Fun games to play in the car with kids

kids laughing in the backseat of a car

RACV Staff

Posted August 28, 2023

Tired of playing 'I Spy'? Here are seven of the best games to keep everyone entertained on the family road trip.

Road trips can be great bonding experiences for the family. They can also be long and tedious at times - it’s all part of the grand tapestry that is surviving the family road trip.

When the tablets run out of charge and the nap times are over, some old fashioned car games can be a great way to pass the time while taking in the sights around you en route to your holiday destination. 

From classics like The Animal Game to Would You Rather, htry one of these road trip games on your next family car trip to help bring you and your crew endless hours of fun. 

Remember to stay safe on the road with this handy road trip checklist.


Fun road trip games to play with kids

The license plate game

This one can be fairly easy - track the license plates on the road, getting a point for the first person to get all of Australi's states and territories. You can even mix it up with spotting different colours, varying letters of the alphabet or funny words. 

The Animal Game

A classic for all ages, the animal game can be played in a simple version or a little harder for more expert child zookeepers! Take turns naming different animals - if you repeat one that's said or you can't think of one, you're out until a winner remains. This can also be done by going chronologically through the alphabet (Albatross, Bear, Cat, etc.) or by using the last letter of thepreviously named animal (tiger - raccoon - newt - turtle, and so on). 

This game can be played in many categories - TV shows, movies, cities, supermarket items, you got it! 

Rules of the road

Parents love this game to occupy the kids, but the kids love it because it puts them in the driver’s seat – as they get to make up the rules of the road.

One at a time, the kids can make a ‘rule’ that everyone must abide by, for example: Point your finger at every sign with your destination on it, hold your breath when you pass a cemetery, yell out ‘Transformers, more than meets the eye’ every time a truck overtakes.

The last person to adhere to each rule gets a point, and that’s not a good thing when the object of the game is to be the person with the least amount of points by the next pit stop. 

family on road trip

Car games can be played anywhere. Image: Getty

The sound of silence

A favourite of parents the world over. Challenge your fellow passengers to remain quiet for a certain length of the trip. The first one to break loses. Remember, it’s the incentive that makes it a game. 

Would you rather?

Typically pitched as a more adult game, this party classic is easily tailored for any audience. For kids, start with something like ‘Would you rather ride a horse backwards or sideways?’ or ‘Would you rather be a dog or a cat?’

This game is all about imagination, creative thinking and even a bit of problem-solving, and if you’re travelling with older teens or friends, just adjust the questions accordingly.

What is it? 

One for the younger kids to get into, a grown up or older child puts objects together so a younger one can guess what links them. For example, for 'what colour is it?' they might say egg yolk, the sun, sunflowers to guess yellow, or for an animal, its a bird, lays eggs, and has feathers (hen). Tailor to your audience!  

Spelling bee car champions 

Warning: this game can get competitive.

You’ll need a judge/ point scorer (take turns) to look up words on their phone, and the other players take turns in spelling the words.

The person who spells the most words correctly wins that round and so on. Best played in rounds of three so everyone gets a go and while there’s no physical prize at the end of it, knowing you are the best speller on the road is its own reward.   

Broken down? RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance can get you moving.
Discover more →