13 boredom-busting car games for kids

Help your little one beat backseat boredom with these fun games the next time you hit the road!


Travelling with a tot can strike fear in the hearts of any parent. One minute, they might be giggling happily as they flip through their storybooks, the next, they are in full meltdown mode. You can side-step those sulks with a little creativity.

To up the ante and get those competitive juices going, offer a reward to the winner. Anything from 10 more minutes in the pool to an extended turn-in stay-up-late time. Remember, safety is still your top priority, so keep your eyes on the road ― always ― even as you keep them occupied. Have a go at these games, suitable for children aged 2 and above:

1) Alphabet game

Each person takes turns to propose a word for each letter of the alphabet before adding the previous player’s suggestion. For instance, you’d say A is for apple. The next person says B is for ball before repeating A is for apple. And the third adds their word for the letter C before repeating what the previous two have said.

2) What am I?

A person decides on a specific object in their minds, then proceeds to name the general category it falls under, for example: animals, plants, food. The other players then take turns to guess what the object is by asking various questions: “Does it fly?” “Does it have wings?” “Is it larger in size than a human being?” Everyone is limited to 20 questions each. After which, they must make their best guess.

3) Number-plate game

Choose a licence plate with a unique combination of letters ― for instance, SDC 123H ― then have each participant name a word which corresponds to each of these letters. “S is for sky, D is for duck, C is for cow and H is for house. To add interest to the game, pick Malaysian licence plates or those from motorbikes, private buses and goods vehicles. For older kids, make them come up with phrases instead.

To up the ante and get those competitive juices going, offer a reward to the winner.

 4) I spy with my little eye…

In this all-time classic, the person names a colour by reciting the words, “I spy with my little eye, something blue…” Then everyone else looks out the window and guesses or names the things they see that ares blue in colour.

5) Name that tune

Hum a nursery rhyme or a famous TV tune and have them guess the title of the song or what show it is from!

6) Who lives there?

Get your kid to dream up what kind of people live in each of the houses you drive past. Ask questions like, “Who lives there?” “What’s their surname?” “What do they do at work?” The idea is to distract them by getting them to talk. Or try asking these questions about the passengers in the cars around yours.

For a game that’ll hone your kid’s memory skills, read on…