Looking for fun games to play in the car? We’ve got you covered!
As a mom, life can seem to be one endless barrage of routine, tasks, errands and fire drills. Now that school is over for the summer, maybe like you, I’m toting my kiddos around with me because they’re in that perfect age where they’re too young to leave at home alone and old enough to complain to me about how bored they are running errands. Like yeah, I know, it’s not glamorous, but that’s life and no you can’t melt into your screen playing Minecraft.
5 Games to Play in the Car with Kids
In these instances, there are a few go-to activities I love to utilize to keep my kids occupied without screens:
The classic road trip game, this is an oldie but a goodie. If you get tired of hearing “i spy…” from the backseat, encourage your kids to make up a story about the thing they have in mind. It not only breaks away from the repetitive nature of this game, it encourages them to use their imagination and hold a better conversation. You know, good life skills.
DIY Spelling Bee
This started when my 4th grader’s school had their spelling bee last year, we helped her to prep and it became a family activity to practice spelling different words. We go back and forth asking how to spell different words, usually things that we see around us. I will say that spelling has lost a bit of its charm in my house, but has helped to kill the time in waiting rooms and grocery lines. Pterodactyl and xylophone are great curveballs to throw in there. (Speaking from experience here).
Fun Fact Co. Trivia Deck
This is an actual game rather than something you can do on the fly, but it’s become a mainstay in my bag since getting an early version. Sometimes having something physical is just the ticket. This particular game has multiple choice questions (unlike Trivial Pursuit, everyone has a chance of victory) on a variety of captivating topics. My kids like to quiz me while we do errands and giggle at all the answers I get wrong if they’re feeling like reveling in their intellectual superiority. But hey, they are reading! Most of the time it spurs new conversations and we make a list of things to look up when we get home to augment our newfound knowledge. You can check out this nifty educational game here.
In Your Seat Twister
We would play things with our son when he was smaller but it’s still fun to do and always elicits a lot of giggles. Think of silly ways to connect your body: put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, put your right hand on your left knee, now touch your nose to your shoulder. Once you’ve run out of moves there tends to be a lot of laughter at this point. A word to the wise, this can get a little distracting if you are driving.
Never discount the power of just being and observing. We can’t be happy-go-lucky all the time and it’s important to remember as a parent, it’s not your job to entertain your child 24/7. Sometimes the quiet moments in the car are the beginning to insightful conversations and moments of true connection.
In the end, leaning on your own creativity and just being present with your kids is the secret sauce. This isn’t hard to do (most days), but we’re human and we all have those moments of exhaustion and frustration. That’s natural of course, and one of the reasons I really enjoy educational games like the Fun Fact Trivia Deck, which can be self-serve entertainment when I need to be in my own headspace. Though I confess, I find the trivia as interesting as they do!