Many road trips have been canceled this spring, but if you enjoy the games to pass time on long drives, many can be reimagined for home. (Hint, if you have kids at home, they can include some fun learning opportunities as well.) Here’s a few ideas from Librarian Kate to get you started:
License Plate Bingo: Do you love watching passing cars for license plates from far away? I enjoy keeping an eye out for unfamiliar plates, even when driving near home. Around the house, try a manufacturer’s tag version.
- As you move around the house, where are the items you use made? Turn it into a scavenger hunt. Find the countries on a map or globe, and see how many countries and regions you can find represented.
Alphabet Soup: Sometimes as we drive, we look for the letters of the alphabet on signs, bumper stickers, or other sources of print. We look for each letter in order until we complete the alphabet. You can do the same with labels and titles around the house.
- Can you find every letter in visible places? What creative places did you find letters you weren’t expecting?
Can You Find…: We play this by making challenges to the other occupants in the car. Can we see five horses, three things that start with “R” or ten things that are green as we drive? This is one of the easiest to convert to an at-home or on-a-walk game.
- How many street signs will you pass on your walk today? Can you find four things that are blue in a bedroom, or five squares in the kitchen? Do neighbors have cats, hearts, bears, or other sights in their windows? Look around your house for at least four items that start with “L.”
Are We There Yet?: While not most parents’ favorite part of a long drive, the question can be a great opportunity to learn about maps, speed, and distance.
- We follow progress on a map with mileage markers and distance signs as we drive. Since we’re not on the road right now, why not plan imaginary or future trips? How far would it be to visit family members, distant friends, or tourist attractions?
- If you have an atlas at home, you can practice reading the maps’ scale, distance estimates, and how roads connect. Plan an itinerary and determine how long it would take to get to desired locations.
- Using an online maps program can also give interesting information on times, distances, and junctions.
- If the fantasy world is your preferred destination, find a favorite book with a map of the setting. Determine which locations you would most like to see and how you might get there using the travel methods most common in the story. What are the must-see locations in the area?