Car Games

(For the Whole Family!)

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I See Something (Woman's Day 6/69)

This one is good for parents and preschool children. She/he spots something up ahead, says, "I see something," and describes it. Other players take turns guessing what it is before the car passes the object. The guesser who names it then becomes "It". If no one gets the right answer, "It" discloses his/her secret, then names some new object.

Spotting Games (Woman's Day 6/69)

Driver should refrain from this one so he can watch the road! You can vary this to fit the passing scene and the age levels. In its usual form, those on the right side of the car count all horses (cows, sheep, men with beards, barns). Others count all horses (or substitutes for them) on the left. First side to reach 100 (20, 50) wins. Or the side with the most points after thirty minutes wins. But all points are canceled for a team if a cemetery (white horse, jail) turns up on that team's side. Vary this by giving five points for horses, one point for cows, ten points for church steeples or things seen less frequently. You can also make it every man for himself instead of choosing up sides. Point goes to the player who spots an item and counts it first.

Twenty Questions (Woman's Day 6/69)

"It" thinks of some object in the car. Players take turns guessing it by asking questions that can be answered only by Yes or No. If a player guesses before twenty questions are asked, he gets to be "it". Otherwise, the original "It" starts the game again.

VaVaVoom! (Perfect for little kids) (Woman's Day 6/69)

Players watch for an easily identifiable car, such as a foreign model or a station wagon. First child to see one of the cars you have named calls out "VAVAVOOM" and gets a point for it. Winner is the first one to get 25 (10, 50) points, or the one who gets the most points in thirty minutes.

Counting Games (Perfect for little kids) (Woman's Day 6/69)

Count everything! Count animals, bridges, stars and license plates. If your kids cannot identify the license plates by state, do it by colors. You can make this one competitive by giving a point to the child who sees a new plate color first. Winner is the one who counts off the most colors.

I Spy (Perfect for little kids) (Woman's Day 6/69)

Play this one with one or more small children. make a list of ten things you might see along the route in the next half hour. If you know you are coming to a town, list things like a filling station, white house, train track or stained glass window. In farm country, include a tractor, a heard of cows, a river, dog or farmhouse. Read the list. Tell the small fry to call "I spy" if they spot one of the objects. See whether they can find everything on your list in half an hour.

Alphabet Game (School aged kids) (Woman's Day 6/69)

Each player calls out the letters of the alphabet consecutively as he spots them on road signs or license plates. First player to claim a letter from a specific sign has sole rights to it. Others much find it on another sign. First one through the alphabet wins. The going gets touch on Q and Z. You can reduce the competitive nature by sticking to each letter until every player finds it.

License Plate Games (School aged kids) (Woman's Day 6/69)

See who can collect the biggest total of state license plates in a day or a given time period. A state should be counted only once by each player. First to score 50 wins. For variety, let each player count the numbers 1 through 100 consecutively from license plates. First one to reach 100 wins. Give a prize to the player who comes up with the lowest license plate number for the day.

Population (School aged kids) (Woman's Day 6/69)

No fair peeking at the map before you play this one. As you drive through a town, or even if you bypass it on the freeway, let everyone look around and make a guess at the population. When you are past the town, check its population on your road map. The one with the closest guess wins.

Have a group sing (Woman's Day 6/69)

Kids love to sing the oldtime campfire songs like "My Darling Clementine" and "Oh, Susanna". Take along a song book when you travel. (Check your local bookstore, you'll be surprized!). Take along CD's or tapes with kids songs on them.

Secret Says: My kids LOVE to sing! You'll be surprized how quickly the time passes when they are occupied, and how pleasant it is to hear their little voices singing together!

Tell Stories (Woman's Day 6/69)

Let older children tell stories to the younger ones. Or start a round robin story. Most children have more imagination than adults and can contine a narrative nicely, ending at a suspenseful moment. Linit each one to five minutes or so. The last one should wrap it up with a reasonable ending.

Try map reading (Woman's Day 6/69)

Even small children enjoy following the route on the road map. Give a map to each child or show them the route as it is marked on your copy. Tell them what they are going to be seeing along the route just ahead and tehy will have fun speculating about it. Map reading cuts repetition of that nagging "Are we almost there?" Older children like being navigators.

Change the seating arrangements (Woman's Day 6/69)


Make scrapbooks (Woman's Day 6/69)

Many older children enjoy keeping trip scrapbooks. They can tape into them brochures, postcards, paper matchbooks, souvenier napkins and road maps, plus their own daily travel log. Comes in handy for that school assignment, "What i did last summer".

Secret Says: Yep, they STILL do that!

Let children start or add to collections (Woman's Day 6/69)

Collect Matchbooks, rocks, miniature animals, toy soldiers, postcards, souveniers or little bars of soap.

Have a quiet hour! (Woman's Day 6/69)

Declare half and hour of silence, or give a prize to the passenger who can go the longest time without saying anything.

Secret Says: "Noone ask Momma ANYTHING for half an hour beginning NOW." WooHoo!!!

Categories (Family Circle 8/68)

First player chooses a category- for example, flowers- and each player in turn, clockwise around the car, must then name a different type of flower. The first player might say "rose", the next player "tulip", the following player "daffodil". Players who, at their turn, can't think of a different flower or who repeat one already given drop out of the game, and the winner (the last player able to name a different example) selects the next category.

Possible Categories: farm animals, cars, 50 states, colors, fruits, television programs, relatives, or anything else your family can dream up.

A-L-P-H-A-B-E-T (Family Circle 8/68)

This is a more challenging version of Categories for children who know their alphabet and can spell. First player selects a category, like cities. The players then take turns naming cities in alphabetical order, clockwise around the car. For example, the first player might say "Atlanta;", the next player, "Boston;", the floowing player, "Chicago;" - and so on through the alphabet. A player who cannot think of a bity beginning with the letter that comes up on his turn is out, and the next player must try to name a city for that letter. If necessary, go through the alphabet a second or third time, using new cities.

Play continues until only the winner is left (the last player to name a city), and that player selects the next category.

*Possible categories: rivers, movie stars, vegetables, famous authors, politicians, and countries. The game can be made easier for youngsters by picking categories such as nursery-rhyme and fairy-tale characters or even girls' and boys' names.

Wish You Were Here (Family Circle 8/68)

With this game you can travel all over the world-while sitting in your car. The first player chooses a city to "live" in, and the other players must try to find out which city it is. The difficulty is that each player is allowed only one direct guess, like "is it Dallas?" or "are you living in Paris?" Once he has made such a direct guess (and if it is wrong) he is eliminated from the round. The trick is to try to find out as much as you can about the city by asking indirect questions before you take a chance with your one guess. Players may ask as many indirect questions as they wish, clockwise around the car. Sample indirect questions might be: "Are you living in North America?", "Do the people in your city speak English?", "Are you living in a city in which many automobiles are made?"

A direct guess can be made only during a player's regular turn. With very young children use familiar nearby communities or substitute rooms in your house for cities.

What Can You Do With A Gnu? (Family Circle 8/68)

This game is designed to exercise the muscles of the imagination and frequently the funny bone. Finding a winner isn't nearly so important as laughing alot. The first player picks an everyday object, like a brick. The other players are then asked "What can you do with a brick?" They must think up original and unusual uses to which a brick might be put. Some examples might be; Prop open a window, squash bugs, strike a kitchen match on it, stand on it to reach the cooky jar, use it as a wheel block, throw it at a burglar, and so forth.

Play continues until no more uses can be imagined, and then the player whom Mom or Dad decides has thought up the most unusual answer may name the next object. Possible choices might be a needle, a baseball bat, bird's nest, or almost anything. This game is not so much nonsense as is may seem. Questions similar to "What can you do with a brick?" are used by psychologists in testing for creativity.

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Disclaimer: The ideas on these pages were obtained from a notebook that my mom gave me when I had kids. Most of the information in this book was cut from magazines in the 60's and 70's. When possible, I will credit the magazine and published date.

Most of the stuff on these pages require very little parental supervision/intervention. Some of the ideas require using an iron or oven, they are marked clearly (in red). Please supervise your children!!! Groovynet will not be held responsible for any accidents caused by your not watching/helping your kids! Please Be responsible.

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