With the school year coming to a close, and summer just around the corner, many families will embark on road trips to spend quality time together and to see the country. Long road trips, as parents know, can make children restless – they may even inspire the dreaded question, “Are we there yet?” To keep almost anyone entertained in the car, here are four educational road trip games for the whole family:
The license plate game
The license plate game is a great educational road trip game for children of all ages. Provide each passenger in your car with a map of the United States. While on your trip, look for license plates from all 50 states. As a license plate is identified, mark that state off on the map. To make the game more challenging for older children, use a point system. Award one point to the person who spots the license plate first, a second point to the person who finds the matching state on the map, and a third point to the person who most quickly calls out that state’s capital. This game can help with reading and geography skills. You may also want to consider a card game that can boost social and academic skills while you are on your trip!
The last letter game
The last letter game can be adjusted to suit different interests and age groups by simply changing the category. Pick a broad topic with an array of possible answers – book titles, foreign cities, musical artists, etc. – and start by identifying one item that fits within the category. The next person should think of a different answer that starts with the last letter of the previous word. The pattern then continues. For example, if the topic was animals, the first person might say “zebra,” the second person could say “aardvark,” and the third person might say “kangaroo.” Whenever your family runs out of options, switch categories. This educational road trip game is a great way to practice the alphabet and problem-solving skills. You may also want to consider these 4 board games that can help you improve your critical thinking skills.
Encourage your family’s imagination and creativity through storytelling games. Choose a vehicle, landmark, or other scene that you pass on your trip, and ask, “Where is that car going?” or, “Why is that there?” Each person in the car should take a turn telling a story. Try to select different objects or locations that inspire a narrative so that each member of the family has a unique starting point.
People of all ages can enjoy a game of I Spy, which – like the options above – can be adjusted for various age groups. To play, someone states what he or she has “spied,” and the other passengers must attempt to guess what this item is. Tailor your I Spy statements to what you would like your children to learn. For example, say, “I spy something that begins with the letter A,” and then continue through the alphabet. If your child is working on counting or colors, you can try, “I spy something blue,” or, “I spy something in a set of three.”
Road trips are a great way to bond and enjoy family time together, but be prepared to fight boredom with educational road trip games designed for the car. These 6 activities to keep students learning may also be useful on your road trip. This arsenal of technology-free activities is perfect for any trip, no matter the route or the destination. Now hit the road!