What it is: A car game for anywhere from one player to a whole carful of players.

Best for: 2 players or however many more you can fit in a car.

What you need: A car trip and someone to play. And you probably need the car trip to be at least partly through a populated area with road signs.

How to play: The came is pretty simple: players look out the car windows at passing road signs and try to spot a word that starts with the letter A. Then, once that has been found, a word that starts with the letter B, then C, and so on all the way until Z, when the game ends. My siblings and I played this game all the time on our family road trips. Sometimes we would have a game that would last hours and hours: we would start as we were leaving our city, dwindle as we drove through fields and mountains, and pick up again where we left off when we reached a populated area again. Some letters (like Q, X, and Z) get pretty tricky. I remember waiting for miles and miles to catch a glimpse of a Dairy Queen. For this reason, my sisters and I vowed that if we ever owned a restaurant, we’d name it something like this:

Rule Variations: You should probably set your rules before you begin, because (as I’ve experienced), many disputations can arise. For instance, does a letter have to come at the beginning of a word? Or is it okay if just appears anywhere in the word? Either way, do license plates count? (This was our most common source of disputation.) Do you always have to find letters in order? Pick your rules, stick to them, and have fun!

Variations: You can play with everyone working together on one team, individually, or as two teams (maybe one team looking out the left windows and one looking out the right). And I’ve also played (in sparsely populated areas) where you have to just find an object that starts with each letter, not the actual word. If you want to take out the I-spy element and make it more about thinking, play by thinking of objects instead of spying them. Another road trip I-spy game is the license plate search. Any one else have any rules or variations to share?


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