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9 Car Games for Your Next Road Trip

Even though Summer is officially over, the road trips don’t really stop. Whether it’s to Grandma’s house or just going to Friday night sporting events, we’re not spending any less time in our cars.

So here are 6+ games for you to play with your crew the next time you’ve got a little more car time than playlist.

The Number Plate Game

This is one that Jen & Janet have been playing for a while with vanity license plates. But there’s no reason you can’t play it with every plate.

Make up a phrase using the letters and numbers, and see who can come up with the best one.

For example: CUX064
“See You Never, Zero going 64mph”

L82 4788
“Late to ’47. (Gotta hit) 88!”

The Alphabet Categories Game

There’s a couple of ways to play this game. The easiest way to play this one is to pick a category and have each person go down the line with the next letter of the alphabet. Say you pick “fruits”.

Apple
Banana
Cherry
Dragonfruit
Elderberry

If a player fails to come up with an answer, they are out and skipped. The last player standing wins.

The other way you can play is the way my son Jack plays – pick a name, a location, and an object that all start with the same letter. Then you say, “My name is , I live in , and I sell .”

So, the first player says something like:

“My name is Avery, I live in Amsterdam, and I sell alligators.”
The second player then says:
“My name is Bucky, I live in Bakersville, and I sell butter.”

The Alphabet Sign Game

I like to play this one in my head when the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied and Jen is deep into a book or podcast.

Use road signs, billboards, construction signs, trucks, and license plates to find each letter of the alphabet in order.

You cannot move onto the next letter until you find the current one. The letters don’t have to start the word, but you just have to spot them.

If you play this game with others in your car, yell out the word and where you saw it. Players can’t use the same letter from the same word, so be sure to shout it out quickly!

The Movie (or TV) Game

The Movie Game is simple enough: Name an actor, name a movie that person is in, then name another actor from that same movie, then name a second movie with that second actor.

“Will Ferrell”
“Anchorman”
“Paul Rudd”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp”
“Michelle Pfeiffer”

The first person to stumble or miss is out while the rest continue until the last person is left.

Now, my TV knowledge goes way beyond my cinema knowledge, so I like to incorporate TV shows into the mix as well. This allows you to go from Paul Rudd to FRIENDS to Jennifer Anniston to 30 Rock to Tina Fey to…well, you get it.

Battle of the Bands

This game is like “Apples to Apples” but with just a musical category. One person will name a category like “Best Breakup Song” or “Best Song from a Movie”.

Every other player then comes up with their best answer. The player who came up with the category gets to pick the winner. The winner then gets to pick the next category.

Our friend Marshall would be killer at this game, but would also hate it because it’s too subjective. Which means, if you want to win, know your audience.

Hinky Pinky

This one can be played in the car, after dinner, before going to bed, camping, waiting in line at a theme park, really just about anywhere.

Think of two rhyming words that have the same number of syllables. Tell the guessers if it’s a “hink pink,” a “hinky pinky,” or a “hinkety pinkety,” then give them a few clues to help them guess the rhyming words.

Hink Pinks are one syllable, Hinky Pinkys are two syllables, and Hinkety Pinketys are three.

“Hink Pink. A noisy gathering.”
“Loud crowd.”
“Hinkety Pinkety. The White House.”
“President’s residence.”

If your not as creatively inclined, you’ll soon be able to pre-order our version that has 90 cards, including some blanks for when you do hit on your own that need to be written down.

My Grandpa had a hinky pinky on us for yeeeeears. He would never tell us no matter how many times we said that we gave up.

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Parting words for your internet connection.

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The Classics

There are a few games that are just classic car games, so I’m lumping all of those together.

I Spy

You find something, say “I Spy with my little eye something [name a color or attribute].” Then everyone else has to try and guess what it is.

This one can be tough when you’re going through the plains of Western Oklahoma or the Texas panhandle or really anywhere in Kansas.

“I spy with my little eye something blue.”
“The sky?”
“Correct!”

“I spy with my little eye something gray.”
“The road!”
“How’d you guess that?”

This is not one of my favorites to play now, but the main reason I’m including it is because, when Trinity was about 6, we used to play this every day on the way to school. She was always a little anxious and didn’t like leaving home, so we played games. When we got within view of her school, one of us would say, “I spy with my little eye something school-y!” and that person was the winner for the day.

The License Plate Game

This one requires a pencil and paper and works best on longer road trips.

As you’re driving see how many different states’ license plates you see. Write them down or mark them off. The person that saw the most states wins.

21 Questions

Ah, the classic of classics.

If you don’t know what 21 Questions is…well, buckle up ‘cause I’m going to explain it.

One person thinks of a person, place, or thing. The rest of the group has 21 questions to guess that the person, place, or thing is, but the catch is that they can only ask yes/no questions.

“Is it a person?”
“No. 1.”
“Is it edible?”
“No. 2.”
“Is it a black hole?”
“YES!”

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