Road Scholars: 3 Mind Sharpening Road Trip Games for Kids

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It’s summer time and you know what that means: road trips. Whether you’re packing the family into the car for a trip to grandmother’s house, or taking them on a long haul to the Grand Canyon, finding mentally stimulating activities to fill hours in the car can be a challenge. Many parents resort to “screen time” passing their kids a smartphone or an iPad. If you are looking for a way to turn your kids into “Road Scholars” without a screen, here are three games the whole family can play in the car to sharpen young minds (and old ones too.)

  1. Memory Games. Playing games of memory are great for building memorization skills. Here’s a simple one. Have one person start a story with a simple sentence fragment like “There was a bird.” The next person continues the story, but repeats the first part of the story first, so they might say, “There was a bird who flew to a mountain.” The next person continues in the same manner, repeating everything that has already been said while introducing a new element. Continue going around like this until someone forgets a section of the story, and then start over from the beginning.
  2. Guessing Games. Guessing games can help children develop critical thinking skills. Try a simple one like “I Spy.” You play the game by looking out the window of the car and saying “I spy with my little eye something that…” and then include a clue to help people guess what you saw. So if you saw a cow, you might say “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with a letter c.” The person who first guesses, “cows” get to start their own I Spy.
  3. Trivia. A road trip can be a fun time to stage your own trivia contest. Try to come up with questions for your kids about your destination. Let them know the topics you’ll be going over, then quiz them on the road. Whoever gets the most questions right gets a prize- even if it’s just the knowledge that they are the car trivia champs.

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