fun games to play on the bus

20 Fun Games To Play On The Bus (All Group Sizes)

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We know a bus ride (long or short) can be a difficult place to keep yourself occupied. That’s why we’ve come up with some fun games to play on the bus! Word games, books, apps, Mad Libs, there are so many fun and free options. Whether you are alone, traveling with friends, or with family, we guarantee these are the best bus riding games for you.

There are games for small or large groups, scroll down and browse each one to find the best option.

There are tour bus games for larger groups which will keep you busy for hours. Work your way through the list and let us know which is your favorite in the comments. There is nothing like a funny bus game to get the atmosphere buzzing during your journey.

We’ve got the entertainment covered here with these bus travel games, but we’ve also got some great advice on How to Survive Long Bus Rides.

1. Movie Game

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: The first player comes up with a movie. The second player must then name an actor/actress in that movie. The next player then names another movie that the actor/actress is in. And then someone must name an actor/actress in that movie. And so on until someone gets stuck!

2. Categories

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: Someone starts by naming a category; like fruits or states. Each player then takes a turn naming something in that category until someone gets stuck. The last player to get a right answer (before someone gets stuck) then gets to name a new category.

3. Travel Bingo

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: buy or make your own travel bingo board

How to: Just like traditional Bingo, players are trying to complete a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally by checking off things from the board as they see them. The first player to complete a row wins!

We just so happen to have some Free Printable Road Trip Bingo cards to help you out!

4. Mad Libs

Players: single, or a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: Mad Libs book

How to: Mad Libs come in dozens of themes and categories and can be found in most book stores. A person is given a sheet they must fill in with nouns, verbs, or adjectives as instructed. They must then transcribe the words into a story they haven’t seen on the following page. The hilarious results will have you chuckling the whole bus ride!

Word games your thing? Then you’ll want to see our Word Games to Play in the Car post.

5. 20 Questions

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: 1 person comes up with a person, place, or thing and holds it in their mind. The other players then take turns asking yes or no questions to try and determine what the first person is thinking of. They only get a maximum of 20 questions before they must guess the answer.

Loving the questions? We’ve got loads of conversation starters for the long bus ride with our 127 Road Trip Questions and 71 Fun Family Road Trip Questions.

6. Read a book

Players: single

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: a book

How to: In today’s world of constant tech, your eyes will appreciate the break from a screen. If you will be traveling at night, invest in a book light as well.

We know there are literally millions of great titles out there, but if you are looking for a little road trip adventure, check out our list of Best Road Trip Books.

7. Scavenger Hunt

Players: single or group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: Pen and paper or the notes app on your phone

How to: Make a list of things you might see on your journey before you set off. Some can be common, like a McDonalds or blue car, and others can be wild, like a lady in a purple hat. Check them off as you see them.

fun games to play on the bus

8. Solitaire

Players: single

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: a deck of cards or a solitaire app

How-to: A classic game to pass the time! Wikihow has a step-by-step guide if you want to set up a game with a deck of cards. Otherwise, you can just download an app.

9. Make up backstories for your fellow passengers

Player: single or a group

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: pen and paper or the notes app on your phone

How to: discreetly look around at the passengers around you. Come up with names for them. Where are they traveling to? Why are they traveling? Do they have a troubled past? Are they spies? Let your creativity and mind really wander until you have a complete story.

10. Listen to Audiobooks or Podcasts

Players: Single

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: cell phone

How to: Take the time the night before to download some interesting podcasts or audiobooks that you’ve been meaning to try.

We’ve got some ideas to get you started with our 40 Best Road Trip Podcasts and 32 Best Road Trip Audiobooks.

11. Word Search

Players: single

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: a word search book and pen or an app

How to: Word search books are sold almost everywhere and are usually found by magazines or at check out. Searches usually fall under a specific category (like things found in the kitchen) and words can be found forwards, backward, up and down, or on the diagonal.

12. Sudoko

Players: single

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: a sudoku book or app

How to: Sudoko books are also easy to come by and are usually sold by the magazines or at check out in most grocery stores and rest stops. The goal is to never have more than one of any number in a column or row. A great brain teaser to keep you engaged on the bus.

fun games to play on the bus

13. 2 Truths and A lie

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: No

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: Each person takes a turn saying 3 facts about themselves: 2 truths and 1 lie. The group then tries to decide which fact was the lie.

14. Kiss, Marry, Avoid

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: No

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: One person names 3 people, dead or alive. Everyone in the group must then take turns naming which of the people they would kiss, marry, or avoid!

15. Would You Rather

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: take turns coming up with outrageous would-you-rather scenarios and have each person defend their answer.

For example: Would you rather run through a field of snakes or stick your hand in a box of spiders?

fun games to play on the bus

16. License Plate Game

Players: single or a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: a list of all 50 states and a pen, or license plate game app

How to: Keep your eyes out for license plates from different states along your journey. This can be played as an individual, a group, or even a competition to see who can get the most states.

17. Hang-Man

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: paper and pen

How to: Player 1 comes up with a word in their mind and puts down a blank space for each letter of the word. For example, if the word was Dolphin you would write _ _ _ _ _ _ _. The other players then take turns guessing letters until they think they know the word. For every wrong guess, Player 1 draws one part of a stick figure person. If the stick figure is completed before the word is guessed, the man is “hung” and the game is over.

18. I Spy

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: Classic travel game and always popular with kids! Player 1 spots something in the car and declares “I spy with my little eye something…yellow!” The other players then take turns looking around and trying to guess what player 1 sees.

19. Alphabet Game

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly: Yes

Supplies: just you and a friend!

How to: Players try to find things in or outside the bus that correspond to the letters of the alphabet, starting with A. You can’t move on to the next letter until someone spots something with the current letter.

20. Never Have I Ever

Players: a group of 2 or more

Family Friendly:

Supplies: Just you and a friend!

How to: Also known as 10 fingers, this is a great game to get to know one another! Each player holds up all 10 fingers. The first person will then state something they have never done by saying “Never have I ever…” Everyone in the group who has done that thing must put one finger down until someone runs out of fingers.

We’ve got more where this came from! Check out Fun Things to do on a Long Bus Ride.

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