9 Word Games to Play With Your Kids to Beat Road-Trip Boredom

family on road trip

Heading out of town? Being on the road with your family shouldn't mean everyone puts on their headphones and settles in with their own electronic devices until you reach your destination. You can actually sneak in some family quality time and a little bit of learning along the way.


Try out one of these these word games for road trips on your next long car ride, and your family will have some serious fun. Maybe you'll feel as if you got there a little bit faster. And after a little bit of brain-teasing, you'll probably feel better about letting them have some screen time if you want.

More from CafeMom: 9 Smart Road Trip Tricks for Surviving Car Travel With Kids

1. Radio remix. Find a song the whole family knows the words to, but challenge each other to change the lyrics, using another topic for inspiration. Transform a love song into a ode to the family pet. An upbeat pop song can be the backdrop as you sing about getting ready for bed. The goal is to get through the entire song as a family while making up new lyrics.

2. The letter of the hour. Choose a letter of the alphabet and a set time frame. During the allotted time, see how many signs you see that contain the letter or objects you see that start with the letter. Everyone can choose their own letter, or if your family is up for some stiff competition, you can go head to head with a single letter and see who spies matching signs and objects the fastest.

3. License plate tag. Using the license plates on the cars of fellow drivers, see if you can spot every letter from A to Z before you reach your destination. 

More from CafeMom: 5 Easy Road Trip Snacks Parents & Kids Will Love

4. Rhyme time. Pick a word and go around the car with each person saying another word that rhymes. If you repeat a word or take more than five seconds to come up with a rhyme, you're out. The game continues until there's only one champion. If the timing works out, the winner can pick where the family stops for a snack break! 

5. Alphabet hunt. Starting with the letter "A," look at the things passing by your window and try to spy objects that correspond with all the letters of the alphabet until you reach "Z."

6. Create a group tale. Long car rides are a great time to tell stories, but making them up can be just as fun, especially if you do it as a family. Let a grown-up start the tale with a single sentence, and go around the car with each person adding a line to the story. The game is over when you wrap up your plot, or when everyone's laughing too hard to continue.

7. License plate word scramble. Use an easy-to-see license plate as your word bank, and see how many words you can create using those letters. 

More from CafeMom: Ten Fun Road Trip Games That Will Pass the Time Without Electronics

8. The end is the beginning. Pick a topic the whole family is familiar with, like food or cartoon characters. Take turns naming items that fit within the topic. The first letter of each thing must be the last letter of the previous thing. For example, if playing with food and someone says "ice cream," you can say any food that begins with the letter "M," like milk. The person who follows you would have to say a food that starts with the letter "K."

9. Telephone. You remember this one from childhood: Have one family member whisper a single sentence to another, and that person whispers what they heard to someone else. Continue until everyone's heard something, then have the last person say the sentence out loud to see just how much of the original message stayed the same and how much your family lost in translation.

Read More >