The Best Games For Long Car Journeys
Easter vacation is approaching, and often this means time to hit the road to visit family and friends. Road trips with little ones in the back can sometimes be... interesting! While we are lucky these days to have iPads, audiobooks and various other distractions, sometimes more interactive entertainment is required. That's where car games come in! Not only are they a great time filler, but they can be a great opportunity for your preschooler to learn while they're sat in one place. Not to mention the great family bonding! Have a go at some of these car games and watch the journey fly by!
This game is a great way to encourage kids to become observant and look at what’s around them, as well as practise a little counting. It's fun to play among siblings, and the competition can keep it going! With a bit of planning, Car Bingo can span the whole journey, and it can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.
How to play: Write a big list of different numbers of objects, landmarks, animals etc. and give a copy of the list to each child to tick off throughout the car journey. Pictures of the items will also help younger kids. The aim is to have as many ticked off as possible before the end of the journey.
Try to come up with interesting combinations, different numbers and colours. Use popular landmarks that you know will appear along the way. That way they’ll have to keep their eyes peeled! A few ideas for things to include:
- Family of ducks
- Two red cars in a row
- Red stop sign
- Famous church/lighthouse/power station
If you're feeling super creative, you can try and create a proper bingo card and give your kids colored stamps to mark off each item as they spot it!
This is a great idea to break up particularly long journeys and get the kids excited.
Make up some packages in brown paper bags, filled up with little treats like fruit, stickers, a toy relating to where you are heading, or some car friendly crafts or games to play in the back. Every time you get a certain length (quarter/half) of the way through the trip, tell the kids they are due a mystery package. Play trivia with something they've been learning at preschool or other tests to get their package. This will help break up the journey!
The Alphabet Game
This is another fun way to practise the alphabet, and can also be adapted to numbers.
How to play: Each side of the car looks out of the window, only at the side of the road that they are sitting on. The idea is to try to get to the end of the alphabet with all the things they can see on the side of the road using animals, signs, trees, cars etc. This can be played as a whole family and done very slowly for younger kids who need a few reminders.
Eye Spy is such a classic, it almost needs no explanation. But we can't leave it out! If you’ve never played Eye Spy to pass the time in a car, train or long walk, prepare to be amazed! This game suits slightly older kids who already know their letters, but guiding the game to very simple words helps keep everyone included.
How to play: The first person to take their turn chooses something inside or outside of the car, and lets everyone know what letter it begins with by saying "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with...." The rest of the car have to guess, and the correct guesser takes their turn next! Simple, but effective!
This is another well-loved car game, and one that is great to get minds working!
How to play: Collectively choose a category, whether that is animals or foods, and try to come up with something from that category with each letter of the alphabet. Younger kids might be best trying to just come up with any word first before attempting the alphabet. Make it a fun game and try and go as fast as you can!
Who am I?
This guessing game is great for all the family. One person picks an animal, vegetable or cartoon character, and the rest of the car have to guess who it is. The plan is that they should only ask questions that have yes or no answers, and can ask no more than 20 questions between them. The correct guesser gets the next shot, and the game goes on!
Of course there are many more, including, but not limited to, sing songs, story telling, or even the very well known 'quiet game!' What games work best for you on long journeys? Give us a comment and let us know!
Like the sound of these play based learning activities? Then you might be interested in our fun, interactive curriculum at our Kids Konnect preschools in locations around the Bay Area including our preschool in San Mateo.
Whatever you do, have a fun, restful and safe Easter break!