Making drive time fun (and educational!)
Whether you’re just on a short drive to the shops or a long-haul trip to your holiday destination, there are loads of fun driving games you can play with your children to keep boredom at bay and even teach them a thing or two while you’re at it.
Whatever the age of your children, whatever their interests, car drives give you a captive audience with your back seat passengers. While driving time is great for engaging in meaningful conversation with your children, knowing a few different educational car games can be handy weapons in your drive-time arsenal.
The number plate game: Numbers
This is a game that can be adapted to suit the level of your back-seat learners. It’s all about quick maths – and can keep you, dear driver, on your toes as well! Passengers take turns to point out a number plate on a nearby car. Players simply have to add the numbers up and the quickest correct answers wins. Older passengers? Make them multiply the numbers to find the correct solution.
The number plate game: Letters
Just like using number plates for the Numbers game, the Letters game starts with a player pointing out a nearby number plate. Then everyone has to come up with a short sentence using those (generally three) letters. The acronym has to make sense though. You might see “EEL” on a number plate. Answers could be “Every elephant laughs” or “Eat every lettuce” or “Edge Early Learning”. This game is not about speed and the first correct answer. It’s about everyone having a turn – and enjoying a laugh while you’re at it.
OK, so we’ve all played I spy about seven billion times, but don’t discount this driving game as it provides loads of educational opportunities for children of all ages. If you have littlies who are still learning their letters, it could be that they have to spy something in a certain colour. Are they still learning their lefts from their rights? Make it that they have to spy anything that’s on a certain side of the car. Older kids? Make them spy something beginning with a double-letter (WC = white clouds, SW = steering wheel etc)
This game takes a little bit of preparation but can be a great boredom buster on a long drive. Prepare bingo sheets replacing the traditional numbers with different objects that you might see along the drive. Players can either use counters to cover the objects as they find them, or simply mark the objects off their sheet as they go. First person to mark off a compete line of objects wins. If you are clever, you can laminate your bingo sheets and use whiteboard markers to give longevity to your game.
This one will test your passengers’ creativity! The idea is that each passenger helps to build a story – one sentence at a time. The youngest passenger starts the story with one sentence. Then work in a clockwise fashion with each person picking up from the person before and adding one sentence to the story. The crazier the story, the better!