20+ Super Fun Games to Play in the Car with Kids
Happy Summer! Has your family been doing any traveling this summer? If so, you're going to love this list of fun games to play in the car!
These games reinforce facts my children have already learned, and in a fun way that helps keep them distracted during a long car ride. Even though it's summer break, the learning has not stopped!
Below you will find games we play in the car as well as some from around the web. You've got no-gear games that just use your voice, as well as printable games if you want something a little different!
No-Gear Fun Games to Play in the Car
A classic car game! My kids got in on the fun even when they were one or two years old! Don't under estimate this one just because it is old school! It is a great way to work on colors, shapes, letters, numbers and vocabulary.
“I spy with my little eye…..(insert something you see!).” The other players guess. You can play using things in the car as well as outside as long as the things outside the car will stick around long enough to be guessed!
What Animal is in the Car?
My kids often initiate this one themselves! I love it because it works the kids' memories and even teaches toddlers animal sounds they may not know yet.
It usually starts with a moo or a ribbit uttered in the back seat. Then I reply by guessing what animal is in the car thusly: (gasp!) “Is there a COW in our car?!” Then the cow/child will confirm that there IS a cow in the car. Then one of the kids will make another animal sound or the same one, you never know. They keep you on your toes!
It can be fun to see how many animals can you squeeze into the car and it turns into a brain game for the guesser. GASP! “Are there 2 cows, 2 snakes, an elephant, a mouse and two turkeys in our car?! I don't know if we can fit any more animals!” (Be prepared for a dinosaur or another elephant to show up next! Hilarity WILL ensue!)
This is a simple, silly, affectionate game based on the Ken and Barbie I Love You Scene from Toy Story 3. I'll tell you what…this game comes in handy anywhere when you just need a distraction from something that is bothering one of your kids. You could play it just for fun, or you could say you are teaching the kids vocal timing and auditory skills. Up to you!
All you do is say “I Love…” and then anyone in the car, including you, has to be the first to say “YOU.” Rinse and repeat, like a thousand times! I know the Ken and Barbie scene involves them alternating words, you can do that too. We just happen to play that the first person says both the first two words.
Rhyming as You Go Game from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
This one is perfect for preschoolers who are learning how to rhyme, as well as kids who just love rhyming. Click the name of the game to see how to play!
Another classic learning game for the car! There is a printable below, but you can also play without paper! Just start at the beginning of the alphabet and go in order! Now THAT is tricky! You can choose to either look for the letter or something that begins with that letter.
Hey Cow! Counting Game
This game is hilarious. I don't know where it came from, but I learned from an ex-boyfriend (shh!). It is best played on a country road trip since you don't pass too many cows on the interstate.
Each side of the car is a team. As you pass cows on your side of the car, your team yells, “Hey Cows!” and makes whatever noises you think of to quickly get cows' attention. Then you count the ones who look. Boom. COUNTING! Done! If bothering cows is not your style, feel free to moooove along to the next game! 😉
Another classic but JDaniel4's Mom explains that there are totally Learning Benefits to Playing 20 Questions! She has a great kid-friendly way to play and I cannot wait to play with my kids!
Check out these Six Fun Thinking Games from What We Do All Day. I love these because they are all so flexible and can be adapted to what your child learned in school recently, or made easier or harder depending on age.
RELATED: Road Trip Adventure Pack
DIY and Printable Fun Games to Play in the Car
Whether you use them fresh from the printer on your way out the door or laminate them for frequent reuse, these printable activities will be a big hit for your little ones in the car!
Click on each link to get to the printables and see how to play!
Printable Road Trip Binder Games from LalyMom
Roadtrip Drawing Prompt Printables from Picklebums
Printable Roadtrip Activity Pack on Playdough to Plato
License Plate Game US Map Printable from Makeovers and Motherhood
Would You Rather…Printable Game from the Measured Mom
Shape Hunt Folder Game from Playdough to Plato
Road Trip Bingo from Housing a Forest
“Are We There Yet?” Map Skills Game from Creekside Learning
Printable ABC Game Recording Sheet from Ready Set Read
Roadtrip I-Spy Printable for kids who can read on Kids Activities Blog
Big List of Printable Road Trip Activities on 3 Boys and a Dog
So there you have it, you CAN keep learning during the summer, even when you are in the car!!
I'm always looking for more fun games to play in the car, so tell me – what is your favorite car game? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! For more ideas, activities and fun games to play in the car, come follow my Kids Roadtrip Activities Pinterst Board!
More Summer Learning Ideas
Such a fun roundup, Laura!! Thanks for including our shape hunt folder game in the list. I hadn’t thought of using it in the car but you’re right – it would make an awesome car game too. So clever!
Thank you so much for the list! Just pulled it up as we drive up Interstate 85. We like to play “I’m going on vacation and I’m bringing….” Everyone repeats list and adds to it at their turn. Happy and Safe Travels!!
What a fun game! Have a safe and fun trip Sharon, hope this list helps make it extra fun!
Thank you Laura for the list! My kids like to play “What Animal is in the Car?” As you say it works the kids’ memories and even teaches toddlers animal sounds they may not know yet. Yes it’s really helpful.
Happy journey 🙂