By Kelly G.

Fun Games to Play in the Car!
Chances are good many of you will be traveling by car over the next couple of days.  If you are opposed to “plugging in” your kids for the trip, or simply need a break from the DVD, I Touch, or Nintendo DS, we’ve got some great options for you today! 

My older son is a big game player. We always have some kind of contest going on in the car, even if we are just driving to baseball practice. I gotta say, it’s kind of fun, and it keeps both kids entertained and talking with me. Here are some of our recent games.

Quiet Game

It’s the old teacher’s favorite—the last one to talk is the winner. I put this first because both kids have already lost but my husband and I are playing it right now. He is downstairs playing Yahtzee with the kids and not saying a word. I have no doubt that my husband will win, except he IS putting the kids to bed so maybe I will persevere when story time comes. (P.S. I won!!!)

Yummy and Yucky

This is based on a great board book: Yummy and Yucky by Leslie Patricelli (Candlewick, 2003). Each player comes up with a comparison of two things that are yummy and yucky. There has to be some sort of relationship between the two things, which is what keeps it interesting for older kids. (Younger kids do not have to observe this rule.) My favorite examples from our games are: “Noodles are yummy, but poodles are yucky.” “Cucumbers are yummy, but sea cucumbers are yucky.” Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are yummy, but peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches are yucky.” “Coffee is yummy, but coughing is yucky.” (This is a great exercise in analytical thinking, by the way.)


My son learned this one in kindergarten. You take turns saying the days of the week or moths of the year, with each person saying one day. When it’s a player’s turn to say, “Saturday,” the next person says, “Sparkle,” which means the person after the “Sparkle” is out. You play in rounds until one player is left. (Oh, and obviously kids learn days of the week and months of the year as a bonus.)

Green One!

I taught my kids the old VW Beetle game, but I use the color words like the ads do. I think my younger son learned his colors just so he could try to win this game. Now, it’s a matter of which one of them can kick my seat first and say, “Yellow one!” Our best time with this game was when my sneaky husband took a detour by the VW dealer and mayhem ensued.

License Plate

My favorite car game as a kid was finding license plates from out of state. I actually found a couple of magnetic board games for this purpose, but most of the time we just point and say, “Hey, that car is from Vermont!” (Check Cracker Barrel for really great travel games.)

Guess the Song

Remember “Name that Tune?” In our version, someone hums or whistles until someone else shouts out the name of the song. Since my younger son usually does the last song someone else did, it’s pretty easy to guess his. (He also favors songs from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. Go figure.)

Share your favorite car games with us below!