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What to do in the car, or on a plane, for hours? Trapped. Before you order up Netflix, or slam in a DVD, Temecula Grapevine submits that getting there can be a great way to learn about your family, and have a blast doing it.
In our car, we supply our kids with great music (current radio hits, plus favorites from both my husband and my diverse musical history), a little inspiration, and a whole lot of imagination.
You may already know the Alphabet Game, or my husband’s favorite: Name Five Things You See at _______ (the beach, school, the pool). Here are 7 Heavenly Games to play with kids of all ages in the car. And, you’ll know you’ve really gotten there when the kids start to play them on their own.
And the Winner Is
What are car games without prizes? Bring along Dollar Tree prizes for car games, wrapped in cloth, with real ribbon bows. We’re not talking anything major. In fact, the funnier, the better. What’s more fun than a turban wrap for hair? Or an eye mask? Better yet, give “Bonus Prizes” of a magnetic car tray, sticker books, or rolled up blankets for when the sun goes down. Hit your local Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Store, and plan for one prize per hour of your car trip. Every hour, select a winner based on points from the games you’ve played! Why wrap them in cloth, you ask? So that your little ones can wrap, rewrap, and host their own “White Elephant Gift Exchange” in the car! Remember, you’ve got to get home, too. So keep your eyes open for knick knacks and memories to wrap up and re-gift on the ride home.
Dollar tree is your friend, prior to heading out and hitting the road. For $1, you can buy a 5-Pocket Organizer that fits over the seat back. Fill each pocket with something special – here are some suggestions from a mom who’s been there:
- A calculator, mp3 player stocked with tunes, or old cell phone for gadget-needs
- A small ruler for measuring stuff
- Glow sticks/bracelets/or wands
- Small “Found” toys from things they haven’t touched in ages, in Tupperware boxes
- Notepad and pen set
- Book and book light
- Window Cling Gels
- Fuzzy Chenille sticks and beads
- Tape (fancy duct tape always a bonus!)
Some great ideas here: http://pinterest.com/pin/149392912612041588/
Thank you Pinterest, and those wonderful downloadable bingo games. Now you can supply each player with a bingo card, and a little imagination! Make your own, by studying the map and heat up the game play in those long stretches! http://pinterest.com/pin/149392912612041388/
This car classic can be played by looking out the window, in a round-robin format, allowing each player a chance to spy something, and provide clues!
If that gets old for mom and dad (by the fiftieth time around), stock your little one’s Car Pack with an “I Spy Jar” and home-made bingo game. Make your own using see through jars, stocked with rice, and miniature dollar tree items! http://pinterest.com/pin/149392912612041633/
(Game may be played with M & Ms, Reese’s Pieces or even Cheerio! Although that might not be as popular):
RULES: When you see a (Fill in the blank color—we choose Orange) car the first one to scream ‘Skittle’ gets a point (Give 5 points for a construction vehicle of that color, and a whopping 10 points for motorcycles that match your color choice). And watch out for Skittle Busters! (Police, or Border Patrol cars). The person that screams ‘Skittle Buster’ first gets to erase the last player’s Skittle Points.
Thumbs up / Thumbs down
Spend your car travel time really getting to know each other. Everyone gets to say something and the others get to decide if they’re fibbing, or telling the truth! In a round-robin format, players can shout out something, and everyone will have to guess if it’s what the Caller likes or doesn’t like! Keep track of points! Example:
- I love it when Daddy makes dinner!
- My favorite fruit is rutabaga!
Hit the Paperback Shack
Get everyone in the car a special book to remember the car ride! Whether it’s a comic book, pulp novel, or a favorite book from a year ago, reading is a wonderful way to pass the time. Something travel themed might do the trick, something on the easy register and something more difficult.
Have the “Navigator” read out loud from a story you’ll all enjoy. Harry Potter, Magic Tree House, or even Hunger Games, whatever the ages, you’ll all benefit from time spent reading together. If only one parent is going, hit the library for audio books appropriate for all in the car!