I love road trips, but my daughter is almost 23 and that makes for a much more relaxed drive.  For those of you with young children it can be stressful, but there are ways to keep them engaged that doesn't involve a movie, computer or electronic game.  In fact, some of these games can enhance their math and reading skills.


  • 1

    Backwards Alphabet Game

    I use to play this with my daughter all the time.  We'd look for the letters of the alphabet in order, in signs and licenses plates. If your children are older, try the backwards version.  It's not so easy, we tried it and I had to go through the alphabet every time we found a letter and had to move on to the next.

  • 2

    Short Sentence Game

    Take turns with this one.  One person comes up with a sentence.  For example, "I love my dog, Bauer".  Then you start watching for the letters (in order) to spell out the sentence.  This one usually eats up a lot of time.

  • 3

    Crazy Sign Stories

    This one gets the imaginations flowing.  Watch for usual signs, they can be street signs, town names or businesses.  Take turns making up a story of how that name came to be.  There's usually a lot of laughter and an occasional eye roll with this game.

  • 4

    Alphabet Repeat In Rounds

    Someone starts with a line that is open ended.  For example, "I'm going to the grocery store and I'm buying"....and starting with the letter A say an item, an apple.  The second person then repeats, "I'm going to the grocery store and I'm buying an apple and....something that starts with the letter B.  Bacon.  The next will then repeat the line, say apple, bacon and come up with something that starts with the letter C.  This game is great for stimulating memory.

  • 5

    Add And Subtract

    All the games so far have been alphabet based.  Being married to a math teacher he suggested a game that involved numbers.  Try this, as you pass or are passed by another vehicle you take turns claiming that vehicle, basically it should go in rounds.  Add the numbers up on the license plate.  For example if the license plate was AGJ143, you would add 1+4+3=8.  The first one to 100 wins.  If you have a lot of distance to travel, extend the game by saying the person that just added has to take the first number of the next person's car and subtract that number.  I'm really bad at math, perhaps I should have played this one as a child!

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