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Educational and Fun Family Car Games

family car with stick figure stickersA Nintendo DS, iPod or smart phone may be staples when travelling with your children. But this car ride, how about trying some classic car games that coat educational skill building with a thick layer of family fun?

Here are some fun family car games to try.

Mystery Writing
Have one child close his eyes and hold out his hand. Another child “writes” on his hand with her finger. The child with closed eyes needs to guess what the other child is writing. Start with letters and move up to words.

The License Plate Game
First, you need to know the 50 states. Then track how many state plates you see on your trip. Have a visual learner? Mark the plates on a map.

The Alphabet Game
Another classic license plate game you can play competitively or cooperate as a group. Find the letter “a” on a license plate, then “b” and so on in order until you reach “z”. Taking too long, expand the search to include road signs in addition to license plates. The game will go faster.

Imaginary Hide and Seek
A variation on twenty questions, in this game image a place you all know, maybe your house or your neighborhood. The person who is “it” images they are hiding there. Other players ask yes or no questions to “find” the hidden person. Want to up the challenge, imagine you can hide at any size, so now players could hide in the sink drain, up the chimney, etc.

Counting – Anything
Decide as a group what you will count: orange cars, crows, horses, gas stations – and then count. Play in teams and the team that counts the most of the selected object wins.

Counting for Research
You’ll need a tally sheet for this game. Choose a few types of vehicles to count and then have each person guess what they think will be the most popular color of those vehicles. Then count the vehicles making a note about the color (ex: VW bug – 2 yellow, 4 silver). Not only will you count vehicles, but you will learn the most popular color car in your area of travel.

Car Math
Have your kids calculate gas mileage, average speed, expected arrival times, distance traveled, etc. Like baseball, road trips offer numerous ways to calculate the experience.

Happy traveling!

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