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Fun "stuck in the car" games to play with your kids

Think beyond "I Spy"

From SheKnows Canada
It's OK to admit that being stuck in the car with your kids for hours on end is not your favourite activity. But there are ways to pass the time in a sane manner — think fun kid-friendly games. You'll make it; we promise!
Three smiling girls looking backward from rear seat

Riddles and trivia

OK, all kids love a little challenge, and if you sneak in an educational curve, it's the best of both worlds. With this knowledge, we present to thee riddles and trivia. Print out a handful of sheets of various riddles and trivia questions (with answers, of course!), and ignite a fervent competition on four wheels. What kid doesn't want to outsmart Mum and Dad or Grandpa and Grandma? The key here is to filter out questions that aren't age appropriate to your children; you want them to know the answers to at least some of them!

The great thing about trivia is that children will not only learn something from the game but might be inspired to continue learning if a topic interests them. Those riddles will exercise their minds and work those deductive skills, plus they will keep them occupied for a while. You can find some riddle printouts here and some trivia questions here, just to get you started.

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Spelling bee

Another game with an educational twist. For some reason, kids love a good old-fashioned spelling bee. It's a great tool to encourage the learning of proper spelling, and an incognito push to expand your kids' vocabularies. They will need incentives, of course, so organize a little in-car competition, and the winner will receive a small prize. With this kind of game, we encourage you to prepare a list of words (appropriate for your child's level) ahead of time; otherwise you might go blank and start naming whatever is on the roadside. For inspiration, check out this website for a few printouts.

Name That Tune

Little girl listening to headphones

This is a classic. You can play this game in two ways. In the first, a player will sing, hum or whistle a tune, and the other players must guess that song. Whoever gets the answer right is the next to sing. The second way is to have the radio on and guess the song that's playing. Be sure to keep track of points to determine the winner. To be fair, you can tune the radio to different stations that play other music genres. And in this day and age, verifying songs is incredibly easy — you can just use one of those handy music-identifying smartphone apps like Shazam.

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Journals

This game is geared toward the more creative kids. Before hitting the road, buy a few notebooks and disposable cameras, and grab some old magazines. Let the kids treat the car ride as an adventure. The notebooks will be their journals, in which they can describe the trip (and all the stops on the way), create collages from the old magazines and maybe even glue in a postcard from a pit stop. The disposable cameras are for their visual documentation of the trip, and trust us, those photos will be incredibly interesting to look through afterward. This little activity will keep them occupied and creative — but mostly occupied. At the end of your trip, you can flip through the journals and experience it from your children's perspectives.

The geography game

Inflatable globe

We hope you're well acquainted with the globe. The rules of this game are quite simple: A player names either a country, city, province or state, and the next player must do the same but using the last letter of the first player's word to start theirs. For example, if the first player uses the word "Alberta," the second player can say "Acapulco," and the third player can say "Oslo," and so on and so forth, repeating the cycle. It's a challenging game even for adults as well as educational for kids, because you can discuss the locations and cultures of the places they didn't recognize. It will be a learning experience for parents and children both. Give it a go!

Tell us

What are your favourite car games? Share in the comments section below!

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