Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

December 28, 2021

Device Free Car Ride Activities

By: Sarah Evanko, OTR/L

As we are returning home from holiday trips, keeping our kids engaged in activities while we endure long hours in a small space can be a safe haven. Electronic devices are the go to ways to keep our kids enthralled. But the car is the perfect time to work on sustaining one’s attention to a game, because you literally have nowhere else to go!  To help boost our kids (and at the same time our own) ability to engage in non-electronic games, here are some ideas to keep the kids occupied without the use of iPads or devices.

No packing involved games:

  • A, B,C game: Look at out the window to find objects or words that start with letter.
  • Concentration: Pick a category and name as many things in each category without repeating a word. Topic could be: animals, ice-cream flavors, foods
  • I-spy: A classic. For a twist try using descriptors besides color. For example: “I spy something that you can climb”
  • Funny story: Each person in the car says one word after another to create a silly story
  • Cow on my side: divide the car into sides and count how many cows each side has throughout the trip. Whoever has the most at the end, wins!
  • 20 Questions: A favorite for any car ride
  • License Plate Says: Take the letters in a license play you see and create a silly sentence with letters.

Some packing involved:

  • Have your child pick out a comic book or book: Getting kids to read is a struggle, but comic books or other graphic novels that involve bright engaging colors are good way to have a child sustain attention to a quiet activity.
    • If reading makes your child car sick, check out a audiobook from the local library’s app some family favorites include
      • Homer Price
      • The BFG
      • James and the Giant Peach
      • Charlotte’s Webb
      • Anne of Green Gables
      • A little Princess
      • The Little Prince
    • Tic-tac toe: it can be passed around on a piece of paper in the car!
    • Trivia cards
    • Magnet checkers or other magnet board games
    • Coloring sheets or activity books: Take turns color certain parts (great way to work on wait their turn)
    • MadLibs

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