Entertaining your kids in the car can be a stressful event for anyone, but here are some fun and distracting kids’ activities that will keep everyone occupied!
This is such a classic car game that it’s hard to imagine you don’t already know the rules, but here’s a quick recap: on person spots and object and starts says the sentence ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with….’ and the first letter of the mystery object. The person who guesses correctly must find the next mystery object. It’s an easy game, but it can get a little boring after a while, so try to make the game last longer by setting some visual limits, like spying objects only found within the car, or through the front windscreen.
This is an excellent game for everyone’s memory. Working through the alphabet, each person must repeat the sentence: “Today I went to the shops and I bought…” The idea is that everyone has to remember a sequence of objects added to the shopping trolley by the other players and then add their own to the end of the list. The first person to play must think of something beginning with ‘a’, for example: “Today I went to the shops and I bought an apple”. The next person repeats the same sentence and then adds something else to the trolley, but this time beginning with ‘b’. Maybe: “Today I went to the shops and I bought an apple and bread”. This continues throughout the alphabet and if someone forgets an item then they are out of the game. Encourage those who are out of the game to continue to participate by judging whether anyone still in the game has made a mistake.
For younger children, this is a great way of teaching colour names and counting. Each person in the car picks a different car colour. The driver checks the mileage counter and sets a distance – something like 10 miles – in which to count. Each passenger counts all the cars on the road that are their colour within that distance to see who has the most at the end. The good thing about this game is that is can last quite a long time if you make it compulsory to switch car colours after the first turn and take notes of the overall count if you have a notebook to hand.
The Doctors Cat
This game has similarities to Shopping Trolley, but you don’t have to have a good memory or concentrate as hard, which means it’s easier for the driver to get involved too. The game begins by each person saying the phrase “The Doctor’s cat is a XXX cat”, where XXX is an adjective describing the cat. The rule is also to work through the alphabet, but instead of each player moving on to the next letter of the alphabet, it is used for an entire round. So the first person might say: “The Doctor’s cat is an angry cat”; and the second, “The Doctor’s cat is an ancient cat”; and so on. You cannot repeat something that has already been said, so this game is great for increasing vocabulary!
What better way to bring a lot of laughs to the car and lighten everyone’s mood than a story? All the passengers, as a group, use their imaginations to make up a story. First, you select a person to begin and they think up the opening word of the story – this could be anything, from ‘once’ to ‘the,’ or ‘today’. Each passenger then takes turns to add a new word to the sentence. This allows the story to take its own direction and surprise everyone. Story Teller is another great way to build your children’s vocabulary as they create a new world of characters, events and magic.
Happy driving and enjoy your trip!