As a little, I know we’re not always patient creatures. I want everything to happen YESTERDAY and that’s especially true when it comes to anything I’m particularly excited about! Car rides, then, are a hotbed of frustration, boredom and over-excitement, not to mention over-tiredness, and the environment of a dull journey with an exciting destination is a breeding ground for temper tantrums.
I went on a long car ride last weekend, and another one the weekend before, while we visited assorted relatives over Easter, and I was SO BORED because we’ve done these journeys, like, 1000 times. Because I like researching stuff, I pulled together a list of things to do during future car rides, and hopefully there’s something here that can keep you occupied when you are going on a long car trip too!
1. I spy. This is the most obvious game you can play on long car rides if you and your grown-up are alone in a car together. The person whose turn it is says “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…” then they say the first letter of the thing they can see. The other person has to guess what it is. You HAVE to be able to see the thing when you say it (and if your grownup/little has autism/aspergers/another thing affecting their ability to perspective-take, make double sure THEY can see it too)!
2. Sing along CDs. This one didn’t occur to me until I found one of my Disney Princess CDs in the car on a recent car trip. You can do this when you’re driving, too (of course, that’s if you’re grown-up enough to drive).
3. Coloring. This one requires advance planning, because you’ll need some paper or a coloring book, and some pencils or crayons to color with.
4. Counting games. Think of something you keep seeing (or don’t see many of), for example, post boxes, telephone boxes or yellow cars. The person who spots the most telephone boxes (for example) wins. What do you win? That’s between you and your grown-up!!
5. Place names. Someone picks a place-name, and the other person has to say another place-name that starts with the same letter that was the last letter of the previous place-name. E.g. “Edinburgh” “Hartford” “Dartmouth.” If you get stuck, there’s usually helpful signposts outside the car window (or you can look at the map if you’re not driving).
6. Telling a story. You say half a sentence to start a story, and the other person has to say another half of a sentence to continue the story, and you keep going as a story starts to grow. You’re not allowed to use your turn to undo someone else’s half-sentence, though!
7. If you want to do something educational, you could have a spelling bee. This is where one person says a word and the other person has to spell it out loud! How many of us depend on spellcheck in our everyday lives? I like to practice my American words because there’s quite a few differences between UK English and American English. The only problem with this game is that you need a grown-up who is good at spelling. Unfortunately, because I really, really, adore words, I’m better at spelling than my grown-up (he is the first person to say this, which is fine because maths is his thing, whereas I’m barely numerate), and so we don’t play this game as often as I’d like.
8. Have a puppet show. If you are in the car alone together, you could take some toy puppets with you, and you can make up a story with them that your grown-up can listen to (although he/she should probably keep their eyes on the road). If you’re driving, obviously your grown-up can do the puppeteering, but you could still voice one of the characters, or you could maybe ask your grown-up to make up a story for you, using the puppets. It’s like an audiobook but WITH PUPPETS IN YOUR CAR!!
9. Word association. This one can also be a fun way to get to know each other better. One person says a word and the other person has to say the first thing that comes into their head, then the first person has to say whatever come into their head, and so on.
10. A twist on word association that I like to play with a couple of my friends who share my sense of humor and love of words is word disassociation. With this game, someone says a word, and you have to say something that’s nothing to do with it. This one really gets you thinking (and you aren’t allowed to hesitate or the other person wins).
Do you have any other games that you like to play in the car with your grown-up/little? Let me know in the comments!!
Lots of love,