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Communication skills are essential! Here are five unusual car games that focus on communication.

4 Unusual and Easy Car Games that Focus on Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential in life. You’ve got to be able to talk clearly, confidently, and concisely. While teaching these skills to your kids might seem boring, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five car games that’ll help.

They’re a bit unusual, but definitely fun!

1. Asking & Answering Questions

This game is super simple, but it focuses on an important communication skill: being able to ask and answer questions. Feel free to change up the questions based on your children’s age and ability.

How to Play:

First, one person asks a question. It can be about anything. Then, everyone else takes a turn answering.

Another player poses a question, starting the next round of the game.

Some of the Questions We’ve Used:

  1. Who is your favorite character in (name a TV show)?
  2. If you could be an animal, what kind would you be?
  3. What time do you think we’ll arrive at Grandma’s house?
  4. Did you see that cow? What would be a good name for it?
  5. If you could have a super power, which one would you pick?
  6. What’s your favorite book?
  7. If you could go into a TV show for one day, which show would you go into?
  8. Why do you think giraffes have long necks?
  9. What would you do if it started raining gumdrops?
  10. What supplies do you think you’ll need for school next year?

2. Radio Ads

This game is a creativity building, confidence boosting activity. It works best for upper elementary aged and older kids.

Radio ads are all based on auditory components. They don’t have the benefit of special visual effects to get someone to buy a product. All players will be creating a radio ad for a product they invent.

How to Play:

Give everyone 5-10 minutes to think of an invention they think the world needs.

When the think time is up, each person takes a turn offering an oral presentation about their invention. You’ll want to share:

  • What you’d call your invention
  • What your invention does
  • Why someone would want your invention

The goal is to make other people want your invention. Speak with confidence! Think of it like an elevator pitch for your invention.

3. What Movie Has …?

Being able to think quickly plays a huge role in communication skills. This game practices that skill in a kid friendly way. My kids and I enjoyed it for almost an hour on our last road trip!

How to Play:

One person is the host first. This person’s job is to ask the questions. Everyone else answers.

The host thinks of an object, and then asks, “What movie has a ____” filling in the blank with the name of the object.

Everyone else thinks quickly, and sees who can provide the name of a movie first.

Here’s some examples:

What movie has a spaceship? (Possible response: Star Trek)

What movie has a dog? (Possible response: Space Buddies)

As you can see, the answers can vary widely. Players might even come up with two or more movies for the same object.

If any player questions the answer, the person who gave the answer must describe the scene that had the object. This helps players practice defending their answer with factual information.

Keep going until you run out of ideas, or players lose interest.

4. The Tone Game

This is a fun car game for younger kids. The goal is to think about how your tone of voice impacts your message.

How to Play:

As the host, you’ll be in charge of giving directions. Ask your kids to say things in a certain way to share a message. It sounds complicated, but it’s not.

Here’s a look at a couple of directions you could give:

  • Pretend that you’re mad. Now say, “I don’t want to go.”
  • If you were scared, how would you sound if you said, “What was that?”
  • In a surprised voice, ask “When did you get here?”

After each response you can talk about the emotions displayed in the voice.

Then, you can switch it up a bit. This time, you’ll do the talking and it’s the kids’ turn to decide what emotion you’re feeling. So say something in a happy voice, and then ask the kids how they think you are feeling.

Next, use your serious voice and say something else. Continue the conversation about how your tone can show what you’re feeling.

Can you think of other car games that practice communication skills?

I’d love for you to share in the comments!

Want other fun car games to try?

ELA Car Games

Observation Building Car Games

Musical Car Games

Social Studies Car Games

Science Car Games

 

These car games help your little ones practice their color identification skills. They're perfect for young kids.

4 Car Games to Practice Color Identification

Today’s car games are meant for the youngsters in our lives. They’re all perfect for reinforcing color identification skills.

In addition, these games will keep your little ones engaged while you’re driving, which is a huge bonus!

1. BINGO!

No, this game doesn’t have anything to do with a farmer and his dog! 😀 My little sister Katie introduced me to this one back when I was in high school.

The goal is to find 10 yellow cars. Each time you see a yellow car, you yell, “BINGO!”

When I played with my sister, we decided that school buses, moving trucks, semi-trucks, and delivery vans didn’t count. Neither did tractors. So we threw out all commercial rigs.

But with my young kids, everything counts. It’s a fun way to keep them looking out the windows as we drive.

We’ve also occasionally changed up the color. We might play “Red Bingo” or “Blue Bingo.” Pick a color you’re working on, and go with that.

Of course some car colors are very popular, so the length of the game varies based on what color you pick.

2. I Spy

The classic car game I’m sure almost everyone has played! One person secretly picks an object (inside the car works best so you don’t drive right past it!). Once selected, the person then says, “I spy with my little eye something ______.” They fill in the blank with the color of the object.

The other players take turns guessing what it is.

Once identified, another player picks an object.

3. Find the Rainbow

Can your kids find something red?

Then yellow?

Continue calling out colors for them to find until they’ve found the whole rainbow. Then you can throw in some extra colors like pink and silver too!

4. Color Category

Pick a color, and have your kids name as many things as they can that are that color. For older kids, you can have them focus on a single category (name all the orange vegetables for instance).

Here’s how it works:

One person names a color. Then everyone takes turns naming objects that are that color.

So if the color is pink, you might hear:

  • The sunset
  • cheeks
  • A shoe
  • My shirt
  • That blanket
  • A pig

When you’re out of ideas, give another color a try.

Do you play other car games that reinforce color?

I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Photo credit: Alejandro Garrido Navarro via Unsplash

Why do I play car games with the kids? It's so much easier just to turn on the radio and relax. But, engaging the kids has such a better outcome. Click through to read what I've learned.

Why I Play Car Games with My Children

If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a huge fan of car games for kids.

I enjoy playing them, but it wasn’t always my favorite thing to do. So I wanted to explain why I emphasize them so much.

Because, when I get in the car, do you know what I really want to do?

I want to relax, listen to some talk radio or an audio book, and just enjoy some peace and quiet.

But, even though I could make the kids sit quietly along the way, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not the best thing to do. Because then when we get where we’re going, they’re ready to engage and interact.

They’re ready for attention. To tell me about what they saw or drew on the way.

And I’m ready to do whatever it is I went there to do.

The kids get loud. They get whiny and impatient. And I get mad.

All because I wanted my way in the car. I wanted it to be about me and what I wanted.

So I don’t usually do what I want. Instead, I make the choice to engage. To be present and build memories.

And everyone does better because of it. Even me.

Finding Balance

On the other end of the equation, I don’t want my kids to feel like they should always be entertained. I want them to have quiet time and thinking time.

So we don’t play car games every mile of the journey.

They have their color books and colored pencils. I have a stack of kids’ books on cassettes that we listen to.

They spend time looking out the windows.

And yes, sometimes I hand over my smartphone and let them play games so I can kick back and listen to Dave Ramsey.

But, I always try to keep an eye on the feelings in the car. If the kids are starting to argue, or they’re getting restless and bored, a game can usually turn things around before it gets out of hand.

So I’m always ready with an idea or two.

It Doesn’t Take Much

Most of my car games aren’t fancy. They don’t need special items or supplies. And most aren’t really even that competitive.

But the kids don’t care. They just want to spend time with me. And feel special.

That’s what car games do. They help kids and parents take time that’s otherwise wasted, and turn it into something special.

That’s why I play car games with them, even when I’d rather just sit.

Do You Need Ideas for Car Games?

If you’re hoping to build some memories in the car, be sure to check out my posts on Car Games for kids. You can find a list of them all on this post. They’re material free, so you won’t have any clutter to worry about.

And you’ll always be prepared with a game when you need one.

Here’s to peaceful car trips. wonderful journeys, and a lifetime of memories!

Photo Credit: Kevin Lee via Unsplash

Social studies car games

5 Social Studies Car Games

We took a recent road trip hitting both free local ferry services. It was a fabulous trip, and offered opportunity to try out a few new car games. These were all social studies based, giving us the perfect opportunity to practice new skills we’ve been learning.

5 Social Studies Car Games

Social studies is a large umbrella subject, covering:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Civics
  • Economics
  • Community

With all of those subcategories, there’s plenty to work with to create some games! Here’s what we came up with:

1. Where’s It Come From?

This quick playing game gave us a chance to practice naming where different resources come from. It’s simple to play. One person is the host, taking turns asking questions.

Here are some of the questions:

  • Where does hamburger come from? (a cow)
  • Where does gold come from? (mined from the ground)
  • Where do we get wool to make clothes? (From shearing sheep)
  • Where does bacon come from? (Pigs)
  • Where do wooden planks come from? (Trees)
  • Where do blueberries come from? (They grow on bushes.)

You can ask pretty much anything and help your children learn more about the resources we use everyday.

For every question a player got correct, they earned a point. Everyone who earned 5 points earned a piece of candy after the game.

2. Name the States

I challenged my oldest to name all the 50 states. The younger kids helped where they could, but since they haven’t covered US geography in-depth yet, they didn’t play this one for points.

We’ve listened to a great CD set from Wee Sing full of American songs. One of them names all the states in alphabetical order. My oldest tried singing this to name the states, but ended up missing a few.

It was fun to have my husband jump in and try to help her name the five she was missing. Eventually we named them all!

3. Who’s Who?

This game took what we’ve learned about our family and community. I have several pictures on my cell phone that showed family members and places we go to often.

On a player’s turn, they looked at the picture naming the subject. If it showed a person, they named who was in the picture and how that person was related to them. If it was a place, they said where it was, and why we go there.

For instance, a picture of the doctor’s office would have the player say: That’s the doctor, we go there if we’re sick.

A picture of an aunt would have them say: That’s Aunt ____. She’s your sister Mom.

It’s a great way to review important people and places. Just be sure to fill up your camera roll with relevant clips before you head out on the road.

4. The License Plate Game

This one’s a classic! As we passed cars, we peered out the windows to see what state the license plate was from. The little guys called for help if they saw a plate they couldn’t read that wasn’t Washington.

We wrote down the states that we found. We also saw a province of Canada, so we were able to talk about where that was.

This one would have been better if I’d printed off a US map for everyone before we left. Then they could have colored the states as we found them. The visual clue would have helped the younger kids feel more included!

5. Animal Habitats & Continents

My kids love animals, so this was a fun game. On each player’s turn, they’d name an animal. The rest of us would work as a team to describe the habitat that the animal lived in. Then a continent where that animal could live got named. Here’s how a couple of rounds looked:

Polar Bear

They live in the cold and eat fish so they need to be by water.

Polar bears could live in Antarctica.

Lions

They live in the tall grass. Lions hunt other animals.

This animal could live in Africa.

This game/conversation went on for several miles and let everyone take part in an age-appropriate way.

After the interest slowed down, everyone drew a picture of an animal in a habitat, which extended the game nicely.

Need Other Ideas for Car Games?

We love playing games every time we hit the road. Here are other collections for you to use:

Math Car Games

English/Language Arts Car Games

Musical Car Games

What are your favorite games for the car? I’d love for you to share them in the comments!

Photo credit: Hon Kim via Unsplash

5 Musical Car Games to help the miles fly on your next roadtrip.

5 Musical Car Games to Help the Miles Fly

We love playing games in the car! It really helps pass the time, and sneak some learning into our travels. Here are five of our favorite musical car games:

1. Musical ABCs

We played this one for the first time recently, and it was an enjoyable challenge. The task? To sing a song that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

So we started with A Whole New World from  and sang our way down to Zacchaeus.

We Googled the lyrics as needed, and we did skip two letters–Q and X.

Here are the rules we used:

  • The song’s title had to start with the given letter.
  • We had to recognize the song (so we couldn’t just Google “songs that start with X” and pick a random one)
  • Any genre was fair game. We sang hymns, songs from movies, theme songs, and more.

2. All the Songs From

Musical movies are what this game is about! We tended to pick Disney movies, just because that’s what we knew most of.

Here’s the goal:

To sing all the songs from a given movie.

So if you were to pick Frozen, you’d sing all of its songs. You know:

  • Frozen Heart
  • Do You Want to Build a Snowman
  • For the First Time in Forever
  • Love Is an Open Door
  • Let It Go
  • Reindeers Are Better Than People

Then pick another movie and start from the top.

We did use Google to look up lyrics.

3. Songs with the Word…

For this game, you take turns picking a focus word. Then, you all name songs that contain that word.

So, if you pick “Tree”, you could list:

  • O Christmas Tree
  • Way Up at the Top of the Apple Tree
  • If You Get There Before I Do

And tons of other songs that contain the word tree somewhere in the lyrics.

Here are the Rules we Used:

  • If you named a song, you had to be ready to sing the section of the song that contained the focus word
  • No Googling (just relying on brain power & memory!)
  • All versions of the focus word were included–so trees counted as tree

4. Line by Line

Pick a song that most players know the word to. We found Theme Songs worked well for a variety of ages.

One person sings the first line of the song. The next player sings the next line. Continue taking turns until you reach the end of the song.

5. Themed Sing

Take turns naming a theme song. Then sing it as a family.

Continue taking turns until you can’t think of anymore theme song lyrics.

We decided that different versions counted as different songs. So we sang several different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle songs. It made the game last longer, which is what I was going for.

We did Google lyrics after we named a song. We didn’t allow Googling of theme song titles.

Do you play musical car games? What are your favorites?

I’d love for you to share your favorite musical car games in the comments section below. We’re always game for trying a new one!

Looking for Other Car Games?

Check out my other posts for even more car game ideas:

ELA Games to Play in the Car

Math Games to Play in the Car