As a working mom, I don't always remember to pack everything I should pack for a car ride, whether it's a 25-minute car ride to grandma's or a seven-hour trip to LA. I can't always guess when the boredem blues will hit my kids either, so it's always helpful to have some games we can play that don't require any props.
Here are some of our family's favorite games that help to break up a long car ride and engage kids with their.surroundings. Most importantly, they help to prevent the "I'm bored" whine from melting into tears.
1.) The good ol' "I spy." A great game for preschoolers to develop the vocabulary for describing objects and training in observation.
2.) Telephone story telling. Perfect for kindergarteners who are learning about sentence construction and the structure of a story (beginning, middle, and end).
3.) On a hunt for the number. Suitable for kids who are learning numbers. Simple number recognition. For more complexity, you can use addition and subtraction.
4.) Get goofy and laugh. For any child, just to keep things light hearted and goofy. Great for kids learning about grouping and asosciation. "No, Mommy! That's doesn't go, it's so silly!"
5.) Scattegories on the go. Kids learning letter sounds will enjoy coming up with words that start with a letter of the alphabet. Another great way to practice associations and groupings.
6.) Name that tune. Fantastic for developing listening skills.
7.) Treasure in a bottle. A nice game that involves some confined large and fine motor skills. Great for fidgity bodies.
I have also found that keeping some paper cups in the car is helpful for feeding little snacks that can keep kids busy for a few minutes without you having to turn around every few minutes to give them more. The paper cups can also double up as entertainment. Even my 5-year-old seems to find all sorts of things to do with a paper cup in the absence of Legos.
For details on how to play each of these games, read my extended article on Trekaroo!