Summer Road Trips with Kids?

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Summer’s here, and school’s out and for many of us.

That means vacations, road trips to see family and for other fun excursions. Unfortunately, it can also test our patience and sanity. I mean, how many times do you have to hear, “Are we there yet?” because they are bored. I realize most parents have a slew of “road games” to help keep the clan occupied, but here are some variations that may let you hone some auditory and brain skills. And the best part is that as far as they are concerned you are simply having fun.

Road Trip-

So that you don’t have to head down the road dreading the next several hours to that vacation spot, amusement park or family gathering, use a little pre-planning and ingenuity.  Keep the mental juices of those little minds flowing and bust their boredom to boot.

Here are a few games I can suggest for making the most of those road trips.  And you can work on auditory skills while you play.


 Road signs
    Road Sign Alphabet

The age old letter game where you search road signs for the letters of the alphabet in their alphabetical order is a great way to review letter recognition. Add in a component of phonemic awareness by having to think of a word that begins with the sound of the letter you just found. If you are lucky you may have it spelled out for you right there on the road sign. Woo hoo!

      Eye Spy – With a rhyming twist

Try this new version of eye spy to help keep auditory processing strong. “I spy with my little eye a word that rhymes with tar…. answer may be ‘car’. You get the idea. Rhyming is an important skill for reading fluency.

      Alliteration Station

This is simple but can get quite silly. Each person takes a turn adding a word to a sentence. The hitch is all of the words have to begin with the same sound. See how long of a word you can create before you run out of words that make sense. Ex. Sam sadly stopped skating so Sarah selfishly stole Sam’s skates…. Mental monkeys married mischief making muskrats. See what your brood comes up with. If you are riding with younger children try having them take turns coming up with any word that begins with the same sound.

Games you can purchase

I realize that kids also, love to have something special they can pull out and play. Consider making a “Travel Bag” filled with activities and games. Here are some links to a few good ones: Spot it! On the Road, Melissa & Doug Family Road Trip Box of Questions (Who doesn’t love Melissa and Doug stuff), Most people who know me know I love Bananagram games. They have a travel game called Jumbo Zip-It. We play this at home, on vacation, on the road, it’s great!

It’s always nice when you can make travel easier especially when it is because you are having fun together. But it’s twice as nice when you know you are helping to keep your child’s mental skills sharp as you do.

Know any other fun travel games that your family enjoys? Let us know some of the ways you make road trips more enjoyable.

Happy summer break!

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Robin Liner is a wife, and veteran homeschool mom with over twenty years experience. She has written two picture books and actively blogs about homeschooling with an emphasis on teaching dyslexic children at and Feel free to contact her at

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