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Are we there yet? Travel games for the road

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By GreatSchools Staff

Word games

Silly license plate sentences

Have your child choose a passing car. Using the letters on its license plate, help him make up a phrase beginning with those letters. For example, DLA could be Dinosaurs Love Artichokes while SBWG could be She Bowls With Globes. The funnier your sentences are, the better!


Choose a word, then let the rest of the car race to name its antonym, or opposite. The winner gets to pick the next word. Here are some words to get you started:

  • brave
  • summer
  • polite
  • guilty
  • push
  • cheap
  • quiet

Pig Latin

"Most children quickly learn this playful code language derived from ordinary English," writes Meyers. "Words are formed by moving the first consonant or consonant cluster of each word to the end of the word and adding the sound ay." Here's an example:

  • "Can you speak Pig Latin?" turns into "Ancay ouyay eakspay Igpay Atinlay?"

If a vowel is at the beginning of a word, leave it there but still add the ay to the end:

  • "Are we there yet?" becomes "Areay eway erethay etyay?"

A to Z

Find words beginning with "A", on signs around you. Have your children take turns, after "A", go to "B", and so on. Can you get to "Z" and finish the alphabet?


Someone in the car thinks up a title for a story. Based on the title, the next person starts the story - "Once upon a time there was a _____..." The third person continues the story, and so on. You may want to set time limits for each player or for the length of the story itself. Meyers recommends, "If you have access to a tape recorder, it is fun to tape your stories and play them back later."

Fun with math

What am I counting?

Have your child silently pick something she sees outside the window, such as red barns, spotted cows or telephone poles. As the car passes her selected object, she counts out loud while the rest of the car tries to guess what is being counted. Whoever guesses correctly becomes the next counter.


"The object of this game is to be the first player to reach 100," writes Meyers. "Starting with 0, each player takes turns adding any number from 1 to 10. For example, the first player might start with 5. The next player might add 6 for a total of 11, saying aloud both the number and the total. The next player might add 10 for a total of 21. The game continues until someone reaches exactly 100. (You know you are a winner when it's your turn and the current total is between 90 and 99.)"

Dig for digits

Someone in the car picks a number, any number, then everyone races to find it on a billboard, street sign, or license plate. The winner of each round gets to pick the next number.

Mind your Ps and Qs

Meyers explains, "Each player looks for Ps and Qs on signs, license plates, etc. A particular P and Q may be counted only by the first player to see it." Set a specific time or mileage limit so the player with the highest count of Ps and Qs wins.