“Are we there yet?”
10 minutes later
“How much longer?”
15 long minutes pass
“Are we there yet?”
Which parent isn’t familiar with these question while taking a road trip? And now that summer holidays are here many families will hit the road for quick weekend getaway or even a longer vacation. While adults may enjoy the scenery and the slow pace, for most kids, being stuck inside a veritable metal cage, while looking forward impatiently to the delights ahead is a difficult task, indeed.
So, here are a few games you can play while on the road.
1. Name Place Animal Thing
A quintessential Indian game played by Indian schoolchildren. The car version goes something like this. One of the players says “Start” and another one starts reciting the alphabet in their head. When the first player says “Stop”, the other reveals the letter they were on. Say it’s K. Now everyone in the car takes turn to think of a name with K, then a place, an animal and so on.
2. Tic Tac Toe
Who hasn’t played Tic-tac-toe or noughts and crosses as a way to pass the time? It is a two player game and can be played in the backseat of the car. The players take turns marking the spaces in a three-by-three grid with X or O. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row is the winner.
Download the template here:
3. The License Plate game
The goal is to spot as many license plates from different states as you can. Whoever sees a plate first and calls it gets to color it in on their map. The person with the most states colored in at the end, wins.
Download the map and a list of states with license plate codes here.
Hangman is a guessing game for two or more players. One player thinks of a word or a phrase or a sentence and the other(s) tries to guess it by suggesting letters within a certain number of guesses. The word to guess is represented by a row of dashes representing each letter of the word. For every wrong guess, the first player draws one element of a hanged stick figure as a tally mark.
Here’s a more detailed explanation for Hangman https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Hangman
5. I spy with my little eye
This is another popular game. The first person selects something either on the road or in the car without revealing what it is to the rest of the players in the car. Then they repeat the phrase, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter …”.
The other passengers then try to guess what it might be. I spy is a great way to build observation skills and help young kids develop their spelling skills, particularly those who are still getting familiar with the alphabet.
6. Word searches
Word searches can be fun. They are also great for pattern recognition and help improve spellings. And can allow for a little quiet time in the car while your little ones are busy pouring over them.
Here's one from Toyroom: