on games. Games were it (or napping). We relied on Road Trip Games for Kids (as did my parents!).

How to Plan out Road Trip Games for Kids

Just like you would plan out a trip with packing and traveling and planning hotels, etc. I plan out the drive, especially with younger kids. It’s MY domain because my husband is usually driving, so I need to make sure I keep the kids occupied. For me – what works? I love to jot down a bunch of different fun car games that we can play.

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Not 2 or 3… you need to PLAN, especially if you have little ones. I have 10-12 things ready to go throughout the entire trip. And that’s not including snack time, too! So take the time to plan things out and not just toss things together last minute for a long car ride. Whether your family members consist of older kids or younger kids, I’m here to help!

38 Road Trip Games for Kids

Play “Going on a Picnic”

This is a fun game to play! You start with the letter A and go to Z… everyone comes up with something that would start with their designated letter that you would bring on a picnic – Apples… Bananas… Carrots… Donuts… and so on. Kids get a kick out of this one!

Audrey McClelland and Family

Play the ELEVATOR Game

You need about 5-6 people to play this one. Someone comes up with something silly and whispers it to the next person in the car. Then that person whispers it to someone else.

You’re not allowed to ask “What did you say?” You just have to repeat what you heard. This is a great Road Trip Games for Kids because it keeps kids engaged with each other, too.

Look for the letters of the Alphabet on signs

This one is pretty straightforward – if you’re working on letters with your kids, this is a really great game! But who am I kidding – my older guys love this game, too! You just see how quickly you can fly through the Alphabet. Look for each letter of the alphabet on road signs. Make sure you go in alphabetical order and let each next player take the next letter.

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Look for the 50 states on license plates

Again – pretty straightforward. I usually print out a list of all the different states so the kids can cross off as we go! Looking for printable travel games? I will have to create a printable of the states for everyone in the car. This is a road trip classic game and lasts the entire trip and a good time as you cross states off your list.

Sing songs

Always a hit in our car for the whole family! Try singing on your next road trip and get everyone involved. We sing any song that the kids want to sing!


McClelland Family

Play the radio and sing along to the music

This is my favorite because I play MY music and the kids love it! There are fun things you can do with radio singing. With big kids, this one gets super fun to see what songs they actually know.

20 Questions Game

This is a great game for the boredom busters. Have ONE person picks something that they’re thinking about… it can be a person or a place or a thing or a tv show or famous people. Everyone gets to ask 1 question and you go round and round (up to 20 questions) to see if anyone gets it.

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“I Spy!”

My sons’ favorite game! Pick something that you see on the road and play “I Spy!” These are great road trip scavenger hunt games for kids, too.

Try to find the Rainbow Colors

This is super fun to play with kids! You can also play this one alone and it’s a quiet game. I try to sometimes just make it about the cars, but it can be ANYTHING! We always get hung up on orange, yellow, and purple! See how long it takes you to go through the rainbow!

McClelland Family

Find it First Game

Think of 1 thing that would be semi-hard to find in the car or out of the car. Then say it and see who finds it first. My sons get uber-competitive!

Tell a Story where everyone participates

Round Robin! Start a story and see where it goes! My kids used to love playing this when they were kids. I used to let everyone have 1 full minute to share a piece of the story. I love these kinds of Road Trip Games for Kids because everyone gets a chance to add something in!

Audrey McClelland and Family

Staring Contest

I mean – who doesn’t love a good staring contest!? LOL! Little kids love this game. It’s a great thing to do when you’re trying to keep them playing together.

Try to Make Someone Laugh

This is always a riot! Try to make someone laugh in the car! This is great for the next family road trip to do because lots of laughter will be heard from the car. It’s one of the best games to get everyone laughing and a fun way to pass time.

Say a statement really fast and see who can decipher it

This always used to crack my kids up! I would say lyrics to songs that they knew to see if they could figure out what I was saying!

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Hum a song to see you can guess it

My older brother used to do this one with us as kids. Just find a tune and hum… see who can figure it out!

Clap a song to see you can guess it

That’s right – clap out a tune! Try it – it’s HARD! With young kids, this is a fun one to help them with, too. The first thing you do is have them pick a simple song.

Memory Game

Have some fun asking questions to see if your kids remember things. For example – on your birthday, their 1st preschool teacher… ask age-appropriate questions!

Look for Animals

Easy game, but so much fun for the little ones! This is a good idea if you’re driving rurally. My kids LOVE these kinds of Road Trip Games for Kids because everyone can play – even little ones!

McClelland Family

Look for drivers wearing sunglasses

Kind of like the “I Spy” game! Points for the person who finds the most!

Look for people with 4 people in their car

Again – “I Spy” type of game! Keeps kids engaged!

Guess how long before you spot a restaurant

This is one my kids always love to play because they want us to STOP! LOL! Takedown the times on a piece of paper to see who is the closest.

McClelland Family

Look for female drives or male drivers or young drivers or old driver

This used to be a fun one to play when the kids were little because it would make them have to look at other drives and see who was driving. We would always try to guess as we were pulling up!

Try to get someone to wave in the backseat of a car

My son William used to ALWAYS do this as a kid. It was never a game, but he would always wave to cars as they drove by and it was always cute to see another kid wave back!

McClelland Family
McClelland Family and Sweeney Family!


An oldie, but a goodie!

Name a Letter and see how many names you can say with that letter (H – Henry, Hannah, Harry)

Have one person start and see how far they can go with it! I would suggest giving a time limit to the game, too! So in 60 seconds see how many you can name! This is a fun name game to do on a family vacation, even a short trip.

Bring a Deck of Cards – WAR, Go Fish, etc.

One thing we ALWAYS have on hand for long car rides! For road trip ideas, it’s always good to have card games on hand. Great road trip activities happen with various card games.


Another game we ALWAYS have on hand for long car rides!

McClelland Family
McClelland Family!

Play Hangman

I love bringing a paper and pen for the kids to play these kinds of games, too! I used to play this all the time with my little sister on car rides!

World's Smallest Games

MASH (remember this one – help the kids!)

You remember this one – Mansion – Apartment – Shack – Home and then you fortune tell out the life you’re supposed to have! This was a fun game!

Read a book aloud

I loved doing this when the kids were little. They would all be quiet and listen. For this one you can get car sick, so beware!

Playing Games Online


Again – an oldie, but a goodie! You can buy online or in mass retailers! One of the best old-school road trip games. We would play this for hours.

I’m thinking of a NUMBER Game

Everyone can ask questions about it until someone “hits” it! This is a numbers game that is great for everyone. One of the best things is to find games for kids of all ages. It’s a great and favorite travel game for my sons.

States and Capitals Game

I love playing this with my middle schoolers. You see how many states and capitals that they know. You can start by seeing license plates and go from there! This is another classic road trip game for older kids.

See if you can name someone you know in every state – this is a fun

Jot down on a piece of paper all the states and start listing who you know in each state! This is a great thinking game! This is a great car game because it makes you think.

Count how many people are driving a type of car

Identify your car and then count how many other people you see driving a car JUST like yours! One of the fun activities

you can do on long trips.

Scavenger Hunt style

This one requires some TLC from mom or dad! Come up with a Scavenger Hunt INSIDE the car. Hide little treats. Have Mystery Bags ready to be opened at certain times. Have fun rest stops already planned. The entire trip is a fun mystery trip!

Tic Tac Toe

Oldie, but a goodie!

Thumb Wrestling

Classic, right? My brothers used to love to play and love to win!

These awesome travel games will keep younger children and older children busy. The best part is having a list of the best travel games and I hope this helps you out. It’s also a good idea to pack coloring books and create a road trip activity pack along the way. Having this list of road trip games will be the best thing for you to do for your family.

Also – beyond – Road Trips Games for Kids – I love to write about things to do with your kids!

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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