Galactic Hot Dogs

Road Trip: Car Games

Alphabetical Version

You can also play Camping Trip using objects in alphabetical order. For example: “I'm going on a camping trip and I'm going to bring an asteroid.” Then “I'm going on a camping trip and I'm going to bring an asteroid, and a baseball ….”

The game continues the same way until there's only one person left who didn't forget an item on the list.

Who Am I?

When I was a kid, we called “Who Am I?” 20 Questions. One person thinks of something—person, place, or thing—and asks, “Who am I?” To figure it out, the other players have to ask questions like:

  • Are you an animal?
  • Are you blue?
  • Do you swim in the ocean?

The person answering should only give “yes” or “no” answers to make the game a little trickier. With little kids, you might want to allow full answers so they don't get too frustrated with the game.

What's Next?

If you're on a really long car ride and you've exhausted all other games, here are some games for the desperate parent or child.

Thumb Wrestling

When all else fails, don't give up. Do not pull your hair out or resort to threats—there's always the good old thumb wrestle.

Tell the kids to put out their hands. Each kid puts out his or her right hand (or you can have each child put out his or her left hand) as though to shake hands. Instead of locking hands, though, they make their fingers into a “c” shape and lock fingers. Each child's thumb should be resting on the top of the “handshake.” You move the thumbs back and forth over each other saying “one, two, three” and let the wrestling begin.

Another way to begin the game is for the kids to chant: “One, two, three, four—we will have a thumb war; five, six, seven, eight—try to keep your thumb straight.” Then the wrestling begins.

The object is to use your thumbs in an effort to trap the other person's thumb—meaning that one person should be pressing down on the other person's thumb so that that person can't lift their thumb. The “challenge” of the game is that you cannot unclasp your fingers to maneuver your thumbs, and you cannot move your whole hand—only the thumb.

Kids are very funny people. I hear they've made up a variation since my thumb wrestling days. It's called “Snake in the Grass.” It's basically just a way to cheat. One person uses their index finger to trap the thumb saying it's a snake in the grass.

The Purse Game

This is the ultimate game of desperation. A mom can play with the kids by emptying her purse and letting the kids go through her stuff. With little kids, you have to be careful that they don't get their hands on anything they shouldn't! You can have the kids categorize the objects they see. They can group together things that are round or square. Or they can group together things that are made of paper. You can even have them categorize things that are of a certain color. This game will work with kids around the ages of four through six.

I wish my mom had played that game with us. She always carried such a huge purse full of interesting stuff. Dads may not be able to play this game with the kids unless they have a mighty interesting wallet or briefcase.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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