Help pass the time on long car trips with these fun games

Hitting the road this fall for a color tour? You know what that means: lots of time in the car and many miles of boredom. These days, many of us will watch a flick on our iPad, or text nonstop. But this turns a family car trip into a balkanized affair as everyone retreats into his or her electronic cocoon.

Why not try for a bit of interaction with a car game? Not something lame, such as 20 questions, but games that are genuinely amusing, skillful or just plain silly. Here are some suggestions.

Bury Your Cows
Every time you spot a cow and say so, you get a point. If you’re approaching a farm, the first person who says, “my cows” can claim all of the cows. If you say “my cows” and there aren’t any, deduct a point for each animal present. When you come upon a cemetery, the first one to say, “bury your cows” eliminates the other player’s points. It’s silly, but fun.

Car Country
This is a fun game for car buffs. The first player counts oncoming cars; the model of the tenth car is the first link in the chain, such as Impala. Within 30 seconds, the next player must name a country or city that begins with the last letter of the car name. In this case, Australia would work. The next player must then name a car that begins with the last letter of Australia – e.g. Allante. The challenging part? No repeats are allowed.

License Plate Blackjack
Look at the license plate of a nearby vehicle. That’s your hand. Add up the numbers. You can stand or hit. If you hit, the license plate of the next passing car is added to your hand. If you go over 21, you lose.

Name That Tune
Play the first two seconds of a song on the CD player or iPod. Players must finish the lyric and name the singer and song.

Semi Search
Each player selects a color. The first one to see ten tractor trailers in their color wins.

This tests your spelling ability and vocabulary. Players spell words one letter at a time. The first person says a letter. The next person adds a letter. Continue, back and forth, adding letters. If you add a letter and form a word, you win. If you add a letter and the string can’t be completed to make a word, you lose.

Sweet and Sour
Wave and smile to passing vehicles. If the person responds with a wave or smile, they are sweet and you get a point. If the person frowns or ignores you, they are sour and you get none. The one with the most points wins.

Two Facts and a Fib
The first person says three things about themselves. Two statements will be a fact and one will be a fib. It’s up to the other players to figure out which statement is the fib.

This is a game for the child in all of us. Every time you see an American flag, scream, “American” into your fellow passenger’s ear. No one wins, but it’s fun.

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