40 Games to Play on Long Car Rides with Teens and Tweens
Road trips with teens and tweens can sometimes feel like a rodeo. Preparing a few games to play on long car rides can make all the difference.
Road trippin’ is one of our favorite games to play on long car rides. Here’s how you play. First, choose a year and search for the Billboard top 100 songs. We started with the year the first child was born. Let each person in the family find their favorite song from that year and add it to the queue on Spotify or Apple music. No one shares the song they chose, it’s a surprise when it is played (bonus points if someone can guess who added it). Play all the songs and sing along. Our rule is no one can complain or say a song is lame, just have fun with it. Add the songs to your road trip playlist, then go to the next year, look up the Billboard chart and choose again! This was such a fun way to pass the time and create some shared memories. I think you will love it!
Other Music Games to Play on Long Car Rides
Name That Tune
This game is a classic! Someone picks a song and starts humming, singing, or playing it. The rest of the car guesses what the song is. You can choose randomly or decide on a theme like, Taylor Swift, Marvel scores, or Country.
Guess the Artist
Similar to Name that Tune but now players have the chance to guess the artist of the song. One mom likes to offer a cash prize for whoever can guess the name first.
Make a Special Playlist
Before the trip, have everyone pick 3 to 5 favorite songs and add them to a playlist. Then put the playlist on shuffle and try to guess who chose each song! Players will love the element of surprise with this one! Make sure to name your playlist so you can pull it up again later to reminisce on the good times.
Songs by State
When traveling through multiple states have one person look up the number one song about the state you are in! Search for famous bands or artists from the area as well. You might find some pretty funny songs and learn cool facts along the way.
When kids choose the music, mom and dad get to play ball. When the parents give three strikes, your music is out!
Guess that Disney Song
Play songs from Disney’s top hits. Whoever guesses what movie it is from first wins that round. The first person to guess which character sings the song gets a bonus point.
Give everyone a turn to pick the next song. No complaining!
Ear Splitting Fun
Pick a playlist with a few slightly annoying songs. Think Disney, Kidz Bop, or Cocomelon, a toddler playlist for the most daring might do the trick. Then, each person can choose three songs to skip. If no one chooses to skip a song, everyone has to listen. Teenagers get a kick out of this one.
Try Something on Audio
Turn off the tunes and switch to something on audio. Teens love comedy skits, mysteries, and podcasts. Try Kind World, Story of the World, Circle Round, Rebel Girls, Smash Boom Best, and TED Radio Hour. Or try something from The Best Audiobooks for the Whole Family.
Search and Find Games to Play on Long Car Rides
The ABC game
See who can find all the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order first! Look at signs, license plates, vehicle decals, or whatever else you can find. If players need a challenge, change the game every so often by calling out things like, “Only license plates!” or “No street signs for the next three minutes!”
The Numbers Game
A close cousin to The ABC Game is The Numbers Game. Players start at 0 and go as high as they can. Single digits will be easy, two digits will seem a bit more challenging, and three digits will be pushing players to their breaking point!
The perfect game for the inevitable backroads. Count cows! Each player gets a side of the car and starts counting, when they pass a graveyard on their side they must “bury” all their cows and start over. The person with the most cows at the end of the drive wins.
If you find yourself on the main roads and miss counting cows, consider counting cabs instead! Each player picks a color and counts the diesel truck cabs in that color. For this game, it’s recommended to count cabs on either side of the car. First one to 100 (or whatever number you choose) wins!
Hunt for the American Flag
Each player counts all the American flags they pass. The only catch is, anyone with an even number of flags at the end of the drive loses.
The Rainbow Game
Look for cars in rainbow order. So, first look for red, then orange, and so on. Great for younger kids or around town on shorter drives.
Create a Mega Scavenger Hunt
One mom likes to make a mega scavenger hunt for her kids. She includes 100 things for them to see and do during the trip. Including a mix of easy and hard tasks to keep things interesting. When a player gets ten items they get to choose a prize from the stash. Examples of items you could include on your own mega scavenger hunt include: spot a broken windmill, count 50 cows, spot Bigfoot, get carsick, or try a new food.
Games to Play on Long Car Rides
Similar to the popular basketball game HORSE, the goal is not to spell GHOST. Players take turns adding one letter at a time, hoping to add a letter to a possible word without actually finishing it and without spelling a shorter word in the process. For each loss, a player accrues a letter until they have spelled GHOST and are out. Last person standing wins!
Never forget the classic games to play on long car rides!
Mad Libs are even funnier if you’ve got a mix of kids, teens, and adults! Here is a fun mad libs book we like.
Going on a Picnic
The first player gets things started by saying “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing… bananas”. The second person continues, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing bananas and … chocolate chip cookies!” The third person would continue saying they are bringing bananas, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza. Play continues until there is just one person who can remember all the items.
One player says a word out loud. The next person says a word that starts with whatever the last letter of the word before them was. Their last letter starts the next word and so on and so forth.
This fun game can be easily stowed in your glove compartment and come out for road trips. One mom loves to set a timer and have everyone put their phones away and play together at the top of each hour for ten minutes. Make it more exciting by keeping score and offering a cash prize to the winner.
Would you Rather?
Kick off your drive with these well loved Would you Rather questions!
The License Plate Game
First person to find a license plate from all 50 states wins!
This game works well for a variety of ages. One player thinks of a character from a favorite show or movie. The rest of the car asks questions to determine which character the person is thinking of.
Going on a Trip
One person picks a theme and says “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a (blank). Then the other players take turns asking if they can bring something. The person says yes or no depending on if the item is on theme. Players try to guess the theme.
Build a Story
Make up a story together! The first person starts the story and can only say one sentence and then it moves to the next person who can only say one sentence and so on. The stories can get pretty funny, pretty fast!
Someone starts a made up story and right when it gets suspenseful or surprising says, “and then…” and the next person must pick up the story where the previous player left off. This is another one where the stories can take some hilarious turns.
This or That?
Try searching for a list to pull from off Google or think of questions on your own. M&Ms or Skittles? Cats or dogs? Winter or summer?
Bubble Gum Fun
One mom buys a pack of bubblegum to pull out whenever the kids start reaching their tipping point. She’ll challenge everyone in the car to blow the biggest bubble. What a fun way to distract everyone from the mundane drive.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a game where players challenge each other to arbitrarily choose an actor and then connect them to another actor via a film that both actors have appeared in together, repeating this process to try to find the shortest path that ultimately leads to, you guessed it, Kevin Bacon. If your kids don’t know Kevin Bacon, pick any two actors and try to connect them within seven movies. This game gets easier the more you play!
Try your hand at a different accent, and another, and another. Challenge a seat mate to do the same.
Too Cool for School
Turn on some popular music but challenge everyone in the car to not hum, sing, or dance along. Anyone caught grooving gets a point. The player with the least amount of points at the end of the game wins. One of the most perfect games for a long car ride with tweens!
Find that Song
Say a random word (blue, bumpy) or name a category (starts with Z, type of fruit) and have the kids race to queue up a song with that clue in it. For younger kids, allow the clue to appear anywhere in the song. For older kids, the clue must be in the title!
There is nothing better than trying to solve a good riddle. This is our favorite book of riddles.
This is great for all ages! See who can spot the most slug bugs, also known as the Volkswagen Beetle, on the road! When you see one, shout it out and say the color of the car (yellow slug bug!). Those kinds of sightings are worth one point. Classic bugs are worth 2, and vans worth 5. Really old bugs are worth ten! You can time this game, or play it until you arrive at your destination. Whoever has the most points wins. 🙂
A classic game that can last as long as you want. Pick out a person, place or thing. Everyone in the car can take turns asking yes-or-no questions about what it is, or who it is, you may be thinking of. No two people should ask the same question, and no one can answer more than 20 questions. Whoever guesses correctly first goes next!
Relationship Building Games to Play on Long Car Rides
Family History Guess Who
First, choose a family member to talk about. This person can be alive, deceased, immediate, or extended. Give one clue about the family member and let the others guess who it is. Add clues one by one until there is a winner!
One person thinks of a family event or memory. The rest of the car asks questions about who was there, where they were and what everyone was doing. Then the players get to guess what the event or memory is. What a fun way to remember and celebrate special family moments!
Take turns picking songs that remind the players of each other and guess who the song is for. It’s so fun to see what kids pick out for each other.
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What games make your long drives go by quickly with older kids?