The trip to school each morning can seem tedious.... especially if you find yourself in traffic, and have to sit for a while as you wait to get through each traffic light.
However, there are many ways to keep yourself and the kids entertained during the journey. What's more, many of these games stimulate creative and cognitive development, and can put your child in the right frame of mind for school.
They will also help you to relax and to be a friendlier driver on the road. Here are just 10 games to play in the car on the way to school:
9 'I Spy'
You know this one. Each person has a turn to find something in the car, or by the road or pavement and then say, 'I spy with my little eye, something beginning with..."
If the 'something' begins with a 'c', for example, everyone will then have to try and guess what the thing beginning with 'c' is. Maybe it is a car alongside your own at the stop sign or a cafeteria in the distance on your way to school. Let everyone have a turn to come up with something.
8 Spot the red car
How many red (or any color you choose) cars can you see on the road on the way to school? This game teaches observation and concentration skills. Why not turn it into a competition to see who can spot the most red cars?
This game can also be played with very small children who know colors but not letters and will enjoy pointing to the red cars. Reward their observations with excitement to encourage them and spur them on.
7 The name game
This game is guaranteed to keep kids on their toes and warm up their minds for the school day ahead. A theme is chosen and the game commences. If, for example, actors and actresses are chosen as a theme, the first person will name someone famous. The next in line must then, using the last letter of this actor or actresses' name, name someone new.
So, for example, the person might name Bruce Willis. The next person would then find someone whose name begins with an 'S', like Sarah Jessica Parker. If there are two people this can bounce back and forth until someone is unable to name any new actors or actresses (each can only be named once). For a group, continue until through a process of elimination, a winner emerges.
6 'The Wheels on the Bus'
Most moms will be familiar with this song. Everyone sings the song together and at the end of each verse, each person gets a turn to 'add someone or something to the bus' and to say what that person or thing does, such as 'the windscreen wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish' or 'the doggy on the bus goes bark, bark, bark'.
Everyone must then sing their verse with them. Try come up with something humorous and imaginative, and make sure everyone in the car has a chance to add on to the song.
5 The memory game
This game works for children who know their alphabet. So, for example, a theme will be chosen, such as 'fruit and vegetables'. Someone begins, naming a fruit or vegetable beginning with an 'A', such as an 'apple'.
The next person then goes, naming the first stated fruit or vegetable, in this instance, 'apple', and then adding to this, a second fruit or vegetable, beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, a 'B'. So for example, they will say, 'Apple, banana...' The next person will then come up with something beginning with a 'C', adding this to the list already given.
4 Continue the story
With this game, each person has a chance to speak. What happens is that someone begins and starts a story... 'Once upon a time...' and proceeds to give the opening line of a story.
The next person then goes, adding onto this a single sentence or phrase. Each person has a turn to add to the story in this manner. Children will love this game and will enjoy seeing the way the narrative unfolds.
3 The movie game
This is a great one to play with a car full of bigger kids who watch lots of movies. Each person takes a turn. The first person names either an actor or an actress. The next in line then names a movie that specific person stars in. The following person must then say the name of someone else who stars in that same movie.
The player after this must then name another movie that the last named actor or actress is in, and so forth. If someone can't think of a star or a movie, they are out. The 'last one standing' is the winner.
2 The joke game
Here, each person gets a chance to tell a joke and the one that gets the most laughs wins. Contenders should try and use as much expression and exuberance as possible, flexing their humor muscles to get the other kids and people in the car to laugh as much as possible.
You might even use themes for each round, such as 'one liners', and 'knock, knock jokes'. This is a great one for putting kids in a good mood for the day ahead.
1 The 'truth' game
Here, a question is asked and each person gets a chance to answer. This is a chance to get to know everyone in the car. You might ask, 'What is your dream holiday?' and then let each child answer, before asking the next question.
Or questions might get trickier like, 'Would you rather sing or act for a living, and why?' Be creative and get the kids to think. It's good for them and good for you too, as you will get to know their hearts.