Little Scholars Car Games

We love finding ways to make learning fun and what better way than to make a game out of it? We call these “Car Games” because many are simple enough to play in the car to pass the time.

Let us know your Car Game ideas in the comment form below!

To Grandmother’s House We Go!

Grab some pencils and a list of items for each child to find (draw little pictures or words). In the city, your list might include a bus, a policeman, and a skyscraper; in the country, it might include a pond, a silo, and a cow. The first person to find all the items on his list wins. For a team competition, divide into two teams. Each team has to work together to find the items on the list. Don’t forget to include special landmarks!

Odd or Even

Have each child guess if there are more license plates that end in an odd or even number.

  1. Give each child a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, or something to mark with.
  2. Set a time limit, usually 10-15 minutes.
  3. Have one child look for plates that end in an odd number, and the other look for an even number.
  4. A tick mark or dash should be marked for each car they find. (For extra learning, have them group the marks in sets of 5)
  5. At the end of the time limit, have the children add up their marks. (Counting by 5′s if grouping was used)

Audio Books

We all know the joy of silence in the car when you turn on the in-car DVD player. Why not turn OFF the DVD player, though, and turn on an audio book? Not only will they keep your children entertained for hours, it will encourage them to use their imagination. Here is a great list of great audio books by Reading Rockets.

Table Topics for Kids

This game is great for encouraging your kids to think about and explain questions that are asked, as well as building a conversation about the topic. It is also a great tool for learning to read. Simply pull a card with a question on it and start answering! You might learn something about your kids you didn’t know! Click to buy online.

Sample questions:

  • Would you rather see a movie, a parade, or a magic show?
  • What makes you feel better when you’re sick?
  • If you wanted to earn $50.00 how would you like to earn the money?
  • What’s your favorite board game?
  • What object would you like to be able to draw really well?
  • If you could be a superhero which special power would you choose to have?

Don’t just let them answer the question, encourage your kids to answer “WHY” to help them build critical thinking and conversational skills.

Grocery Store Activity Sheets

This is a fabulous idea shared by Reading Rockets! While we take it for granted, there are words EVERYWHERE around us and this opens up for endless ways for your kids to practice reading and spelling! Print and take along these great activity sheets to the grocery store and have your kids fill them out as you shop. You can even create your own for road trips and other outings. Download the activity sheets here.

Make Your Own Map

Help your kids draw a map of your road trip. Pull out an atlas, or bring it up online, and have your kids create their interpretation of the route, including distance and landmarks along the way. Help them place markers along the map that help them estimate the time from each point. This way when they ask, “are we there yet?” you can simply tell them to check the map!

String Figure Games

This is not only a game, but a great activity to build fine motor skills, concentration skills, finger dexterity and patience! Take a piece of string or yarn and see if you can make “Jacob’s Ladder”, “Kitty Whiskers”, “Cup and Saucer”, or play Cats Cradle! (Video tutorial for how to do Cats Cradle)

My Name is…

A- my name is Ashley. My friends name is Alice. We live in Alabama. And we sell Apples!

A great game to play while you’re in the car. Take turns and go through the alphabet. Some letters are easy and some are hard, but it’s fun for all!

Bingo!

We are all traveling this summer and if your children are like mine they get tired of the DVDs pretty quickly. How about a game of car bingo! Print off the bingo sheets from www.momsminivan.com and give each child a pencil. The first person to fill their card gets to pick the lunch spot!

Letter Magnetism!

Take a metal baking sheet and magnetic letters on your next road trip. Take turns calling out sight words, words that start with “c”, animals, etc., and see how many words can you spell correctly?

Guess that Letter

One child holds out his hand and closes his eyes while the other child “writes” on his hand with her finger. The first child has to guess what the second child is writing. You can do this with letters, numbers, shapes, words.

Crayon Rocks

While this one is not necessarily a game, it is a kid-favorite and has fabulous benefits. Crayon Rocks are crayons shaped like rocks! Not only are they great for providing kids a larger surface with which to color, they are specially shaped to encourage proper grip, develop fine motor skills and provide handwriting practice. Crayon Rocks are perfect for teaching children with sensory processing disorders or other special needs such as cerebral palsy or autism.

Simple Vocab Building Questions

This game is so easy! Simply ask your child a question such as “What is round and bounces?” for younger students; and as they get older challenge them by asking questions like, “email is to internet, as card is to what?” or “how many words can you think of that mean beautiful?”

Flashcards

These are great for reading sight words and practicing basic math facts. There are flashcards for just about anything you could need!

Rhyming Games

Here’s how it goes: “This is an animal that rhymes with ten. What is it?…Hen!”

Skip Counting

Practice skip counting for math facts by 2′s, 3′s, 5′s and 10′s. Challenge your start student by starting with a number other than 1. “Count by 2′s starting with the number 21.”

20 Questions

We love when a parent can tie a letter and vocabulary all together. Ask your child to figure out what thing you are thinking about and tell them what letter is starts with. For example, “I am thinking of a vegetable that starts with the letter ‘c’.” The child then has a chance to ask up to 20 questions to figure out the answer. (Hint: For a younger child, you may want to use more than one clue and limit the number of questions to 10. For the older child, less clues and 20 questions.)

Dolch Hangman

Make the classic hangman a learning experience by using Dolch sight words. These are words that cannot be sounded out but must be learned by sight. Here is a list of Dolch sight words for your reference.

Letter of the Day

Pick one letter a day. In the morning, have your child find the letter out of a basket and put it on the refrigerator. Then see how many places you can find that letter when you are driving around.

Let us know what you do to entertain your kids in the car. Leave your “car games” in the comment box below and we’ll add them to the list.