Camp, retreats, and mission trips… oh my! Youth ministry is full of time on the road. Love them or spend them wishfully counting down the hours until you will not be trapped in a small space with screaming teenagers – road trips are a part of the fun! Here are 10 games to help you and your youth make the most of your quality time together.



Editors note: The same information, plus helpful graphics, are provided as downloads at the end of this article


1. The Green Glass Door


Supplies Needed: None

How to play:

The object of the game is for players to discover what can be taken through a hypothetical “green glass door.”

Players who know the secret give other players hints (or further confuse them!) by saying, “I am going through the green glass door and I am bringing ____, but not ______.” For example, you might say, “I am going through the green glass door and I am bringing a poodle, but not a dog.”

The secret is that only things/words with double letters may go through the Green Glass Door. Players try to figure out the “secret” by asking what they may or may not bring through the Green Glass Door. Play until everyone has figured it out!

Variations: come up with your own “secret” and keep playing (i.e. words that end in vowels).



2. Concentration


Supplies needed: None

How to Play:

  • Set a specific order for the flow of the game (make sure the youth know who goes before and after them).
  • Have the youth start a rhythm by slapping their hands to their knees twice and snapping once.
  • Pick a category (i.e. Soda, Disney movies).
  • The youth go in order and name something in that category on the snap.
  • A youth is out if they do not say something in the category or they do not say it on the beat.
  • When someone gets out, the next person starts with a new category.
  • This continues until only one person is still in.





3. iPhone Idol


Supplies needed: Headphones, mp3 or CD player

How to play:

  • Two youth play at a time, one is the DJ and the other is the contestant.
  • The contestant puts in the headphones and the DJ chooses and plays the first song.
  • The contestant sings the song out loud.
  • The DJ’s job is to switch the song every 20 seconds or so. After the DJ switches the first time, the contestant continues singing the first song.
  • After the DJ switches again, the contestant sings the song that was just being played and so on. After the first song is switched, the contestant will be singing a song that is different from the one they are hearing.
  • The contestant’s turn may be over after they cannot sing the next song or after an allotted number of songs.

Suggestion: You may want to pre-select a “PG” iPhone Idol playlist.

Variation: Play the music over the speaker and have everyone play together!



4. Tell me a story


Supplies needed: None

How to Play:

Put together an epic story sentence by sentence! Have one youth start a one-sentence story and then go around the vehicle having each youth add a sentence. See if anyone can remember the whole story at the end!



5. Musical Mad Libs


Supplies needed: Pens and Musical Mad Libs.

How to make a musical mad lib:

Put the lyrics of a well-known song in a word document. Replace every few words with a blank (_________). Beside the blank in parenthesis, write what kind of word needs to go in the blank (i.e. verb, noun, adjective).

Ex: The __________ (noun) glows white on the ___________ (noun) tonight, not a ______(noun) to be _________ (verb).


How to Play:

Designate a youth to be the “writer” for each round. The writer will call for the group to fill in the blank spaces on the printed musical mad lib (i.e. I need a verb!). After all have the spaces have been filled out, have a few youth sing their funky musical creation together! Play until everyone gets a chance to sing.




6. Count ‘em up


Supplies needed: None

How to play:

Count the number of people in the car. The goal is to count from 1 to that number by having each person in the group say only one number. It is not as easy as it sounds! You have to follow these rules…

  1. Each person may only say one number.
  2. Two people may not say a number at the same time.
  3. You may not go right after someone sitting directly beside you.


Start over every time you “break” a rule and see how many tries it takes your group to make it!



7. Situation Puzzlers


Supplies needed: “situations” (may be found here, here, and here – or you can make up your own!).


How to Play:

A situation puzzler is a brain teaser that is solved by only asking yes or no questions. The group is given a situation and then a question to answer. Everyone plays!



Situation: A man leaves home. He runs and turns left, runs and turns left again; the man starts to sprint and turns left one more time to head back home. He sees a man in a mask.

Question: Who is the man?

Answer: The man is the catcher (or umpire) at a baseball game.

The youth would have to ask yes or no questions like, “Is ‘home’ his house?” until they figure out the answer.


Suggestion: Offer a hint or two if needed.



8. Lip Sync Battles


Supplies needed: Music, Optional: Camera, printed lyrics


How to play:

Let youth, or groups of youth sitting near one another, draw the name of a song at the beginning of the trip. Tell them each group will preform a lip sync performance (safe dance moves for the car encouraged!). Give them some time to prepare and then have each group preform. You could have performances all in a row – or space them out to break up the trip. Take a video so everyone gets to see!

You can have the youth vote after all of the performances and award the winning group a small prize (candy, etc.).





9. Phrase from a Movie


Supplies needed: None.


How to play:

This game is simple and fun! One person starts by quoting a phrase from a movie. Whoever guesses the correct movie gets to go next. You can keep score and play until someone reaches a certain number – or you can just play until the group is ready to move on.


Variation: Sing a song from the movie or describe the movie.




10. Find it first


Supplies needed: none


How to play:

Form 4-6 teams made up of youth who are sitting near one another. Each team comes up with something to “find” on the road trip. The team that finds all of the things first wins!



Group 1: A two-story house

Group 2: The letter Z

Group 3: A metal gate

Group 4: A medical or hospital sign

Group 5: The word “fun”


The first team to find all of those 5 things would win!




What are some of your favorite ways to pass the time on long trips? Let us know in the comments!




PDF of 10 Games Guide

Musical Mad Lib

Numbers Graphic

Green Glass Door Graphic