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15 Games to Entertain Kids on Long Car Journeys

"Are we nearly there yet?"

Remember this classic clip from 'The Simpsons'?

If you want to avoid the haunting chant of “are we nearly there yet?” on a car journey this year and don’t want to lean on technology, then keep reading as we have listed 15 free games to entertain kids on a long car journey. There's a couple of old school classics which the whole family can play, as well as some reworked lesser-known ones - and we have even created our own fantastic free games for you to enjoy!

‘The Car Treasure Trail’ - A Seriously Enjoyable Diversion!

A bit like 'Blockbusters' but with car colours. Print off our (not so accurate!) road map of Cornwall, colour in the cars (a mix of whichever colours you like) and then as you spot cars with those colours on your actual journey, move along the map to try to be the first to get to the finish line. This will tame the little monsters for about 30 minutes and will stop any ‘Are we nearly there yet?' comments coming your way.

Eyes Down, Look in – It’s Time for ‘I-Spy Car Bingo’!

‘I-Spy’ with a difference. Passengers keep their eyes peeled to cross items off their bingo cards which they spot whilst on their journey. Easy to play for all kids aged 5 – 105, you’ll be able to sit in relative silence listening to Anne-Marie Minhall on Classic FM or Dr Death on He4vy Met4l FM (if that’s what floats your boat) until someone shouts “house!”

‘The Bottle of Treasure’ – Perfect Pre-School Kiddies Paradise

Well, any age will enjoy this treasure hunt in a bottle but it is great for the really young. Prior to your journey fill a plastic bottle with sand or rice along with some small objects or letters and then challenge the munchkins to their very own treasure hunt in a bottle for some peace and quiet!

Sink Car Boredom with ‘I-Spy Battleships’

An original game combining two old classics of ‘Battleships’ and traditional ‘I-Spy’. Rather than choosing which squares to ‘fire’ in, your shots are determined by what you see out of the window whilst on your car journey. Great for grumpy pre-teens and bored-backseat drivers!

‘We’re All Arms & Legs!’ - The Raucous Rural Car Game

Keep those eyes peeled for road and pub signs on your side of the car to trump your fellow passengers. Perfect to power the car on giggle-juice, kids and adults from 5 and up will love this game.

(Either of these signs would be worth 8 points (6 legs and 2 arms!)).

The Timeless Classics – These Games Will Never Tire

Remember these ones… ‘Who am I?’, Traditional ‘I-Spy’, ‘What’s the Time Mr Wolf’ and our personal favourite (which later in life became a great drinking game!) ‘Buzz’.

Maths Made Fun! - It Must be ‘Car Cricket’

A game of cricket played in the car. Different coloured cars equate to a different number of runs, but watch out for a red car as you'll be out! Don’t worry, you don’t need to be in Mensa to keep count – this game should give you and anyone else aged 9-99 the ‘LOL’ factor for 30 minutes.

In the same way that Strawberry Laces aren’t one of your ‘5-a-day’, you can’t count this as your daily half hour of exercise.

Old Classic Memory Based Games

Some really great lesser known games which are good for improving the memory of little (and big) ones: ‘I Heard it First!’, ‘Let’s go Shopping’, ‘Chain Letter Game’ and ‘Number Plate Scrabble®’.

The Ultimate Word Search – Hours of Silence?

There is only one word to find, but we believe this is the hardest word search in the world, so much so that you might be able to drive from Carlisle to Cornwall with your 7 year old trying to find it. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know where the answer is as well so that an M25 mood doesn’t materialise!


  • Great ideas! We play a lot of number plate scrabble (our ‘children’ are 24, 19 and 12). Another one we like is 2 truths, 1 lie (so each player tells 3 statements about themselves and others have to guess which one is the lie) – which is a good way to show how much Dad never listens when Mum knows all the answers and he knows none 😉 Also – ‘would you rather?’ is good for car journeys. There are also quite a few games that you can buy which are small enough to take on a car journey – ‘Outburst’ is a fave of ours (lists of things in categories such as ‘things people take on holiday’ or ‘pizza toppings’ – one player is quiz master and the others have to guess which items are on the list). Happy journeying folks! 🙂

  • Fantastic ideas thanks for the help shame cant use most of them as both kids get travel sick but some really good ideas here!

  • If your children (or anyone else) suffers from travel sickness try this foolproof remedy….have them sit on a few folded newspapers and make sure they know to only look forward whilst moving. We put the pile of newspapers into an empty cushion cover to keep them all together – about one inch thick is fine. I promise you will be amaised!

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12th July 2016

Posted In: Travel Games