With the holiday season in full swing, your family may find itself spending some time in the car while traveling between various family members or other destinations. Here are some games that are fun and can work on skills such as visual discrimination, figure ground discrimination and visual form constancy.
When I used to travel with my family (and even when I moved cross country as an adult) one of my favorite games to play was the license plate game. We loved to try to and find a license plate from all 50 states. This tends to be more of an ongoing game though. So if you have kids that can write or read, you can give them a list of the states and have them cross them off as they see them (or try to write the license plate number next to the state). In our car Hawaii and Alaska were always especially exciting to find. You could keep the list in the car so they can work on it each time they get in.
The alphabet game was another favorite. When we got in the car we would start at the letter A and try to find each letter of the alphabet on the signs we drove by or the license plates we saw. To make it more challenging we would disqualify license plates or we would say that the word needed to start with the letter. You could make it a group activity or a competition between each person in the car.
Another game that doesn’t have to be just for the car but can be played there is ‘I Spy’. Now this one may be trickier to play if you are driving on a freeway and you are picking objects outside. You may want to leave the outside objects for low speed driving or when you are stuck in traffic and use inside items for freeway driving. You can vary the game by picking specific objects that you spy or picking colors or objects that start with a certain letter. You could also turn it into a game of categories. I remember one time driving in the car with my mom and I had to do a school project on weather vanes and I had the best time locating weather vanes as we drove along and writing the different styles down for my project. Think of all the categories you could come up with to have your kids look for!