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Car Ride Games

Sometimes the worst part of trips, and even a deterrent from even going, are the car rides.  Children and long road trips usually do not mix, at least in my experience.  They are strapped in so tight, for hours at a time, not being able to move much, and just plain old bored.  So here are some ideas for those moments where you really need to pass the time, sans whining, crying, and sibling fighting.  

Most of these games are pretty self explanatory, but I will briefly describe each.  

I spy - The classic "I spy" game.  One person says "I spy something red."  Everyone else in the car will have to guess which red item the 1st person is talking about.   Whoever guesses is the next "spy-er."  This can be played with colors, numbers or even textures!  It will have to be played with items in the car though, as other things may pass too quickly.

Alphabet game - Each person has to go through the alphabet and find the letters anywhere, signs, license plates, trucks etc.  Whoever get's through the alphabet first wins!  We like to say you can't use any letters IN the car, though. 

Make up songs - My daughter likes to sing a song she learned from school.  "R-E-D spells red. R-E-D spells red, an apple, a barn a fire truck, they're all the color red!"  So, we take this, and change the words to create songs with different colors.  

Who can find the first... - One person starts the game by naming an item.  "Who can find the first red car?"  Whoever wins the round gets to pick the next category.  You can get pretty specific and say things like who can find the first billboard with the word 'FUN' on it?"  

I'm going on a picnic - The first person starts with the letter "A" and has to add it to the end of the sentence, then the next person says the same sentence but with something that starts with the letter "B", and so on till you finish the alphabet.  No real winners or losers, just a fun game to play as a family.  "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an APPLE (BOAT, CAT, DADDY)."

Crayons and clipboard - It's hard to color in a car, but if you put the paper on a clipboard, you have a portable table.  Along with a little baggie, or container of crayons, you'll be set!

Ipad/Leap Pad - Electronics are always a good idea on trips.  Just make sure you charge them before you leave!

Name that tune - One person starts to hum a song and the others in the car guess what it is.  Whoever guesses, gets to hum the next song. 

25 cents - This one is a good idea for anyone with multiple children riding along with them.  Give them each 25 cents at the beginning of the trip.  If you hear whining, or complaining, or arguing, they have to give you a penny.  At the end of the trip, they get to keep the money they have left.  You could even double or triple it, or whatever is appropriate for your children. 

Are there any car games that you and your family play?