Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fun in the Car

I have developed a few tricks to keep the kids entertained and me sane on drives.  We do have a dvd player and they enjoy watching movies while on longer trips but I don't want that to be the only thing they do when in the car.  I have found that the best conversations can happen while driving.  My kids are young now so the focus is more on play but I want them to be in the habit of talking to ME while riding in the car instead of plugged into their mp3 player, handheld gaming device, phone etc. when they are older.  Here is a sample of games that we play while I am driving.  There are some old tried and true stand-bys and some that we have come up with over the years.

1.  I Spy: you all know this one.."I spy with my little eye....and then give a clue as to what you spy and everyone has to guess what you are looking at.

2.  Counting Cars:   (we all pick a color of vehicle and count that color of car/truck as our color drives by--this can get surprisingly competitive and makes a 15-20 minute trip go pretty quickly..also good for kids to practice using their memory (who am I kidding it is good for my memory too).  It can be hard to keep track of 3 or 4 people and their vehicle counts.

3.  Creating a Rainbow:   We look for objects that are the colors of the rainbow in the order that the rainbow is in. ( Remember ROY G BIV).  For example we might use a stop sign for red, a construction cone for orange etc.  This helped my 7 year old learn the rainbow colors and the order they are in at a young age and my two year old is on his way to learning them too.

4.  Back and Forth Story: we take turns telling a story by going back and forth between everyone in the car.  One of us will start it and then the next person adds their part to it and then the next and so on until the story is complete.

5.  Character Story:  we tell stories about familiar characters we have made up.  We have two that we constantly tell.  One is about a mummy named oh so originally, Mummy.  And one is about a character named Sea Monster Mommy.  Over time, we have developed histories and elaborate details about both sets of stories and we tell new stories about them fairly often.  Ex:  Mummy Has a Christmas Party or Sea Monster Mommy is Scared by a Passing Boat.

6.  Math Drills:  This is a relatively new game that we play and it is sometimes rejected by my daughter as to school like!  However, there are times she really likes to play it.  We will try to trip each other up by giving each other math questions (addition and subtraction at this point).  She will ask me to add or subtract numbers that are up to two  3 digits long (she finds it pretty funny when I make a mistake!) and I will ask her to add or subtract  numbers that are up to two digits long.

7.  Scary Story:  My daughter LOVES to play this.  We pretend that we are driving two different vehicles and that we are calling each other back and forth as we see "scary" things.  I have come up with anything from a giant hamburger pursuing her because IT was hungry to a large mob of angry Tic Tacs trying to overtake her car.  What can I say other than I have a weird imagination!

8.  ABC:  We try to find objects that start with each letter of the alphabet in order.  This can be hard as we drive along and can definitely occupy some time!

9.  Milkshakes:  You can always stop and get a smoothy or milkshake...those are always fun.  It is nice to watch their smiles when I pull into a drive-thru and they aren't expecting it.  They know a treat is in store!

10.  Name That Tune:  You take turns humming different songs and see if the other person can guess what tune you are performing.

Those are some games that we play often as we drive to do errands or go on trips.  I would love to hear any games that you all play with your kids as you drive. 

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