Five fun games to play on long car journeys

Games for long car journeys

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We are coming up to the season of long car journeys to see those relatives whose names you can barely remember.

And that means carting the kids across the country. 

You have strapped them into their car seats, having fed them and ensured they have been for a ‘just in case’ wee. You are ready for the journey, right? No, you are not.

How are you going to entertain them during the forthcoming trip? With fun games to play on long car journeys of course.


If you need a little inspiration coming up with ways to keep the children happy and content in order to give yourself the best chance of travelling for ten whole minutes without hearing the classic question “are we nearly there yet?”, this Dadsnet guide is essential reading. Bookmark it now! 

Games for long car journeys

Spot that car! 

There are a number of ways you can play Spot That Car!, but they all involve each traveller picking a certain type of vehicle and keeping an eye out for them on the road. The person who spots the most of their designated type wins. 

For example, you can pick colours, so one child looks for red cars, the other goes for green and you pick blue. You win a point for each of them spotted and, in the interests of calm, verified by at least one other passenger. Alternatively, you can each take a make of car or a type of vehicle (car, van, HGV etc).


Treasure hunt

Another way to entertain kids in on long car journeys is to set a treasure hunt. No, you don’t need to look out for Anneka Rice in a pastel shell suit, dangling from a helicopter. Instead, you make a list of items that each player has to ‘collect’ by spotting them.

Get them to keep a look out for a castle, a farm, some sheep, a sign to your destination, a cement mixer, the sea or anything else you might expect to witness along the route. 

Games for long car journeys

Car rules

Each of the passengers gets to set their own rule for the journey that everyone else must follow. This could be anything from performing a Mexican wave around the car every time you see a motorway services to high fiving under every bridge. You can be as silly or as sensible as you like with these rules but remember that you will have to carry out the actions every time it is appropriate, so don’t make them too taxing. 

Who can stay quiet the longest?

If you ask kids to be quiet on long car journeys, chances are the request will fall on deaf ears. However, make a game of it and kids can’t help but rise to the challenge.

Who can stay quiet the longest? That is the simple premise of this game that will buy you some much needed peace and quiet and, if you are a passenger, possibly even a quick snooze. Of course, the kids won’t be able to keep it up for long, but it buys you time on the journey and that’s part of the battle. 

car journeys

Beat the Intro

The fifth of the fun games to play on long car journeys is Beat the Intro. You can use the radio, your MP3 player, Spotify or any other source for this. The premise is that you score points by being the first person to shout out the name of the song based simply on the introduction. 

This can become fairly heated, but it is great fun as people sacrifice listening intently in order to be the first and, in the process, end up shouting out something ridiculous. Hilarity ensues. 


If you have any other fun games to play on long car journeys, add them in the Comments and we can help parents avoid at least some of the bickering and boredom that go hand in hand with traveling with small children. 

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