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It’s important to make use of the energy generated by activities during a road trip because it’s so incredibly satisfying. For this reason, you need some kid-friendly road trip games to boost the mood in the vehicle and keep the kids awake and engaged throughout the ride. You don’t want irritable children with you on any trip, I can assure you of that.

Road trip games for kids shouldn’t make them too worn out to stay awake after a while; a nap and some downtime are definitely encouraged, but they shouldn’t be so worn out that they are unable to feel happy about finally arriving at their holiday destination. Activities that are not only enjoyable but also manageable should be what the road trip games for the kids should be about so that they can still feel exuberant enough to leap for joy upon reaching their destination, to take in the magic of being at their ultimate location.

When you incorporate the games on this list in the children’s road trip plan, they will still have energy and space for other enjoyable activities. They are not only not an energy drain, but they are also not monotonous or uninteresting.

You would love these 20 Awesome and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Road Trips Success.

Here are a few of the best kid-friendly car trip games:


an ISpy book for road trip games for kids

Ispy will always be one of a kid’s favorite games to play on a car trip. The game is filled with so much excitement that it cannot be ignored. A family car vacation would not be complete without letting the youngsters use their adorable tiny eyes to spy on something.

The kid is given the opportunity to observe something that is hidden from others and proceeds to describe the thing without fully disclosing himself. He may give a description of the object’s shape, color, or first letter. The object should remain visible even as the automobile drives so that the other players can still recognize it and make educated guesses based on the description.

 The game is started off with the player going: “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” while going ahead to give the description of what he spots. Other participants take turns making guesses and whoever guesses right, becomes the winner and gets to spy on something right after the former player.

Scavenger Hunt

you can spot this bird in your road trip games for kids

The kids will get excited at the prospect of a scavenger hunt on a road trip. Make a list of hidden goodies on the road that they can spot from the car. The person who spots the treasure first is the one who gets acknowledged, and they can simply spot the object from the car and mark it down as seen.

Whoever spots all the objects before or at the end of the journey wins the hunt. They don’t have to begin their sentences with “I spy…” or give a vague description of what they saw, unlike the ISpy. All they need to do is to point and yell at what they observed so that everyone can see it, then the person marks it, and checks it off his list. The hunt is won and a prize is given to the person who first crosses everything off the list. 

I Packed My Bag

list of thins to pack in the road trip game I am packing my bag

This is the young player adaptation of the game “I Am Going On a Holiday” for adults. The children take turns adding what they would pack in their suitcases, just as the adults alternately describe the fictitious activities they will engage in while on vacation. They don’t even have to know how to pack a bag to make a list of the things they imagine bringing on vacation.

The first player says, “I packed my bag and in it is..” and adds an item they would bring. The person sitting next goes after that, adding another thing to his bag. This process continues until the final child has packed his baggage. Let the kids pack their needs for the next road trip without your interference and imposing opinion—after all, they can bring whatever they want in their thoughts!

Read also: Road Trip Games for Adults

The License Plate Game

for license plate games identifying car plates is one of the fun road trip games for kids

The license plate game can be played in a variety of ways. Printing out the list of the 50 states and providing a copy to each child is one approach to playing the game. Any vehicle having a state license number from the list is crossed off by the person who sees it. This is carried out until every plate number on the list has been checked off. They can play cooperatively on one sheet or compete to cross off more states from their own lists by playing competitively.

The second approach to playing the license plate game involves writing down or remembering the letters of the first plate you see and then trying to make as many words out of them as you can. Each player gets one license plate per round. One of the road trip games for kids that test and enhance their imagination and intellect is the license plate.

The Alphabet Game

road trip games for kids is alphabet games

Get your kids to play the alphabet game in accordance with their age range. The smaller kids can practice animal names while the older children may get to play more challenging categories of the alphabet games, such as names of countries.

The game is played as follows: One person names an animal. The following person must then name an additional animal that starts with the last alphabet of the animal that was named before it in the preceding word.

There shouldn’t be any repetition of any of the animals that have already been named.
Consider the following scenario: Because “deer” ends in “r,” the subsequent speaker might respond with “rat,”  and the next with “Tiger,” and so on in an unbroken chain.

The game is over for anyone who takes too much time to come up with an animal name or repeats what has already been mentioned. However, if you want to prevent those outbursts in much younger kids who might start to act out if they’re removed from the game, give them extra time to think of an animal, and don’t remove anyone! Let them play the game indefinitely or until they run out of names to use or become too bored to continue.

The Movie-Song Game

movie and song road trip games for kids

One person hums a song from his favorite theme series, and the first person to correctly guess the title of the movie gets to hum the next song from his or her favorite movie as well. The kids will be excited and hopping as they try to outsmart each other in coming up with the title of each movie a song is featured in. Never even consider that this won’t be enjoyable because the kids’ reactions will surprise you much more than you expect.

The Map Game

tracing maps is one of the fun road trip games for kids

One of the children sneakily examines the map and discovers a tiny town, hamlet, lake, or other landmarks that would be difficult to locate on a route map. That person announces the finding, such as the name of the town or landmark. The other kids participating in the game are given some time to look over the map and try to find the announced concealed place. The individual who locates the site first wins and is given the responsibility of searching the map for a hidden location before alerting the others to it. For comfort, it would be ideal if each child had his or her own map.

Athletic Games

for your road trip games with kids athletic games is a thing

Although this won’t be played in the car, it’s one of the greatest road trip games for kids to keep them alert and get them out of the stuffy car. Make a short stop at a convenient site along the way, and pack some balls and other athletic equipment so they may do little light sports. Alternately, have the kids compete in exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks, and sprints at each rest point to combat boredom and get them fired up with energy. Make it fun and competitive to retain the kids’ attention. Your children will always look forward to additional road trips, and that way, you get to stop encountering temper tantrums on road trips, especially with older kids.

Would You Rather

This is not one of those road trip games for kids that is restricted to only kids. Both children and adults in the car can take part in the game. You get to ask questions like, “Would you rather have the power to fly for a day or be invisible all day?” and everyone takes turn picking which thing they would rather do.

Check out these 100+ Thought-Provoking Road Trip Questions for Couples.

 It is so much fun, and the kids will eagerly participate in this game, that you will receive many unexpected and hilarious responses from them. Prior to the trip, you can compile a list of Would You Rather questions to give yourself time to think of some very intriguing and outlandish things to ask.

Category/Word Association Game

word categories is one of the best road trip games for kids

The first participant reads out loud a random word and the next participant would be the person seated beside the first participant and will immediately utter a second word connected to the first. It rotates in a clockwise pattern and all the players are cycled through as these processes are repeated. 

In other words, the first person may begin with a word like “fish” and the second person may state a word that is linked to or in the same class as fish, such as what can be prepared with fish or toppings that could go with the outcome of what is made with fish. For instance, until it gets around, the word “fish” might be followed by “barbecue,” “hot dogs,” and “sausage.”

For younger children, it might be a little bit more difficult, but it’s ideal for teens and preteens. The round is finished and a new word from a different category is used to restart the game if someone responds too slowly, does not make a clear association, or repeats a word.

Forbidden Words/Swear Jar

this beautiful jar will remind you of one of the fun road trip games for kids which is the swear jar

Play the swear jar game to convert your kids into FBI and cops. Make a list of words or phrases that you won’t use while driving before the journey even starts. A point is recorded in a jar whenever one of the forbidden words is used. The jar is turned over at the conclusion of the journey, and the player with the fewest points wins. 

Adding very popular words or sentences to the list of terms that are forbidden for them, such as “Are we there yet?”, names of their best friends, first names of family members, etc.,  would be the key to making this game enjoyable and possibly getting your kids to give you a black eye in their thoughts!


telephone game is one of the road trip games for kids

One of the road trip games for kids is this one, which is designed to test and develop their imaginations when it comes to telling stories and exercising their minds in the process. A person should be assigned the task of coming up with a secret tale that will be whispered into the next person’s ear. The person proceeds to tell the same narrative in hushed tones, but in a slightly different way, to the person next to them. They keep modifying each version passed down to them till it goes around in a cycle.

Noting that each narrative is the same but a changed version of the first. It is also important to note that no one ever learns the original story that was passed down. The first person only gets to tell the original narrative after the last person has finished telling the version he got aloud to everyone in the car. Everyone can then begin to say the modified version of the story that was whispered to them. Some of the stories will almost always have been lost in the translation, and the muddled meaning that results usually makes people laugh.

What are the Most Fun Road Trip Games For a 10-year-old?

Read also: 10 Interesting Road Trip Activities with Friends 

Road trip games for kids actually fall into different categories based on your children’s ages. Not all kid-friendly car trip games are for all age ranges. Certain games are appropriate for youngsters of a certain age, while others are not. All the kids can play some games, while toddlers can only play others, and some activities are only appropriate for and enjoyable by children aged 10 and older. The best car trip games for 10-year-olds include the following:

  • Telephone
  • Swear Jar
  • Word association
  • Athletic games
  • The map game
  • ISpy
  • I packed my bags
  • Scavenger hunt
  • License plate game

What are the Fun Road Trip Games for Toddlers?

Toddlers’ ages and cognitive abilities may make it challenging for them to participate in most road trip activities for kids. Toddlers can nevertheless take part in certain road trip games for kids as well. Here are a few kid-friendly road trip games for toddlers:

Check out these 25 Most Exciting Road Trip Games You Don’t Need to Pay for.

  • Theme Movies Games: You get to hum a song or recite a line from their favorite themed show as they scream the movie’s title or its cast in unison.
  • Song Games: Your toddlers can travel in the sun while reciting their favorite children’s songs, and you might even convince them to recite just songs that are related to one another. Think of the following scenario: “Twinkle, twinkle little star,” followed by “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, and I am happy when I am with you,” and then “happy birthday to you, but I wonder if this date is true!” ”
  • ABC Game: Children as young as toddlers will enjoy reciting the alphabet and the words that begin with each letter. “A is for apple, B is for ball, C is for cake,” for instance.
  • Counting Cows: Ask your little children to call out “cow” or “moo” if they see a cow during the journey. The individual who notices the most cows will have the highest point. Actually, something more typical in the area could take the place of a cow.


With these road trip games for kids, you won’t have the children bugging you about the length of the journey and that very annoying question that seems to put everyone off “are we there yet?”, thanks to the Swear Jar! With activities for kids to get wrapped up in during a long car ride to that vacation, each road trip will be punctuated with so much excitement and always looked forward to by your tribe.

Read also: 30 Fun Things to do on a Road Trip for the Best Experience Ever.

You never have to worry if you have children of different ages in your car since you can always get them grouped to play different games that are appropriate for their ages. There are games for everyone, though, so who knows? Even toddlers might develop an interest in the games played by older children, and vice versa. Whatever the situation, there are road trip games for kids of all ages included here to ensure that everyone has the greatest possible travel experience.

Have you packed all the road trip essentials for your kids and gotten everything set for your trip, or you are still whining over what to pack and what should be left behind? Here are a comprehensive travel packing list and some travel packing tips to aid your travel shopping and packing process. Get ready for the most exhilarating road travel experience of your lives!

I’m Daisy, a passionate traveler and adventurer who loves sharing her travel and camping tips. From a young age, I’ve had a thirst for exploration, taking myself to different corners of the world. I enjoy combining my love for travel with camping trips and believe that it's not just about the destination, but also about the journey and the people you meet along the way. Through this blog and social media platforms, I share my travel experiences, recommendations, and tips to inspire others to travel more and explore the world around them. When I’m not traveling, I can be found planning my next adventure or spending time in nature writing.

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