Car trips can get pretty boring pretty fast, especially for kids. If you don’t prepare things for your kids to do during a long car trip, you’re probably going to be bombarded with a bunch of kids whining and asking “are we there yet?” Taking a car trip is a great opportunity to teach your kids about things like cars, geography and history.
You can kill two birds with one stone on a car trip by playing educational games with your kids – and the best part is that your kids won’t even realize that you’re trying to knock some knowledge into their heads. Here are five educational kid games that should make your car trip a pleasant and informative one.
1. One of the oldest car games around is the license plate game. You play this game by giving the kids a category and seeing how many license plates they can find with that fit into that category. For example, you can tell them to find license plates with states that start with the letter A, or count how many license plates from New Mexico they can spot. This game will help your kids get to know the names and nicknames of the various states. You can also discuss the reason behind some of the illustrations on the license plate, like the mountains on Colorado plates or the hot air balloon on New Mexico plates.
2. A word game like Ghost isn’t just fun, it’s pretty educational too. It teaches spelling and vocabulary. You can play Ghost with two or more players. The way Ghost works is that one person goes first by giving a letter, such as B. With the first letter in mind, the second player needs to give a second letter, a letter that could potentially spell a word (such as A). With the letters BA already in place, the next player must provide another letter, but if that letter forms a word (such as BAD), that player loses and the game starts anew.
3. Another word game you can play is Scrabble, which like Ghost, teaches spelling and vocabulary. You can purchase a travel version of Scrabble to play in the car – with a travel Scrabble board, you can stick the letters to the board so they won’t slide around.
4. If you’re traveling through a particularly historical area, you can give your kids stuff to read about said area. Once they’ve read through it, you can make a game out of quizzing them on the material. The person with the most correct answers scores a little gift or treat.
5. There are plenty of travel books for kids that contain fun and educational activities such as word searches, crossword puzzles and Sudoku. For younger kids, you can get them coloring books filled with pictures of and simple facts about famous monuments.