What are your favorite travel car games?

Two summers ago we started a new car game when we travel: Choose the hot song of the summer.

When we first start a road trip each family member chooses the song that they think will be played the most that summer. We base it on the songs being played on SiriusXM Hits 1 Channel 2, which are mostly pop. Then you sit back and count the number of times that each song is played. The winner is whoever picks song that is played the most. The game continues over each car trip. The kids can pick a new song or stick with their original choice.

Rose has already claimed “Love It” by Icona Pop and Walsh has chosen “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line. I’m not sure what song I am going to choose this year. The key is to pick one that is not too old, and it’s got to have a good hook and be light and poppy.

Last year Walsh won with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”  Rose came in second place with Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.” I was third with One Direction’s “What Makes you Beautiful.” The 5-year-old was next with “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. Michael chose a Pitbull song. He was in last place.

Our other game we play is trivia questions. Michael picked up the “National Geographic Kids 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!)” for the kids to quiz the family as we drive. We used to use the Dr. Seuss Quiz book when I was little.

What car games do you like to play when you travel?

55 comments Add your comment

Mother of 2

June 10th, 2013
6:24 am

Our favorite game is ” I went to Grandpa’s store.” One person says, “I went to Grandpa’s store and I bought something” ….blue, or square, or whatever you’d like. Grandpa’s store sells absolutely everything. Everyone asks questions about what you bought and then tries to guess. My kids are much older now and we still play the game.

Another fun thing to do on a long car ride is to listen to a book on CD. When the kids were younger, we listened to the Harry Potter books. Now that they are older, we try to find nonfiction books on a topic that everyone will enjoy.

Just Me Thinking...

June 10th, 2013
6:25 am

We still try to see who can spot the most out of state tags as possible before reaching our destination. Let me tell you doing this while driving from North FL to South FL is a JOB. There are more people from out of state than people who live here during spring break and certain parts of summer. We even saw a Hawaiian tag. Oh and you will not believe the amount of people from Alaska and Canada that drive all the way down here.

Annie

June 10th, 2013
6:42 am

Theresa, do you forget your youngest child’s name? Everyone else you refer to by name, yet when it comes to the youngest she’s “the five year old”. You’re going to give her a complex!

Mayhem

June 10th, 2013
7:06 am

We like to play “pass the slowpokes” on the highway.

We play cows and cemeteries...

June 10th, 2013
7:13 am

…start counting cows; then, every time you pass a cemetery you have to start over…

Vicki

June 10th, 2013
7:14 am

We’d play the song game, where someone starts singing a song and then stops on a word. Then, the rest of the people in the car have to think of a song that uses that word. They then start singing that song, and stop on a different word. This can last for an hour as different words and songs are used. (We were also be fans of the license plate game, as well as the alphabet billboard game —until you got to the letter X…)

FCM

June 10th, 2013
7:23 am

I pick Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason”.

We did the license plate and alphabet billboard game too. License plate is the favorite.

We also used the time to listen to books on CD. We did Mrs Piggle Wiggle and Harry Potter among others.

FCM

June 10th, 2013
7:25 am

TWG if Rose has not found “Divergent” and “Insurgent” yet, I recommend them to read. They are both on my 8th graders reading list, but Divergent will be out next March as a movie. It is like Hunger Games but written a whole lot better!

motherjanegoose

June 10th, 2013
8:19 am

The “”What Doesn’t Belong” game. Great for classifying and categorizing.

Name three items and try to figure out what would not go with the other two:

Examples:
A car, an elephant, a boat. Car and boat have an engine but car and elephant have a trunk.
A rug, a ruler, a scale. Rug and ruler measure but you stand on a rug and a scale.
Baseball, basketball, tennis. Two use a tool to hit the ball and two have a court to play on.

I love word games with kids!

DGAD

June 10th, 2013
8:30 am

We play “Find The Well-Written AJC Article”. No one ever wins!!!

Techmom

June 10th, 2013
8:30 am

We play a game on youth trips that goes, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking…” and then you go through the alphabet with the first person taking something that starts with the letter A. The 2nd person starts the same, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking…” whatever the first person chose and then something that starts with the letter B. Each person has to repeat everything that everyone else has already said as you go through the alphabet. Sometimes we’ll pick themes (so whatever you choose has to be an animal or a fruit or if you’re going say camping, it has to be a legitimate camping item, or it has to be something you would never take on a trip just to make it funny).

catlady

June 10th, 2013
8:51 am

We used to do a version of techmom’s games, but focusing on beginning sounds ( or medial, or final). I’m going to Mars and I am going to take mustard. The next person has to name that word and add a word that begins with d, etc. We also played cow poker, as recounted by “we play” above. We did state tags, and categorizing like MJG. We did synonyms and antonyms, and analogies. We did alliteration with town names. We listened to oldies music and the kids had to identify title and artist.

Nowadays kids watch videos. Quieter trips, I am sure, but less fun?

mystery poster

June 10th, 2013
9:01 am

@Techmom:
We also played that game. It can get hard to remember everything when you get way down the alphabet, but it’s fun.

We played a variation on that, too. Someone starts by naming a make or model of car. The next person has to say another car that starts with the letter the first one ends with, and on and on. For example, someone might start with Ford, then then next person gives Dodge, then Elantra, etc..

Besides cars, we have done the same game with cities/states, rock bands, food, just about anything you can name.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
9:17 am

@DGAD – How about “Find the Jerk in the Blog Comments”? – DGAD wins.

This is a great topic for summer. I like the National Geographic trivia book idea, as my son would enjoy that. And, thanks Techmom for the Alphabet game idea. It sounds fun and will be good brain exercise for us aging parents, too.

motherjanegoose

June 10th, 2013
9:21 am

@DGAD…it is now always about winning…it is how you play the game. Being kind is something that is often missing in our society.

catlady

June 10th, 2013
9:30 am

My comment never appeared, although when I tried reporting, it assured me that it was a duplicate comment.

Mayhem

June 10th, 2013
9:30 am

@DGAD – THAT was funny!!!!

Techmom

June 10th, 2013
10:12 am

@Catlady – I get so annoyed with the comment filter that half the time, I just quit responding for the day.

MG

June 10th, 2013
10:28 am

Mayhem

June 10th, 2013
11:14 am

MJG do you have a sense of humor at all?

DB

June 10th, 2013
11:22 am

We used to have a set of car bingo cards — ones that had little plastic tabs that you could slide down to cover the “found” item. Things like a cow, a red car, a curvy street sign, etc. Then we segued to books on tape. Now everyone has their head buried in a book, or we use our phones to find quizzes online, such as NCIS trivia games or other games. :-) I tend to use long car trips to catch up on needlework projects. We never had a DVD in our car — I was philosophically opposed — but there were times I wished I had given in!

It’s harder to plan a family vacation when all the members of the family are on adult working schedules. Blech. :-( We’re going to be in Asia for two months this summer with my husband’s work, and our kids are coming to visit us, but not at the same time. So no ‘family vacation’ this year.

DB

June 10th, 2013
11:24 am

There were also those sets of cards that were grade-appropriate — “What Your __th Grader Should Know”, or something like that. The kids would quiz each other, it was cute.

Tom

June 10th, 2013
11:46 am

DB, those bingo-like cards are still around…..I always liked the ones with the car brands. Saw some and picked them up for nieces/nephews at a gift shop at the Tallulah Gorge overlook last summer.

real life

June 10th, 2013
11:54 am

Several good ideas to pass along today. And not a single one involves technology which is a good thing

Uh, real life...

June 10th, 2013
12:13 pm

…what part of this comment does not involve technology “or we use our phones to find quizzes online, such as NCIS trivia games or other games”?

Techmom

June 10th, 2013
12:19 pm

@real life – I was thinking the same thing.

Glad to know there are people with kids who don’t just pop the DVD in and the headphones on or are glued to their hand-held game. Of course with the road trips we took as kids, I would have been thrilled to have other time diversions. We typically don’t take really, really long road trips like we did as a kid (8-12 hours a day for several days as we drove cross country). But my husband and I were talking about taking a trip to see some friends near Tampa and we both bemoaned the driving portion of the trip.It’s just not fun! We went out to Yellowstone this past winter and flew in Idaho. Even though we had to drive 6 hours, it wasn’t awful because it’s somewhere we had never been before and enjoyed the scenery.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
12:42 pm

@ Uh, real life… – So, you found the one comment that involved technology. “Real Life’s” point, though, is absolutely correct that most of the ideas are games that do not involve technology, which is great for my family and refreshing to see.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
12:52 pm

@ Mayhem – You can have a sense of humor without insulting people to that degree (basically publicly stating that the writer has never published a well-written article). There’s s a line that can be crossed with humor and jokes where the “insult” stands out more than the joke. The pendulum shifts and the bigger the insult, the less funny the joke.

As far as the AJC writers, I am enjoying reading the Personal Journey stories that appear in the Sunday paper in recent years. I like the in-depth, lengthy articles and I hope they continue that kind of reporting. Of course, there are good and bad articles in any paper, but I think the AJC is at it’s best when it delves into subjects more deeply, such as the test cheating articles and the Personal Journeys, as two examples.

Mayhem

June 10th, 2013
12:56 pm

I love a good road trip, and prefer the car to an airplane. I could just get in the car, put on some good tunes, and drive for days…..

Mayhem

June 10th, 2013
1:01 pm

@Ann, the AJC is a horrible newspaper. It’s a celebrity paper, similar to People magazine. I don’t think DGAD was picking on TWG. He was bashing the writers of this rag in general.

The AJC is journalism at it’s worst!!!

Techmom

June 10th, 2013
1:02 pm

Mayhem – I think there are places I could drive for days, especially when the point of the trip is the journey rather than the destination. I told my husband I want to plan a trip out west and camp along the way. Between here and Tampa though? Not a whole lot of exciting places to stop or scenery to see, especially once you’ve done it multiple times. I’ll put driving anywhere in Texas in that category too… talk about a whole lot of nothing!

the dude

June 10th, 2013
1:03 pm

Mouse is my family fav- you see who can be the quietest.

Becky

June 10th, 2013
1:13 pm

We do the tag game a lot..Mostly though, the kids like to read books while we are on the road..Or the girl has a DSI and she has a lot of learning games for it and she plasy those..

@Techmom..That drive from here to Tampa is long..We took the kids last weekend to Tampa to spend some time with their parents..We drove part of the way Fri. night and planned on doing something with them during the day Sat., then driving back some Sat. night and the rest Sun., but we received a call that a good friend had passed, so we drove back Sat..Not an easy feat when you have a a 11 month old with you..

Like Mayhem, love a good road trip at times..Just depends on where and how much time I have to kill..

Sk8ing Momma

June 10th, 2013
1:18 pm

We occasionally play games; but, our favorite, family pastime on road trips is to listen to AUDIO books. We LOVE them and I highly recommend them! We’ve listened to gems that have created many memorable trips and have spawned many ROFLOL moments. Some of our audio faves include: Bud, Not Buddy; The Watsons Go to Birmingham; Love, Ruby Lavendar and The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. It’s a great way to pass several hours in the car. :)

Btw, we regularly listen to them even while driving around town. “Wait! Not yet!” is commonly heard when I pull up to a location when we’re on a “good” part of a book. My kids want to stay in the car listening instead of getting out to go to our designated destination. Pleas to listen to quality children’s lit is music to my ears!

This is a timely topic...

June 10th, 2013
1:21 pm

…my spouse and I are going to fly to LA and drive the PCH to San Fran, just the two of us since the kids have flown the coop. We have done the 17 mile drive from SF to Carmel, and parts of the LA north, etc. drive, with kids, yet we have never done the entire 6 hour trip from LA. We have no itinerary and plan on going further to the OR line and maybe beyond. Once we get back to SF we plan on going to Yosemite, and then back to LA via any route that looks inviting to us – thus we will have mucho time to look at car tags, look for cows and cemeteries, and listen to books on tape – thanks for the suggestions…

DB

June 10th, 2013
1:25 pm

@real life: The quizzes and stuff I was talking about are from websites that specialize in quizzes of all sorts — kinda like a book of quizzes you used to be able to buy for different topics 30 years ago. I don’t consider reading a quiz question off my phone for everyone to guess to be ‘high tech’. Now, if it was wrapped up in a game with points, scoring, blah-blah-blah, then maybe. But just for fun, pass-the-time “hey, what’s the lowest temperature ever recorded?” questions that everyone can participate in, what’s wrong with using an on-line quiz? As far as “games”, I was talking about quiz games, not video games. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Techmom

June 10th, 2013
1:51 pm

@This is timely – that’s the kind of road trip I wouldn’t need a whole lot of distraction! PCH is gorgeous!

Ann

June 10th, 2013
2:37 pm

@ Mayhem – I know that DGAD was bashing the writers in general, but he posted it on this AJC column, so it is a jab at TWG. I’ve seen and read People magazine and I just don’t see the comparison. I’m not saying there’s not room for improvement. I actually think the AJC has improved the last couple of years, if you are reading the sections I read.

If you spend your time mostly on the blogs, you may see more “celebrity sightings” and such. I find abcnews.com to be much more like People magazine, as they routinely have their links to “celebrities without makeup photos”. I saw that link again this week on their site. I don’t know if you ever get the Sunday print version, but I would challenge you to go back and read at least a few of the Personal Journeys articles that focus on local people that have gone through challenging experiences or situations. These stories usually take up at least two full pages of the print newspaper. You won’t find anything like that in People magazine. They are interesting to read and cover a variety of people, none of whom are celebrities.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
2:44 pm

We have a few versions of the travel bingo games that we got a lot of use of on long trips. Melissa & Doug has a sturdy wooden one that when you find an object, you move the flaps and it makes kind of a snapping sound that appeals to the young kids. It comes with 2 wooden holders and several laminated bingo cards to insert with different themes (Country, Street Signs, Vehicles, etc.)

FCM

June 10th, 2013
2:46 pm

@ Ann, I hate the personal and mostly local crap. I hate the liberal bent of the AJC. I only read the AJC to read this blog and maybe 2-4 stories a WEEK that are in the online paper –even less now that most things are “My” content.

Mayhem is right that it has gone downhill. It happened back in the 90s.

I can get most of what I want to know about National stuff (and even some local stories that hit national news status) by going online to other papers.

FCM

June 10th, 2013
2:46 pm

@ Ann…btw most of the stories that TWG blogs on do not come from the AJC either.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
4:55 pm

@ FCM – I’ve heard the criticism about the “liberal bent” going back many years to when the two versions were consolidated. I think that comment has been valid at times in the past (with certain editorialists), but less so recently. Pick up yesterday’s first section of the Sunday paper, you’ll find it is filled with articles and editorials critical of the government, “big” government and other government mismanagement. That just doesn’t strike me as particularly liberal.

The front page headline article criticizes Democrat DA Paul Howard’s spending on galas and meals. Most of the editorial articles in yesterday’s paper are also highly critical of big government (two articles criticizing snooping and privacy of citizens, and another criticizing government involvement in sugar farming subsidies). All the articles we have seen criticizing Atlanta Public Schools, would you call that liberal?

On the editorial page, you will find a complete list of editorial columnists. Exactly half (8) are conservative and half (8) are liberal. They have a chart that identifies each person and their base stance in a table called “About Balanced Views”. They tell you exactly who is “From the Left” and who is “From the Right” and it is evenly split. Old reputations die hard, though.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
5:04 pm

@FCM – There was more of a liberal bent in the past, due to the editorialists at the time. Maybe you haven’t read it as much lately. Yesterday’s paper is filled with articles critical of “big government”, including Democrat Paul Howard’s spending being the lead article and two more editorials critical of government overreaching into privacy and another critical of government spending on sugar farming subsidies. Another main article about the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the type of leader needed. Nothing much liberal in the News section yesterday. They have a chart on the editorial page called “About Balanced Views” – they list all editorial columnists (and the day they write for the paper) and they show two columns “From the Left” and “From the Right” – there are exactly 8 writers in each column, split evenly for each day of the week. Old reputations die hard, though.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

June 10th, 2013
5:22 pm

Hey FCM — I will definitely look for those for Rose — she is a pickier reader than Walsh is — he’ll read anything and everything — she needs some good books —

Catlady — I will go look for it

We have VBS all day today so just settling back in after teaching 5th graders all morning — more on that later blog

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

June 10th, 2013
5:25 pm

Catlady — I pulled it out — that’s so weird — that’s used to happen to MJG all the time but I think hers was links sometimes that got it pulled -

Ann

June 10th, 2013
6:59 pm

Sorry for the repeat post content – I thought the first one was lost.

DGAD

June 10th, 2013
9:02 pm

Thank you Ann for trying to explain my comments, but Mayhem is right. The AJC is one step above the Enquirer. And an editorial cartoonist with 3rd grade drawing talent.

Ann

June 10th, 2013
9:43 pm

@ DGAD – Yet you are here reading what you think is the “Enquirer” at least several times today. That shows what you are drawn to, I suppose.

motherjanegoose

June 10th, 2013
11:16 pm

@ Mayhem…that made me laugh. Sometimes, teachers tell me I should be a stand up comedian. Those who know me, in person, know I can be a lot of fun.

Today, I was in Walgreen’s ( in Denver) and the clerk told me, “I like your ensemble.” I must have looked dazed. She then said, “Your outfit is nice!” I had on a skirt, top, sandals and jewelry. It made me think of last week’s blog about being hot. No, I am not necessarily hot but I guess I do know how to dress. Of course, I was not in
Anne Taylor or Loft…haha! BUT here in Denver, a lot of folks hang out in jeans and so it was probably just a bit different than what they typically see.