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10 Time-Tested Travel Games for Kids and Families

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

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While many children these days have the luxury of in-car DVD players and mobile video games to entertain them in the car, there are other fun and stimulating ways to spend your time together while on the road.  Here is a list of 10 good old-fashioned travel games that can help pass the time, improve memory skills and provide hours of enjoyment for the entire family on your next road trip:

1. Alphabet Game

The object of this game is to study the passing landscape (street signs, billboards, license plates, buildings, etc.) and locate each letter of the alphabet, in order, from A to Z.  If you have younger children who are just learning to read, this is a great game play together as a family.  With older children, you can take turns locating letters, or they may enjoy the challenge of a competition.

2. Animal Game

Have someone think of an animal.  The remaining players can then take turns asking simple “yes” or “no” questions, such as “Does it have feathers?” or “Is it a mammal?”  Guessing continues until either the animal is identified or players give up.

3. Grocery Store Game

This game is a good one for exercising memory.  The first person thinks of something you can buy at the grocery store that starts with an “A.” and says,  “I went to the grocery store today and bought (A).”  The next person repeats the phrase along with the “A” item as well as something that starts with a “B.”  For example, “I went to the grocery store today and bought an apple and a banana.”  Participants take turns repeating the list and adding to it in alphebetical order until the list includes items from “A” to “Z.”

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4.  I Spy

Have someone pick an object that can be seen either in the car or along the road.  To start the game, have that person say “I spy with my little eye... “ and give a description of the item without giving it away, such as “something round” or “something soft and white.”  Have the participants ask yes/no questions until someone can guess what the object is.  In subsequent rounds, have participants take turns selecting an item.

5. License Plate Game

Before your trip, print out a U.S. map or a list of states for each participant.  During your trip, have participants mark off states as license plates are located.  You can play this game individually or can work together as a family.

6. Spelling Bee

Make a list ahead of time and/or grab a pocket dictionary and see who can spell the most words correctly.  To keep it fair, be sure to select words that match the difficulty level of each age range represented in the car.

7. Scavenger Hunt

Make up an age-appropriate list ahead of time of 10-15 things you might see while driving (e.g. 18 wheeler, black and white cow, rest area, etc.) The first one who locates everything on the list wins.

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8.  Twenty Questions

To play this game, have one person think of a general object.  The game begins with someone asking a clarification question, such as “Is it a person, place or thing?” or “Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?”  Players take turns asking additional questions that can only be answered with a “yes” or “no,” the object being to narrow down the ideas until someone is able to correctly guess the object.  Players may only ask up to 20 questions to accomplish this!

9. Virtual Hide and Seek

Imagine you are playing real hide and seek in your house or back yard.  The beauty of this game is that you can be any size you want in your imagination, so there is no end to where you can hide.  Once you’ve established your boundaries, pick a creative place to hide (e.g. in the refrigerator, under the bed, behind the candlestick on the mantle, etc.)  Have the remaining players ask yes/no questions until they can narrow down your location and find your hiding spot.

10.  The Word Game

To begin, have someone say a word that starts with “A.”  The next person says a word that starts with the last letter of that word.  For example, if the chosen word is “ant,” the next word should start with a “T,” such as “truck.”  The next person says a word that starts with “K,” and so on.  Keep it going for as long as you can.

BONUS GAME: Mystery Writing

This is a great way for kids to occupy themselves during the trip.  To play, one child holds out her hand and closes her eyes.  A second child uses his finger to “write” on the first child’s hand.  Depending on their age levels, writing can involve individual letters or 2-3 letter words.

Enjoy the ride!

SUMMER CAMP 2019 LEARN MORE AND REGISTER 

Family Summer Survival Kit #2: Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Posted on Jun 13, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

Looking for things to do with your family this summer?  If so, we’ve put together a few family summer survival kits to help you out.  Each themed kit includes links to some of our popular and informative blog posts related to the subject.

summer fun

Kit #2: Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Studies indicate that children’s academic skills can regress anywhere from one to three months during summer break, especially when nothing is done to help them maintain those skills.  Here are some resources to help you minimize the effects of “summer slide” in your child:

1. 10 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

This article includes a list of fun and educational things you and your children can do this summer to prevent summer learning loss and better prepare them for the school year ahead.

2. 5 Educational Benefits of a Family Game Night

In addition to being a great way to help your children maintain and further develop their academic skills, holding a family game night offers you the chance to spend quality time together.  This article highlights five benefits of scheduling this type of fun and worthwhile family event.

3. 5 Outdoor Activities That Encourage Learning

Summertime is an ideal time to take advantage of outdoor learning opportunities.  This article introduces five fun and educational outdoor activities you and your children can do over the summer.

If you missed it, here’s the link to Kit #1: Making the Most of Your Summer.

Coming soon… Kit # 3: Summer Boredom Busters

SUMMER CAMP 2019 LEARN MORE AND REGISTER 

Family Summer Survival Kit #1: Making the Most of Your Summer

Posted on May 30, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

Looking for things to do with your family this summer?  If so, we’ve put together a few family summer survival kits to help you out.  Each themed kit includes links to some of our popular and informative blog posts related to the subject.

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Kit #1: Making the Most of Your Summer

Here are some resources that can help you make the most of your time together during the summer months and create lasting family memories:

1. 5 Ways to Make Memories with Your Kids This Summer

This article identifies fun ways your family can spend time together while creating memories that will be remembered for years to come.

2. 7 Things You Wouldn’t Think To Pack for Your Family Vacation

Here is a list of things to consider including on your summer vacation packing list.  These items might just save the day in a pinch, allowing you to focus your time and energy on making family vacation memories.

3. 5 Cabin Fever Cures For Families

While cold weather and cabin fever might be the last thing on your mind during the summer months, this article may spark some ideas on things you can do together while the weather is still hot to make memories that will warm your heart and entertain you during the cold and confining days of winter.

Stay tuned for Kit #2: Preventing Summer Learning Loss and  Kit #3: Summer Boredom Busters, which will be released in the coming weeks...

SUMMER CAMP 2019 LEARN MORE AND REGISTER 

3 Summer Reading List Resources for Christian Parents

Posted on May 19, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

summer reading

Encouraging your children to read over the summer is a great way to help minimize summer learning loss and to better prepare them for the upcoming school year.  However, given the overwhelming number of book titles available, it can be quite challenging to discern which ones to include on a summer reading list.

Here are 3 resources that can help you in creating your child’s summer reading list:

1. Honey for a Child’s Heart

This book, written by well-known author and speaker Gladys Hunt, is an essential guide for parents wanting to find the best books for their children.  A family favorite, it includes everything from how to choose good books for your children to encouraging them to become avid readers, along with a comprehensive listing of book recommendations for children ages birth to 12 years.

2. Triple Crown Awards

This site is the home of the Children’s Gallery, the Children’s Crown, and the Lamplighter Awards, whose mission is to encourage elementary and junior high students to read wholesome and uplifting books by providing lists each year of the best literature for children in first through eighth grade.

3. Focus on the Family Thriving Family Website

This site includes an index of book reviews that cover the content, themes and worldview of tween and teen books.  The reviews are designed to equip parents with the information they need to decide if a book is appropriate for their children.

Selecting the right books for your children’s summer reading lists can not only help maintain and improve upon their reading skills, it can help foster a lifelong love of reading.

 SUMMER CAMP 2019 LEARN MORE AND REGISTER