Making time fly when stuck in the car

Had enough of “Are we there yet?” while stuck in traffic or on the road during vacation? Try these tips and car games to pass the time on your next road trip!

What do you do when the tablet battery is dead, the smart phone is monopolizing the charger, and no one can agree on music?

Don’t worry! Here are some few ideas to help everyone in the car pass the time, whether you have two passengers or seven, or if  the car is filled with little devils or impatient grown-ups.


-Sort your snacks in a compartment box. It’s super practical, and really nice to look at!

-Pack napkins and utensils in a resealable plastic bag, to keep them clean and always have them accessible if someone is hungry!


Lots of phone apps, like Google maps, allow downloads of map sections so you can browse them offline. This insures smooth navigation when you don’t have data on your phone!


You should have an emergency kit at all times in the car. Need help putting one together? We have an article for you!


Making use of the alphabet

  • For kids: Players take turns naming animals beginning with each letter of the alphabet in order. If you say “alligator”, your son says “bear”, your spouse says “cobra”, and so on and so forth. If a player cannot name an animal on his or her turn, he or she is eliminated. The game ends when there is only one player left or if you get to “zebra” — oops “z”!
  • For adults: If you are a group of adults or if your children are old enough, you can come up with endless variations of the game. The game can include children’s names, cities, Beatles’ songs, film titles, etc. The game is more fun when it is geared to the players’ level.

Who am I? 20 questions

The person who goes first thinks of a real or fictitious person and the other players must guess who it is by asking questions, where only yes or no responses are allowed. The questions typically start off quite general than it narrows in on specific details. For example, it may begin with a question like:

  • Is it a woman?
  • Is she living?
  • Is she a singer?
  • Is she Canadian?

Players who think they know the identity of the mystery person must wait their turn and then ask the question directly. The game ends if someone guesses correctly or if no one gets the answer after 20 questions have been asked. The game works with all age groups, but you have to know your audience before choosing Nelson Mandela or Spiderman!

Young children can get carried away, shouting out answers spontaneously without relying on clues. Avoid a free for all and make the game more enjoyable by adopting a rule that no one is allowed to guess before the tenth question.

I spy with my little eye

Remember this line – “I spy with my little eye something that is…blue!”? Here’s a recap down memory lane! The player who goes first describes something that can be seen from the car and everyone else takes turns guessing what it is. The game ends when someone guesses correctly or after a set number of clues.

This is a good game to play when you’re stuck in traffic and if you can choose objects that remain in sight either because they are big (like a mountain) or they repeat (like purple flowers on the roadside or fast food restaurant billboards). Young children generally have more fun guessing the answer than picking an object to describe. Depending on their age, you could also begin with objects inside the car.

I went to market…

This game of concentration requires no previous knowledge and children are often better at it than adults. It’s a memory game that’s sure to hold everyone’s attention. Each player must repeat all the items that have already been” placed in the basket” and add one of their own items.  Check out the conversation example below:

First player – When I go to the supermarket, I put carrots in my basket

Second player – When I go to the supermarket, I put carrots and some broccoli in my basket.

Third player – When I go to the supermarket, I put carrots, broccoli and some artichokes in my basket.

A player who fails to list the items in order is eliminated. The player who makes no mistakes wins. You can make it an educational game by limiting the items in the basket to fruit and vegetables to encourage healthy eating – as you pass all those fast food billboards along the highway!

Spoken karaoke

All games described above require points to determine a winner. This isn’t the case with spoken karaoke. It’s a fun and creative game that involves constructing a dialogue between two or more people using only song lyrics. In a few turns, the game gets so hilarious that you’ll wish you were recording it. If you have trouble getting started you can use these lines:

  • “Who let the dogs out?” (Baha Men)
  • Roooooxane (The Police)

– …

When children are involved, combine lyrics that they know by heart to create something new. The game ends when the story stops making any sense, which will depend on your tolerance for silliness!


Have fun, be careful and don’t distract the driver, whether you’re on the highway or city streets. Bon voyage!




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