Most of us spend a considerable amount of time in the car with our children. Why not make the most out of this time by playing fun games that will help promote the language arts? Here are some of my favorites
This is a good game to play with all ages. Even preschoolers should be able to play this one! The goal is to hunt for letters on the signs you see on your trip (highway signs, restaurant signs, store signs, etc.). Start by looking for the letter A. Once you’ve found that one, move onto B, and so on. If your drive is long enough, you should be able to get through the whole alphabet. If the drive is shorter, just try to find as many as you can before you reach your destination.
Even before your children can write, they know the concept of rhyming. Reinforce this skill with a rhyming game. Start with a basic word, such as “bat”and take turns trying to think of words that rhyme with that word (e.g. cat, pat, rat, sat). Keep going until you’ve exhausted all the options for that particular word. Then move on to another. To keep the older kids engaged, challenge them to think beyond just one letter substitution. In the case of “bat,”older kids could come up with spat, that, chat, etc.
The car is as good a place as any for an impromptu spelling bee. Give an age-appropriate word to a child and ask them to spell it correctly. If there is more than one kid in the car, you could make it a partner game where they work together to spell the word or you could put them up against one another for a more competitive game. This can also work well for children of different ages. Each child can get a word that matches his/her level.
Memory games are a great way to keep everyone entertained. This particular game is one that you could play along with as well. The first player names something one could find at a supermarket that starts with the letter A. The next player has to repeat what the first player said and then add another supermarket item that starts with a B. For example, if player one says “apricots,” player two would repeat “apricots” and then might add “bananas.” Play continues as such, with players adding a new word in alphabetical order each time. Once a player forgets an item in the order, that person is out. Keep going until only one player remains.
Children often don’t have enough time to work on synonyms and antonyms. Why not try this easy car game? Pick a basic word such as “big.”Challenge your child to name as many synonyms as they can think of for that word (e.g. large, gigantic, huge). Once they’ve come up with a good list, have them switch to thinking of several antonyms for that same word (e.g. small, tiny, little).
This is a particularly fun game that builds up creative writing skills. One person in the car starts by creating the first line of the story. It can be a simple beginning, such as “Once upon a time there was a unicorn who lived in a forest”or you can start out more elaborately such as “Once upon a time there was a unicorn whose only wish was to learn how to fly.”Next, each person in the car adds a line, and the story builds and builds. Be sure to remind those playing to pay attention to all the previous sentences so that the story you create makes sense. Other than that, encourage creativity and silliness!