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5 Alphabet Road Trip Car Games for Kids

The Basic Rules for Playing the Kid-friendly, Board-less Alphabet Game

When your family vacation is a road trip, keeping your children entertained on those long, lonesome stretches of road can be a challenge. One easy way to keep the kids entertained is by playing some variation of an alphabet game.

The most basic version of the alphabet game has everyone looking out for store signs, street signs, billboards and other types of signs that contain a word that starts with the letter A. The first person to spot the “A” word can then look for a word that begins with “B”. The other kids can not use the same word and have to search for their own word that begin with “A”. The goal of the game is to make your way through the entire alphabet with the first person finding a “Z” word the winner of the game.

This simple alphabet games works well for road trips that take you through big cities and densely populated communities. But what about families who are driving through remote areas with hardly any signs at all? To solve this problem, our family came up with four variations of the alphabet game. Here they are.

Trip Car Game

Alphabet license plates
All cars and trucks have license plates and most of them have a least one or two letters if not more. In areas where finding signs is impossible, then searching for letters on license plates is the next best thing.

Object alphabet
Object alphabet means rather than looking for letters on the roadside, we look for objects that start with the letters of the alphabet. The same game rules apply with one exemption; since it’s practically impossible to find an object that starts with a X, Y or a Z unless you happen to be driving past a zoo, the winner of the game is the child who makes it to the letter “W” first.

Upside down alphabet
Another fun variation that’s popular with older kids is what we call the upside down alphabet. The first player starts the game by finding an “A” word on a sign or billboard. The next child’s word has to begin with the last letter of the previous word. For example, if the first word is “Albuquerque”, then the next word has to start with the letter “E”. The winner is the last person who successfully finds a word.

Inside alphabet

Inside alphabet
Anyone who has ever driven through parts of central Oregon can attest that there is little material for making an alphabet game. For routes that have no signs, no objects (except for sage brush and fences), and no traffic, the inside alphabet means looking inside the car for things that will work. We stretch the rules here to include both words and objects to make this alphabet game work.

Taking a road trip with kids often means tapping into your brain to come up with an activity to help pass the time. Alphabet games like these are a fun way to keep the kids busy for an hour or so.