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.
- 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.)
- “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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.