We are taking our kids on a long vacation in the car. I need to keep them occupied. They are 6 and 8. What good "car games" do you know? - Leeta
For our long car vacations we like to play the state license plate game. What I do is find a small map (lap size) of the United States and make a black and white copy of it. Then I get some colored pencils. The kids each get their own copy of the map. When they spot a license plate then they find it on their map and color the state in. This is also a good teaching aid. The kids learn the locations of the states this way. It make a nice keepsake too. (06/01/2001)
Our children were 11, 9 and 3 (twins) when we moved the 1800+ miles from California to Missouri. Hubby and I were shocked by how much they enjoyed just watching the scenery! But in addition, we planned a lot of stops for sightseeing, meals and visiting the bathroom. Breaking up the day seemed to help. In addition, while in the car, we had radio programs ("Adventures in Odyssey") on tape, a lot of books and travel games to occupy the kids' time. Some games, like travel bingo, were easier for all of the kids to play together. (06/02/2001)
I should add that we bought out tapes from Focus on The Family, our books from the bargain bin at Bookstar, and our travel games at Toys R Us. (06/02/2001)
LICENSE PLATE BINGO: Each player writes the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper. Then they watch out the window to see which letters of the alphabet they can see on the license plates of nearby cars. Players check off the letters as they find them. The first player to find all the letters of the alphabet shouts "BINGO."
50 STATES OF PLATES: The object of this game is to find each state's license plate or write down the states and mark each time you see a state and see which state does the most traveling.(06/02/2001)
If I have enough time, I get a bag and put all sorts of fun little activities and wrap them up like gifts. Every hour on the hour, the children would look forward to opening another little thing that would likely keep them occupied for a short time. Stickers, a new small book, a gel pen and ink pad, etc. are some of the little things that can make a trip lots of fun. Have fun on your trip!! (06/03/2001)
One fun thing to do especially if it is a long trip is to have a special bag of surprises and open one on every hour. A letter from a friend or grandparent, a travel game to play, a gel pen and pad are just a few of the things that can make a trip like that more exciting! (06/04/2001)
We take out children's books on tape from the library. It holds everyone's attention for at least an hour at a time. Take out the book as well so they can see the pictures. Have a safe trip! (06/04/2001)
My favorite car game growing up was Mad Libs. You can buy them at the store - it is a small notepad with a short story that has blanks in it that you fill in with nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. My mom would ask us to think of a word like a "noun" and then give us examples of what a noun was (person, place, or thing). She would write our answers on a separate sheet of paper so the Mad Lib could be used again in the future. Once all of the blanks were filled in, she would read the story to us and we would bust up laughing at the silly sentences and scenarios our words had created. (06/04/2001)
One thing I do is look at the license plate letters and make a phrase from them.
EXAMPLE: If the plate letters are GDP-123 that would be good dogs play or God does pardon or geeks do perl or whatever you can come up with! (06/04/2001)
By Alekscat the frugal feline in Richmond, VA
A friend of mine moved from Alaska to Arizona and was having to travel with four small children. I made each of them their own travel book. I took regular school pocket folders with the brads down the center. On my computer I found graphics of things they would see on their trip and made a few pages of a scavenger hunt. They had to put an X on everything they saw. (A red car, an American flag, etc.) I also did animal pages for them to mark what animals they saw along the way. I also had drawing pages for them to draw what they saw along the way and other games. I downloaded a map of the United States so they could draw a trail of the states they traveled through. There were xeroxed coloring pages too. In the back I put a 5x7 envelope in the back pocket for souvenirs like postcards, etc. And then I put a few sheets of stationery with a self-addressed stamped envelope so they could write to us with their new address once they arrived and got settled. (05/04/2004)
Try to make words using the letters in license plates. Extra points if they are in that same order! (2sgi543 could be "sign", etc.). also, instead of just looking for out of state license plates, call out the capital of the state that you see. (06/19/2004)
With my family we would play alphabet games. We would do the old "I'm going on a trip and I'm bringing..." Something that starts with A. Then the next person goes and repeats what the first person says and then adds the next letter. You have to be able to make it to the end of the alphabet and remember the item for each letter. Eye spy is also a fun one and, of course, the license plate game. It's fun for one person to start out a story and to take turns adding to it trying to incorporate things from your trip. (03/26/2009)
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