Educational Games for Spring Break Traveling
On dewy weekend mornings and free days during spring break, your family gets a chance to escape work and school to treat spring fever.
If you plan to travel this spring, keep your child occupied with these educational games and activities. Some are meant to be played in the car, but others work well for downtime, too. The best thing about these games is that they offer a fun, creative way to revisit school concepts during the break. It’s also an effective way to catch up on any subject that your child needs extra help with.
Check out the educational games for spring break traveling below.
License Plate Scavenger Hunt
The traditional version of the license plate scavenger hunt involves crossing off states on a checklist when you see state license plates on the road. Kids who play this game can create their own list or use a printable state checklist.
Here are some ways to enhance the activity with your supervision:
- Name the correct state capital before checking off a state.
- Color in an unlabeled U.S. map instead of using a checklist to test your child’s knowledge of national geography.
- License Plate Bingo – Ask your child to fill out a bingo card, writing different states in the squares. When you see a state license plate, you can mark an “X” in the correct box. The person who crosses out five states in a row, column, or diagonal line is the winner. For a bigger challenge, create bingo sheets that include state flags, birds, or other symbols in the boxes instead of the state name.
- Take along trivia questions like those in our printable Quiz Bowl Road Trip Challenge, or test your musical IQ and your kids’ pop culture knowledge in our latest music-inspired Quiz Bowl composition.
License Plate Phrases
One player will look for a nearby license plate and read the letters aloud (for example, “ELP 123”). The first person who comes up with a logical phrase using each letter to start a word (“elephants love peanuts”) wins a point. Remember, nonsense phrases don’t count because they’re too easy to make up!
Relate this to school by choosing a theme from school lessons, such as animal wildlife. This will help children recall details to enhance their knowledge of a subject.
Odds and Evens
Two players start by predicting the result, one choosing “odds” and one choosing “evens.” After counting to three, the players will stick out 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 fingers on one hand. The players will count how many fingers are displayed to determine if the total number is odd or even. The winner gets a point, and the two players can play as many rounds as they want.
This is a good game to play with your child in the car or during free time. To make sure the game is informative, choose a list of educational topics ahead of time. These topics can cover geography, history, math, literature, and more. Choosing one topic at a time, tell your child he or she can ask 20 yes-or-no questions to figure out the person, place, or concept you’re thinking about.
Here are a couple of ways to adapt the game:
- Change the number of questions that can be asked.
- Assign a single theme to the game, such as historical figures from the U.S.
Alphabet Memory Game
The players pick a category, such as book characters or scientific elements. The first player says a word that begins with “A” (aluminum), the second player has to say a word that starts with “B” (boron), and so on through the alphabet. If a player skips a letter or can’t think of a word, he or she is out!
Dry Erase Board Activities
Take a dry erase board and markers on your trip so you can do some of these educational activities with your child.
- Practice vocabulary by spelling words, solving word jumbles, and playing hangman.
- Create and solve math practice problems.
- Develop an easy exercise plan to do at the next rest stop.
Create a Group Story
This is a great creative exercise! The first player starts a story by saying one sentence. The second player adds to the story with another sentence. You can create a topic for the story ahead of time by picking three nouns such as truck, cow, and house. Try choosing words from different school subjects for extra fun. For example, create a story about George Washington, Shakespeare, and the scientific method.
If you’re in the passenger seat, pull out as much loose change as you can find. Ask your child to count the change. You can also ask him or her to guess the total amount before counting it. After he or she counts it once, remove a few coins and ask for a recount. Can your son or daughter guess which coins are missing?
Share your favorite traveling activities in the comments below.