A toy family hitchhiking for a toy vehicle.

‘Are we there yet?’ Our top 5 car games for kids

Family road trips can be a lot of fun, but they do come with a few challenges. Even if you’ve skillfully avoided any issues with back-seat vomit (all parents know this horror), you’re probably still going to come up against the ever-present question: “Are we there yet?” That’s why it’s always good to set off on your trip with a few good car games for kids planned out. 

Stuck for ideas? Try one of our top five kids’ car games on your way to your next adventure. Your little ones are sure to have fun – and you can drive in peace.

5 great car games to play on your next family road trip 

None of these car games for kids require any equipment, so the whole family can take part – and you won’t have worry about a crucial part of the game falling down the side of a car seat, never to be seen again. 

Guess the song

A lot of the best games to play in the car are essentially guessing games. This one has the added benefit of letting you all showcase your (amazing, of course) vocal talents at the same time. One member of the family hums a song, while everyone else tries to guess the name of the song as quickly as possible. Whoever comes up with the answer first gets to hum the next tune. 

Top tip: It can help to set a theme for this game, especially if one of the players has an eclectic taste in music. Songs from musical films are a good bet.

21 Questions

One player imagines a place, person or thing while the other players try to guess who or what it is in 21 questions. The catch is that the first player can only answer questions with simple yes or no answers. So “Is it a person?” works, but “What colour is it?” doesn’t. The family member who guesses the answer gets to start the next game.

I Spy 

Considered top among all the classic games for kids to play in the car – and for a reason. If you’re unfamiliar with the rules of I Spy, here’s how to play. One player chooses something they’ve seen in the car or on the road and says, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with –”, adding the first letter of the object they’ve chosen. The other players then have to guess what they’ve seen. The player who guesses correctly gets to choose the next object.

Top tip: Sometimes the best option is hiding in plain sight. No one ever guesses “Fences”.

I’m going on a picnic

There are plenty of great memory games to play in the car; but this is the best. The first player starts the game by announcing that they are going on a picnic and that they are taking (for example) apples – anything that begins with the letter A is fair game. The next player repeats the phrase “I’m going on a picnic and taking apples” (again, for example), then adds their own object beginning with the letter B. And so on.

As the list gets longer, the more difficult it becomes to remember what everyone is bringing to the picnic. Just don’t play this game when you’re hungry, or you’ll all start to get jealous of whoever is going on a picnic and taking “apples, banoffee pie, chocolate, doughnuts …”

Spot the car

A good car game in more than one sense. In Spot the Car, each player picks a colour and then counts the number of cars of that colour on the road within a fixed time limit. The player who spots the most cars of their chosen colour wins. There are plenty of variations of this game — such as make of car, license plates beginning with a certain letter, or vehicle type. For a real challenge, try spotting cars with different country stickers.

These simple kids’ car games should keep even the rowdiest of backseat passengers entertained for an hour or so. So the next time your kids are getting restless on a road trip, give them a go – you’ll all be having fun in no time.

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