Educational Games for Car Trips

Do you have a long family road trip this summer? Are you dreading the idea of keeping your children entertained in the car? Instead of turning to electronic entertainment, try playing some of these games. They aren’t just a great way to pass the time, but they are educational and can be a positive experience for your family to share.

  1. Alphabet Game – This game can be played in a variety of ways. One way is to choose a subject (i.e. Girls’ names, places, or animals, etc.) Players take turns naming something in that category in alphabetical order. (aardvark, baboon, camel, donkey, etc.) Another way to play is to start with A and look for the alphabet in order on street signs, billboards, or license plates. First person to get to Z wins! (You can also do this with numbers and be the first to find 1-20 in order.)
  2. “I’m Going on a Trip” – This game is similar to the alphabet game in that players give responses in alphabetical order. The first person starts by saying, “I’m going on a trip and in my suitcase I packed an apple.” The next person says the same thing, but then adds to it: “…I packed an apple and a book.” As you can imagine, the game gets harder and really tests your memory the longer it goes on!
  3. Storytelling – One person starts a story with just a few sentences. The next person continues the story. The game really taps into your child’s creative side.
  4. Game Show – Host your own game show in your car. Try “Name That Tune”. Players take turns humming a few bars of a familiar tune that others then have to guess. Another game show idea is “20 Questions”. The first player thinks of a person, place, or thing. The other players can only ask questions that have a yes or no answer. Players can guess at any time – but any time they do – the question counts in the total. The game ends when the subject is guessed or the other players reach the 20 question limit.
  5. License Plate Game – This is an old favorite, especially if you are traveling on an interstate highway. There are many ways to play this game including counting how many different states you can find or trying to find license plates that start with the letter A, etc.
  6. Counting Cars – Choose a color or type of vehicle. Let the first person who finds 20 of that type choose the music to listen to for the next hour or the restaurant to eat at for the next meal.
  7. Map It Out – Even though many people use GPS for navigation, reading a map is a useful skill for children to develop. Prior to leaving on your trip, obtain or print out some maps of your route. Have children mark key locations as you see them.

Looking for additional games? Click here for more! You can also check out our blog post on Summer Learning Loss for more educational ideas!

Free Family Events In June!

June – school is out and summer is here! Lancaster County has many fun things to see and do throughout the whole summer. Here are a few special events during the month of June:

Family Farm Days at Oregon Dairy – June 11-13  10 A.M.-7 P.M.
Families can visit a real working farm when they take a wagon ride during this annual event at Oregon Dairy. Free samples of milk and ice cream are also available. Other activities include a straw tunnel, petting zoo, chicken bbq, and barrel rides for kids.

Second Friday in Lititz – June 14
Did you know that Lititz was named the Smallest Cool Town in America? Every month on the second Friday, the town of Lititz comes alive as shops stay open and live music is heard in the streets. This Friday is extra special as the community tries to break a Guinness Book of World Records for the most people wearing sunglasses at night!

Celebrate Lancaster – June 28
This annual event that kicks off the Independence Day celebrations across the county showcase the cultural and diversity of the people of Lancaster. Over 25 local vendors will have a variety of food for sale. Musical entertainment in both Binn’s Park and Penn Square includes will include bluegrass, country, and rock music. Be sure to come out to Binn’s Park at 5:45 to hear Sylvan’s own, Matt Wheeler and Vintage Heart! The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display.

33rd Annual Antiques, Art and Craft Show – June 29  9 A.M.-3 P.M.
The town of Columbia is the host of the long-running event. Over 200 vendors will be set up in Locust Street Park. The show is held rain or shine and offers free parking and shuttle service.


Great PA Day Trips

Looking for something fun to do with the whole family?  Here is a list of my top 5 favorite PA day trips!!

Cow1) Lake Tobias Wildlife Park–Halifax

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is a hidden gem in Central PA. The main attraction is the safari tour. Patrons sit in open –air busses while a guide provides expert information about the variety of wildlife that live at the park. You can get up close to such animals as water buffaloes, elands, alpacas, ostriches, bison, and deer. Hint: Purchase a pack of crackers at the concession stand before going on the safari tour! Other attractions include a petting zoo, reptile house, and zoo exhibits.


2) Longwood Gardens–Kennett SquareLongwood

Over 1000 acres make up one of the country’s finest botanical gardens, Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square.  Be sure to visit the Conservatory, the various water gardens and fountains, and the indoor children’s garden.  In the children’s garden, children can explore and discover hidden secrets with a scavenger hunt, “paint the walls” in the Grotto Cave and enjoy jumping water fountains.


Please Touch

3) Please Touch Museum–Philadelphia

The first museum in the country specifically designed for children is located in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Two floors of interactive exhibits help children to do what they do best – play! Children can play music on nature-inspired instruments; pretend to shop in a grocery store; imagine being a doctor, nurse, or construction worker; race sailboats or play with bubbles; and have tea with the Mad Hatter in Wonderland. Make time to watch a show in the Please Touch Playhouse Theater and take a ride on the Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel.


4) Cherry Crest Adventure Farm–ParadiseCherry Crest

Kids of all ages enjoy the challenge of the Amazing Maize Maze every year at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Paradise, PA.  In addition to the maze, there are over 50 activities in the Courtyard and Barnyard.  Families can take a farm wagon tour, ride pedal carts, slide down a straw bale racer, hit targets with a giant slinger, or bounce on the jumping pillows. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm is open from May to November and hosts special events in the fall.


Hershey Gardens5) Hershey Gardens–Hershey

Originally created as a rose garden in 1937, the Hershey Gardens overlooks the town of Hershey and the famous, Hershey Park. In addition to the beautiful roses, two main features of the garden include the Children’s Garden and the Butterfly House. The Butterfly House is open from May to September and is home to more than 300 beautiful butterflies. Children are greeted by Hershey Kiss shaped misters and an alphabet trail of plants in the Children’s Garden.