Games Away


Summertime usually means more family car time, whether you are heading up to the lake for a long weekend, off to the zoo for the day or taking a recession road trip. There’s nothing like that tenth refrain of ‘Are we there yet?’ to deepen that longing you have to spend more time with your kids.
So make like a boy scout this summer and be prepared with your own repertoire of fun family car games (little equipment required) to help pass the time away:

Baby Fun

  • Keep a no-spill container of bubbles in the car. When baby gets fussy, blow some bubbles (for non-drivers only, of course). Distraction and attention are your best friends right now.
  • Take off baby’s socks and shoes and play ‘This Little Piggy Went to Market’ (read: distraction/attention reference).

Preschooler Fun

  • Play ‘Name the Cloud’ – take turns finding a shape and identifying what it looks like.
  • Play ‘Silly Sounds’ – assign a different sound for things you might see along the way e.g. say ha-ha for a red truck, hoo-hoo for a yield sign and ding-dong for a cow on the side of the road, and then call out the sounds when you see the object in question. You’ll be laughing in no time.
  • Play the ‘Rainbow Game’ – call out a colour and have the kids find items that colour either inside the car or outside (to make it even, have the older kids find five items while the younger kids find one or two, for example)

Bigger Kid Fun

  • Play Virtual Scavenger Hunt – give each kid a list of things to hunt for adjusted for the expected scenery e.g. cows, golf course, white transport truck (you can make the list up in advance of the trip) and make a contest out of who can find everything on their list first
  • The Alphabet Game – starting with the letter A, find one along the way (look on signs, buildings, license plates and trucks) and then move on to the next letter of the alphabet. This game can be played as a competition (the first to get to Z wins) or together as a family.
  • The License Plate Game – create a ‘collection’ of license plates from different provinces and states. Give the kids a small notebook for logging their finds—they can write down the details of the license plate and where it was spotted. Play for just one trip or make it a summer-long project

Playing ‘Let’s pretend we live in the olden days’ means turning off the screens—if only for a short while—but you’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have while connecting with your kids and watching the time fly.


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