Southern Mom Loves: 10 Classic Car Trip Games {No Game Pieces or Electronics Required!}

10 Classic Car Trip Games {No Game Pieces or Electronics Required!}

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Do you remember playing games during road trips in the family car, like slugbug and the license plate game? There were no game pieces needed, and no electronics required. They were a great way to keep kids entertained, get the family talking, and even the driver could play. If you want to bust boredom in the car and incorporate some of these fun games in your next road trip, keep reading for 10 classic car trip games with instructions on how to play each one!

It seems like we’re always trying to think of ways to keep our kids entertained while traveling. Your bag of tricks may be overflowing, but that tablet might not keep the kids busy the whole trip and you don't need to purchase a load of travel games that you know your kids will lose the pieces to!

Think back to the road trips you took as a kid. Chances are you didn’t have anything fancy. Your parents loaded you up in the car and off you went. What your parents did have was an endless supply of car trip games to keep you occupied. These games didn’t require pieces, boards, or even paper. All you needed were words and to pay attention. Let’s take a closer look at some classic car trip games!


An absolute classic. The way Slugbug works is everyone watches for Volkswagen Beetles. The classic version of the game (siblings will remember this) has you yell "slugbug" as soon as you see one and lightly punch your opponent's arm. A friendlier version has you thump the ceiling of the car.

Everyone playing the game must be present in order for the sighting to count. Whoever gets in the most thumps during the trip wins.

I Spy

The way I Spy works is you take turns saying, “I spy with my little eye…____” and then you fill in the blank with whatever you spot. For example, you might say, “I spy with my little eye...something blue.” Then the others in the car take turns to guess what the item is. The winner of the round is the next one to "spy".

Two Truths and a Lie

The way this works is that each person takes turns telling two truths and one lie. The others in the car work to determine which one is a lie. This can be a fun way to share interesting facts with your kids or simply share stories from your past.

The Alphabet Game

Another fun game is the Alphabet Game. Each person in the car works to spot each letter in the alphabet in order. Each person starts with "A", then "B", and so on, so each person will have to go through the whole alphabet.

Multiple people cannot use the same object for their letter, so the first to spot it and say it out loud gets the letter. The word doesn’t have to start with the letter you’re searching for, it just has to contain it. You cannot use one object for multiple letters (ex.: "about" for both the letters A and B) and you cannot use anything in or on the car. The first person to work their way through the alphabet wins.

20 Questions

This is another simple game. One person thinks of an object or person and another person gets twenty questions to ask to try to determine what the person is thinking of. For example: Is it cold? Is it colorful? Is it human?

The License Plate Game

For this one, all you have to do is keep an eye out for the license plates of passing cars or cars in the parking lots of the places you stop. You can work together or individually to spot license plates from different states. If you’re on a trip across the country, this can be so much fun. Work to spot as many states as you can.

Tell a Story

Go around the car telling a story. Each person adds a few words or sentences at a time; You can decide the rules before you start. It can be a scary story or a fairy tale that quickly turns silly! This can go on as long as your kids stay interested.

How Many?

Choose a category and see how many can be named. For example, you might ask your kids to name as many types of candy as they can or how many birds they can. There are so many questions you can ask!

You can even get specific and go through the alphabet naming as many of one specific type of thing as you can, like animals that begin with the letter A, then B, and so on.

Who Am I?

Think of a character from a movie, book, or TV show your child has seen and let them ask questions until they figure out who it is.

What’s Better?

Another fun car trip game is to play What’s Better. The way it works is that you ask what’s better between two items and the child answers. You then ask what’s better between the winner of the first question and another item. For example, you might ask what’s better? Dogs or cats. If the kids answer dogs, you would then ask what’s better? Dogs or ice cream? And so on and so on. This is a fun family game that can go on for hours!


There are so many great games you can play without needing to buy anything extra. Don’t worry about cramming your car with travel games and toys! All you need is an arsenal of these verbal car trip games in case the batteries die, and even the driver can play to break up the monotony of a long, boring drive.

Do you play any of these classic car games? Are there any you play that I didn't list here? Teach me! I love to read your comments!

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