Car Games for Kids and Adults, Big Things Australia - Travelmate Fun Trip
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This game is for anyone who can count. The aim is to get to 20 points and it is played as follows:

1. Each player selects a car colour.
2. Every time you see a car in that colour you get 1 point.
3. Every time you see a semi-trailer you lose 1 point.
4. Police cars, fire engines and ambulance vehicles each gain you 5 points.
You can also add certain obstacles or add points according to your environment.

Submitted by Craig

Beetle Bash / Car Spotting
Look for Volkswagens on the road ahead (cars behind you don"t count): The first person to spot one yells the words "Beetle Bash" and LIGHTLY punches the person next to them.

A variant of this is to also look for Mini Minors and Mini Mokes and say the words "Pinch Mini" or "Poke Moke" as they apply. Then LIGHTLY pinch or poke the person next to you.

Submitted by Annie and Jenny

Black Magic
This game sounds a little complicated but is great fun to play. Basically, someone decides a rule and keeps it a secret and the other players have to try and guess it by asking questions.

Let’s say you decide the rule is, any question asked about a black object is answered “yes”. The questions might go like this:

Is it Mum"s sweater? A. No
Is it the car seat covers? A. No
Is it the seat belt? A. Yes (because it’s black)
Is it the box of tissues? A. No
Is it the console? A. Yes (because it’s black)

Each player takes a turn to ask a question until they work out the pattern. As they work it out, they drop out of the game, leaving the remaining players to figure it out.

Other ideas for rules might be, every object that contains the letter “a” is answered “yes”. You could also try objects that contain a double letter, like “tissue” or “book”.

Submitted by Macca

Bugs Slugs
When you see a volkswagon of any kind, you must be the first person to say "bugs slug" as many times as the people in your car. Being the first means you earn a point and everyone else loses a point. At the end of your trip, add up the points and the person with the most is the winner. They get a lollie or some other prize.

Submitted by megzie and cutiepieash

Car Alphabet
The aim of this game is to see and call car number plates that begin with a letter of the alphabet, starting at “A” and working through to “Z”. Every player has to find a car starting with each letter, so, to stop you all picking the same cars, it’s good to take it in turns with the cars that pass you.

Each player has, say, 3 cars, then it’s the next person’s turn. Did one of the passing cars have the letter you are looking for?

Emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire engines and ambulances have special value and whoever first spots one of these can progress to the next letter of the alphabet.

Submitted by David

Car Cricket
This game is best played on a two lane highway. It is suitable for all ages but younger children may need help adding up.

Each person in the car takes a turn batting. To score, you add up the value of the vehicles passing in the opposite direction. Scores are:

Cars = 1 run
Cars with a trailer = 2 runs
Bus or truck = 4 runs (a boundary)
Semi-trailer = 6 runs

The batter continues to score until a red car passes, in which case they are out. The next batter takes the crease. The game can be played until a player reaches 100. The rules are very flexible and it’s lots of fun especially when everyone gets involved looking ahead for red cars. It’s a bit of a bummer when there are two red cars in a row and it’s your turn to bat….

If you want to use a different scoring, you could try: car 1 run, ute 2, motorbike 3, caravan 4, bus 5 and truck OUT!)

Submitted by Andrew and Janine

Continuous Story
A player has one minute to tell a story (about absolutely anything, true or silly). The next person continues the story for one minute, using their imagination and taking the story in any direction. Each person gets a turn and the story can get funnier and zanier.

Submitted by Terry

Count the Cars
Each player chooses a car colour . Then they have to say how many they think will see before we get to a certain spot. eg "I think we will see 25 white cars before we get to the next town".

The player who is closest to their guess is the winner.

You can make it harder by also choosing a car model eg "I think we will see 5 red station wagons before we get the next petrol station.&dbquo;

Suggested by Peggy

A person names a country starting with the letter "A". The next person names one starting with the letter "B". Progress through the alphabet with the next person using the next letter. Once you are down to "Z", you can start again at the letter "A", as there can be many country names for some letters eg. America, Australia, Angola etc.

Suggested by Margaret

Find the Alphabet
Players have to find each letter of the alphabet in order from objects outside the car.

If this is too easy, you can play this game with categories. For example, a player picks the category "birds" and says they should have five letters. Each player then names a bird with five characters in its name. They then have to find the letters on number plates, road signs, or any other object outside the car.

Submitted by Katrina and Melissa

Guess the Car
One person has to make a "guess" e.g. the fifth next car will be red (or a Holden etc.) If they are right, they win a point. Everyone in the car takes a turn for as long as the game is played. The person with the most points wins and gets lollies or doesn't have to wash up!!

Submitted by Rob

(Ed: Our test panel loved this game but we have reservations about its capacity for accurate scoring and warn that it’s not for those seeking a quiet drive.)

While driving along, if you spot a plot of land next to the road with cows grazing, wind down the window and yell as loud as you can “HEY COW!” to the cows, and count how many actually turn their heads and look. This game can last as long as the trip, and the winner is the one who has counted the most cows who’ve turned their heads.

Submitted by Michael

Last Letter
One player says a place or country name and the next player has to say a place name starting with the last letter of the previous name e.g. England, Denmark, Kensington, Nigeria.

A variation is to use other categories, such as the food in your pantry - spaghetti / ice cream / marzipan. You could also try other themes like clothing items, Italian dishes, etc., or maybe singers and bands e.g. Led Zeppelin / Nene Cherry / Yardbirds. (Note: "The" does not count, so “The Clash”, for instance, can only be said if you need to use the letter "C".)

Players are eliminated when they say the wrong word or repeat something previously said or can’t think of a word.

Submitted by Jacqui, Tammy and Glenn

Match the Word
The object of the game is to complete the alphabet.

Every player starts at the letter A. When you find any word on any sign (roadside signs, businesses, cars, advertisements, bill boards) starting with the letter that you are on. Then you move to the next letter. The first person reaching Z is the winner.

When you see a word beginning with the letter that you need, you first call out the word e.g. Audi for A and then move to the next letter and so on until Z.

Just a hint - because of the lack of words beginning with X and Z we allow those two letters to be in the word. For example Mazda could be used for Z.

Suggested by Daniel

Name Game
This game is easy in the country but tricky in the city!

When a car goes past you have to try to beat your opponents in calling out a name for the first letter of the number plate. You get one point for each name you get right if you"re the first one to call out a name! Enjoy!

Sent by Y. Smith

Name That Movie
Start with a person choosing a category eg movie, song, cartoon, animated character, etc.... and then the next person has to think of a movie that starts with the last letter of that movie"s name. e.g. start with Terminator, next person says Robocop 2(two) next person says, Outrageous Fortune and so on.

When a person can"t think of a name, they are out of the game and the letter gets passed on to the next person. So if the person who got out could not think of a name starting with P then the next person has to think of a name starting with P.

Once you have started with a category, e.g.cartoons, you have to stick with that until the end of the game. You can"t repeat a name until a new game. You can use numbers, eg:Rocky1, Rocky2.. or Aliases, Clark Kent alias Superman.

The winner is the only person not out.

Suggested by Ian

Name that Plate
In this game, players aim to make a real word from ALL the letters on a number plate. The first and last letter on the plate must be the first and last letters of the word. e.g. LKD-456 would make the word LOCKED or LIKED.

Only cars travelling in the same direction can be used, and the point is given to the first player to make a word. The winner is the first player to reach 20 and the driver gets to decide whether or not a word is acceptable.

A variation could be to award 4 points for words using the letters in the same order as the number plate, and only 2 points for words using the letters in any order.

Submitted by Fred and Claudine

Pick the Song
(This is a simpler version of Name That Tune and Golden Oldies with a nice idea for rewards.)

Put a cassette tape on with various artists and the first person to pick the singer/group (2 points) and name of the song (1 point) receives the points. The person who has the most points at the end of side 1 of the tape, picks the lunch venue for the day or goodie purchased at the next service station.

This can also be played with a CD player or the radio, if you prefer.

Submitted by Narelle

Pub Cricket
We used to play this game in England on car trips. The names of pubs were observed. If the name contained a reference to a person or animal, the number of legs was the number of "runs" scored e.g. "The Green Man" would score 2 runs, a pub called "The Coach and Four" would score 18 runs! (The "four" is 4 horses x 4 legs each, plus an extra 2 runs for the coach driver"s legs).

If a pub"s name didn"t mention legs, a wicket was lost. "The Two Chimneys" (a pub just outside Letchworth in Hertfordshire) would lose a wicket. 10 wickets and you"re out.

Submitted by Peter

Rhyme Time
Take it in turns to read aloud the next sign you see and make a rhyme. For example, South Creek "See you in a week", "I want to take a peek", or "I need to take a leak".

Can be used for any type of signs. Be as crazy as you can.

Submitted by Corina.

Silly Sentences
A great game for anywhere there is another car in front of you. Use the letters of the number plate you see to make silly sentences. For example, CLR 431 could make Crocodiles Love Rainbows and ODS 999 would be Our Dad Smells.

You could also use the letters to make someone’s name or some weird character. Children might then like to draw the characters they create with pen and paper.

Another option is to use the numbers as well, as in LJP 123 is Lucy Jumps Puddles 123 times.

No points are scored and the winner can be the one with the most idiotic/funny phrase.

Submitted by Darryl, Donna, Keren, Leanne and PE

Sky Dog
Each player looks out their window at the clouds. They try to find a cloud shaped like a dog or a dog's head in the sky. When a player spots this, they call out " Sky dog!" and point. Everyone else then has to find it before the cloud formations change. There is no scoring. You can vary the game by getting players to find other animals or shapes in the clouds. It is a good distraction from car sickness as it gets kids to look at far away objects.

Submitted by Clare

We cut out pictures and put them on cardboard before we leave and the children then find the object along the way. We use pictures of things like a red car, a tractor, an aeroplane, a cow and so on. We also cover the pictures in contact and the children use crayon to tick them off. This can be wiped off and we can re-use the pictures for each trip we make.

Suggested by Chris

(We think covering the games in contact is a great idea - which could also be used with Travelmate's Print Out games . Ed)

Swan Song
Someone sings the first line of a song. The next person, using the last letter in the line just sung, has ten seconds to sing a line from any other song commencing with that letter. Each person takes a turn.

Submitted by Keith

Wheel of Fortune
Our children pick a number from 1 – 10, and these numbers are then written on a tyre on the passenger side, at spaced intervals. We then draw an arrow on the mudflap.

Each time we stop off for food or recovery we look to see whose number is nearest the arrow on the mudflap. The person whose number it is wins $1 or some other reward that has been decided on.

Submitted by Keren

Where`s That WA Car From?
(This game can be played with cars from Western Australia as their number plates indicate which town has issued them.)

We check the number plates of cars we see on the road and have to guess what town or city they are from, i.e., KM is Kalamunda, KMC is Kalgoorlie etc. (We have a book that tells you all the number plate licences from various councils.) The kids love it and they learn where people live and who is out there travelling and how far away people live from us.

Submitted by Helen