Long road trips with a child can be trying. They can easily become bored, even with the toys they brought along, and you could end up playing the “Are we there yet?” game. Instead of spending your trip constantly answering that question and others, here are a few fun and educational games that you can play with your child.
Spell Out: Spell Out is a great way to make spelling fun. To play this game the first person will say a word. The second person will then call out the first letter in that word. It then goes back and forth between players until the word has been completely spelled. Once the last letter in the word is said, the next person must say “Out. Here is an example:
The first person to say the wrong letter is out. This game is even more fun when played in a group. It is easy to lose track of where you are in the word when listening to each person say one letter at a time.
Town Role Call: Town Role Call is a great way to brush up on geography skills! Start with the name of a town such as Portland. The next person has to think of a town name that begins with the last letter of Portland. So, the new town name would start with the letter ‘D’. Detroit! Whoever goes next would pick the name of a town that starts with the letter ‘T’, since Detroit ends in T. You cannot use the same town name twice and it has to be a real town.
Buzz: Develop math skills by playing a game of Buzz! One at a time the players will start counting. When you get to a number that has a seven in it, or is divisible by seven, you say ‘buzz’ instead of actually saying the number. Each player’s goal is to get to the number one hundred without making a mistake. The person who can count the farthest is the winner.
Cow Counting: For younger children, counting is a skill they may need to work on. This game is simple, just have them count cows as you are driving. If you are driving in an area that does not have much farmland, try counting something else. You can do billboards, other farm animals, or even other cars all depending on the area in which you are driving. For older kids make it a contest. The first person to see a cow, touches the ceiling of the car, and says something silly such as ‘Hoo Yah!”. The first person to do this each time gets a point added to their score.
The Car Next Door: This is a great way to challenge your child’s imagination. To play take turns making up stories about the people who are driving in the car next to you, in front of you, or behind you. Create a story about who they are, their names, where they are going, and why they are going. Before you know it you will really believe that the car in front of you is transporting a princess who is going to save her kingdom from an evil witch. Be creative!
The End: Just like The Car Next Door, this game challenges your child’s imagination. One person in the car begins a story. After a couple of sentences another person in the car makes up another part of the story. Go around and let each person in the car add a couple of sentences. The story ends when someone says ‘The End’.
Twenty Questions: This is an oldie, but also a lot of fun! One person starts the game by thinking of a person, place, or thing. They cannot tell anyone else in the car what they have picked. They will tell everyone if it is a person, place, or thing though. Everyone else gets to ask the player twenty question which can only be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The questions should be things like: Are you round? Can I hold you in my hand? Are you someone famous? The first person to figure out what the player is wins the game. The person who guesses correctly will be the next person to pick a secret person, place, or thing.
Two Truths and One Lie: One player tells the group three things about himself or herself. Two of the statements should be true, and the other statement is a lie. Everyone in the car has to try and guess which statement was a lie.
Billboard game: This is a great game if you are in an area that is heavily populated by Billboards. Each player starts at the letter A. They must find a word on a Billboard that has that letter in it. So, when they see a word, they will say “A for Race.” , or whatever the word is. Each billboard can only be used one time, by one player. The first person to reach the letter Z is the winner.
The License Plate Game: This is a great way to brush up on states! As you are driving, have a contest to see who can spot the most license plates from different states. Very simple, but this is great for those cross country trips when you are in the car for long periods of time.
These games will make your trip fly by and your child will be learning at the same time. Print out this list and bring it with you. Other than your imagination, there are no other materials are required!