The 7 best car games to keep your kids quiet

Last updated by on March 15th, 2022

It’s the summer holiday season and millions of parents are set to take to UK roads with their kids in the back.

While most parents don’t cherish the thought of a six-hour drive, with two moaning kids in the car, there’s no need to dread the family road trip. We’ve got ways to distract the kids, keep them busy and stop them asking questions like, “Are we there yet?”.

We’ve found 7 ways you can keep your kids quiet in the backseat of your car.

1. I-Spy

A timeless classic. Spot an object, give the other players the first letter, let them guess what you’ve seen.

All players must announce the first letter of their chosen object with the words: “I-Spy with my little eye, something beginning with [insert letter]”.

Whoever guesses the object gets a go next time round. Simple.

2. The Picnic Game

The Picnic Game is a famous one that you can pretend is educational because it involves the alphabet.

It’s a memory based game where players take turns to remember what everyone has said.

The first player begins by saying, “I’m going for a picnic and I’m bringing…”, they then think of a picnic item beginning with the letter A. The next player has to recite what the previous player said before adding their own item that begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

e.g. “I’m going for a picnic and I’m bringing apples and bread”

This is then repeated and the winner is the last player to recite all of the items on the list. If you forget an item, you’re out.


3. Road Trip bingo

This one requires a bit of preparation because you need special bingo cards but it will keep the kids busy and on the lookout.

You can get free, printable road trip bingo cards online, or you can make them yourself, and they should have different objects and things that you will see on the road listed on them.

When a child completes a line they win. Simple.

TIP: Use counters rather than pens to mark the bingo card, that way you can use them more than once.

4. Hangman

A Classic. Hangman is a simple game that requires a pencil and a piece of paper.

One player thinks of a person, place, film or book title and writes an underscore for each letter of each word, leaving spaces if there’s more than one word.

The player then draws a hangman scaffold before the other players take a guess. Every time there’s an incorrect guess, a body part is drawn on the scaffold and when the body is completed, the game is over.

The aim of the game is to guess the words before the body is complete.

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5. Connect the dots

Connect the dots is another school classic that needs nothing more than a pencil and paper.

Players draw dots in a grid. It’s easiest to draw 10 rows of 10 dots, with each dot 1cm away from the next (squared paper makes this easy).

Players then have to connect two adjacent dots using horizontal or vertical lines, taking it in turns to draw a single line.

The aim of the game is to make as many boxes as possible. When you make a box, put your initials in it to show it’s yours. The player with the most completed boxes wins.

6. Spot the car

Spot the car is a simple game that can be made more complicated if your kids are finding it a little easy.

At the start of every trip, pick a brand, type or colour of car to look out for on the road. The first person to spot the chosen car wins that round.

7. Tablet

If in doubt, charge the tablet, fill it with videos and games, get a portable charging device and give them some noise cancelling headphones.

It’s less ‘family time’ but it should be quieter.

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