Friday, 24 June 2016

Road Trip Activities

This week's Unit Study Roundup theme is Road Trip Activities.  Everyone has put together some fantastic ideas and resources.  I'm going to share some games that we play and songs that we used to sing on long road trips.

Favourite Songs

When my youngest was a baby, the song that soothed her in the car was 'The Wheels on The Bus.  In case you don't know the song, here is a video with the song/tune.  There are different variations to the verses and this one is fairly close to what we used to sing.

When my eldest was a baby, the song that soothed her in the car was Radetsky March by Johann Strauss.  Here is a video of the march being performed by André Rieu who happens to be one of my favourite performers/conductors.  He conducts the orchestra as he plays his violin.

Number Plate Bingo

In the UK we have a completely different system for number plates.  In Canada and the USA, you can tell where people are from by the number plates on their cars because each province or state has a distinct plate.  In the UK, the plate goes with the car and not the owner.  

You can tell what year a car was registered by looking at the number plate.  It used to be letters that were the indicator and one system had the letter at the end of the number plate and when they ran out of combinations, they moved the letter to the front of the plate.  In 2000, they ran out of combinations so they moved to another system again.  The first one or two letters tell you where a car was registered because they represent the postcode area. The second two numbers tell you which half of the year the car was registered in.  For example, 2001 - 2009 the numbers were 0 for the first six months of the year and 5 for the second six months of the year.  The next three letters on the plate are just random combinations.

A car that was registered in Manchester in 2001 could have M 01 *** or M 51 *** as the first few characters of the number plate.  01 would mean that the car was registered in Manchester between January and June of 2001 and 51 would mean that the car was registered between July and December.  For 2010 to 2019 they use 1 and 6 so a car registered in 2016 in Manchester would have M 16 *** or M 66 ***.

Why have I just said all of this?  Well, it means now we can play number plate bingo!  You can't play number plate bingo unless you know what the number plates look like here.

We could either look for cars registered in a particular area so the first letter or two letters of the number plate, or a car registered in a particular year and keep track of that.  Because the system is so complex, we can't really make a bingo square up in advance so we just make them up as we go along.

Spot The Car

I always ask if they want to play spot the car and they say yes.  Then I start this: there's a car, there's a car and then I get groans from the back seat.  Seriously though, spot the car is a fun game.  You can set up a bingo square and either choose colours of cars or types of cars.

Funny or Interesting Place Names

Some place names are funny and make us giggle and other times they are really interesting.  In Wales, there is a place name that is really long!  It has 59  letters.  Here it is for you with the way to pronounce is in English and its meaning.  I've been told that double Ll is pronounced like a Kl.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (lan-vire-pool-guin-gith-go-ger-u-queern-drob-ooth-clandus-ilio-gogo-goch) is a Welsh word which translates roughly as "St Mary's Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave".

Please comment with some of your local place names that are funny or interesting. :-) 

Silence Game

Who can be the quietest for the longest?

Nature I Spy

Similar to spot the car but instead of looking for cars, you are looking for something that is in nature along the roadside.

Spelling Bee

Have a spelling competition in the car and obviously you will need to choose age/ability  appropriate words for your smaller children.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

To play this, each player makes a fist and says out loud, "Rock, Paper, Scissors," swinging down his or her fist on each beat. After the third beat, each player makes one of three hand gestures: a closed fist representing "rock," an open hand representing "paper" or a V representing "scissors."

The winning player makes the gestures of the object that will defeat the opponent's object. Since a rock can destroy a pair of scissors, rock beats scissors. Scissors cut paper, so scissors beat paper. Since paper can cover a rock, paper beats rock. If opponents use the same gesture, the game is tied.

Team Storytelling

One person starts a story and the next person adds on to the story.  You can either time them or let them move from person to person when they are ready.

The Banana Game

This is a variation on spot the car, however, people are limited to yellow vehicles.  You can set a time limit i.e. the winner is the one who spots the most yellow vehicles in 15 minutes or half an hour.

Here is topic on Pinterest that has thousands of ideas for you:


Here are the other posts in this blog roundup on Road Trip Activities:

How To Stay Busy On An RV from Crafty Mama in ME
Road Trip Games for Kids from Look! We're Learning!
Best Children Audio Books for Road Trips from The Jenny Evolution
Alphabet Travel Tic Tac Toe from Letters of Literacy
Kids Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Game from Schooling a Monkey
How To Turn Family Travel Into Learning Experiences from iGameMom
Are We There Yet? Maps For Kids from Books and Giggles
5 Fun Things To Do On A Road Trip from The Usual Mayhem
Outdoor Breaks for Road Trips from FrogMom
Best Family Road Trip Music from Bambini Travel
Road Trip Notebooking Pages from Year Round Homeschooling
Travel Journal from Embark on the Journey
Printable Road Trip Games from Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading
Road Trip Activities from Tales of Education at Home
Car Scavenger Hunt from Planet Smarty Pants
Reasons to Make Pit Stops a Priority