Car Travel Games
Fun for the Whole Family

Car travel games are a great way to keep little ones amused on a long journey.

Whether you're heading away to visit the family, or you've booked your next big family holiday, these games will help make your travels fun and memorable.


There are so many car travel games you can play to avoid the boredom of sitting in one place for so long.

Be sure to get the printer-friendly version of this page (bottom) and take these ideas with you.

Free Car Travel Games

THE NUMBER PLATE GAME

You need to decide first if you are playing a name based game or an aged based game.

If you are playing an aged based game, each person has to find 5 cars with their age on the number plate. When they see one they need to call out their age so everyone can check and agree. The first person to reach the target of 5 wins.

If you are playing a name based game, each person has to find 5 cars with the first letter of their name in it. E.g Thomas has to find T, Isabella has to find I again, when they see one they need to call out their name, so everyone can check and agree. The first person to reach the target of 5 wins.

You can have incentives for the winner such as jube lollies or whatever is your family favourite. 

THE RAINBOW GAME

Each person in the car chooses a colour.

You decide what the target is, depending on how attentive the people in the car are.

In this scenario lets choose 10.

Each time you see a car in your choose colour, say the colour for confirmation and add it to your tally.

The person to reach the target first is the winner.

view from back seat of car

GUESS THE ANIMAL GAME

This is a bit like, 'Who am I' except is based on animals. This is a game aimed at the younger kids in the car. Take it in turns of being the animal and try and get everyone else to guess what you are. E.g. I am gray, I have big ears, I have a trunk etc.

Or to put another spin on it, you can get the people guessing to ask the questions and the person playing the animal just answers 'yes' or 'no'. When someone thinks they know what it is they can guess.

THE STORYBOOK GAME

This game is one for the imagination. One person in the car has to say three words, e.g. skip, monster, cupcake. Then another person has to tell a short story including all three chosen words. Once they have successfully completed the challenge, they can come up with three words for the next person.

THE GAME OF CRICKET

You pick someone to bat. This person earns a run for every car you pass, however if you pass a truck, consider that out. Then it's the next person's turn.

You can have as many rounds as you like as long as everyone has the same amount of turns. The person with the most runs wins.

LETTER CHANGE GAME

Someone start by saying a word and then work your way around the car, with each person saying a different word, yet only changing one letter. E.g. Game, Same, Tame, Fame, etc. This is a great one for those older kids in the family.

SCAVENGER HUNT

To play this game you just need to prepare a list in advance. Type up a list of items you might see on your trip for example:

A red car

A cow

A bridge

A stop sign

Your list can be as long or short as you like. And if you are familiar with your route, include specific landmarks. When you list a landmark, it's a great idea to also list how far you've come or have to go. e.g. Big Banana (half way)

The first person to cross everything off their list wins.

ALPHABET GAME

Working as one big team or in a competition, look around you and look for items or license plate numbers with the appropriate letter in it starting from A and working your way to Z. You must stay in the order of the alphabet. When you get to Z you have successfully completed the challenge.

PAPER, ROCK, SCISSORS GAME

Players count to three then make their hands into one of the following:

The shape of a rock (clenched fist)

The shape of paper (flat hand) or

The shape of scissors (hands clenched with index and middle finger stretched out into the shape of scissors).

Rock smothers scissors but is smothered by paper. Paper smothers rock but is cut by scissors. Scissors cut paper but are smothered by rock.

Winner is the best of three

Toddler Specific Car Travel Games

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Whilst the car travel games we have already mentioned will provide loads of fun, below are some games aimed at the little ones.

I SPY BY COLOUR

"I spy with my little eye something green............. This may be a tree, grass etc. It is a simple version of 'I spy' perfect for those younger members of the family

PEEK-A-BOO

This is a great game that can be played anywhere and can involve only two people if other passenger's in the car don't want to play.

Simply cover your eyes and when you remove your hands announce peek-a-boo. Often the toddler will want a turn at this too which will keep them busy for quite some time.

SIMON SAYS

This is a traditional game that can be played anywhere. The parent says 'Simon said' then list a number of different parts of the body, e.g. 'Simon says put your hands on your nose', 'Simon says put your hands on your toes'.

When you don't say 'Simon said' e.g. 'put your hands on your tummy' The kids are not supposed to move and if they do they are considered out.

The last person playing wins.

This is a great one to teach your toddlers different parts of their body.

So next time you're about to embark on a long trip (or even a short one) try our list of car travel games to create some fun for everyone.

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