Long Drives are killer when you have kids in the back; they want to know if you’re there yet, why you aren’t moving, and how much longer this ride will take. Luckily, a few simple games can take all of your minds off of the state of the roads and get you all laughing and having fun again. Here are the best 10 games to play when you’re stuck in traffic.
1. 20 QUESTIONS
This is a classic that you might already know how to play. One player thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the others take turns asking yes or no questions to try and figure out what it is. After 20 questions are asked, the players have one guess of what the person, place, or thing is; if a player guesses right, they win, but if no one guesses, the player that picked it wins.
2. THE ABC GAME
In this game, players can work together or compete against one another to complete the whole alphabet with the things they see around them. Players look at signs, license plates, billboards and objects for words that start with each letter from A to Z.
3. THE ACRONYM GAME
This game is fun and gets the creative juices flowing. Players look at license plates around them for a series of letters and then have to come up with an acronym that those letters may stand for. For example, the license plate with “WAKP” can stand for “why are kangaroos pink.” The player who comes up with the silliest name or phrase is the winner.
4. ENDLESS ANIMALS
One player starts by naming an animal, and the next must name an animal that starts with the last letter of that animal, and so on. For example, a player could start with “elephant,” and the next player could pick “turtle.” A player that cannot come up with an animal beginning with the correct letter is eliminated, and the last player standing wins.
This game might take a little pre-planning if you don’t have the right materials with you. Use paper or cardboard to make bingo cards with 5 columns and 5 rows, and fill each square with something you’ll probably see on the road (like “motorcycle” or “McDonald’s billboard”). Players can use post-it notes, stickers, or just plain check marks to mark what they find, and the first one to get a bingo wins.
But/so is a never-ending story game that lets your imagination run wild. One player makes a statement, and each line of the story after that begins with “but” and “so” in alternation. For example, a player may start with “A baby dolphin wanted to go play with his friends,” and the next could say “but he didn’t know how to swim,” and after that, “so he bought some water wings” and so on. The game ends when you feel you have a complete story or can’t come up with a new line.
7. COUNTING COWS
Someone selects a certain amount of time or miles that the game will be played, and then two players choose the side of the road they will count cows on. If you pass a cemetery on one side, that player’s cow count goes back to zero. The player who has the highest number by the stopping point wins.
8. ROAD TRIVIA
For this game, one player chooses a letter of the alphabet, and other players must look to their surroundings and find something that begins with that letter. This can go on for however many letters or objects you choose. Whoever comes up with the most words wins!
9. THE STATE SEARCH
This game also involves a bit of preparation. Take a white map of the United States, leave your own state uncolored, but make your border states a single color. Then make their border states a different color, and so on and so forth until all states are colored. Assign point values to each color; closer states will be fewer points than farther states. Look at license plates of the cars around you to see what state they’re from, and mark down the states you see. Whoever gets the most points wins!
10. THE COUNTING GAME
The goal of the counting game is to see how high you can collectively count without going in order. A player starts by saying “one,” and players at random shout out the next number. The catch is that if two players say the same number at the same time, or if there’s a pause for more than 5 seconds, you must start over. Try and see if you can get to 20!