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Summer's back and to most Canadians that means road trips. Whether you're taking to the open road for a long-distance trip, or just trying to keep the kids busy, here are MOTION's top ten games to play in the car – no pens, paper or batteries required!
1. I spy
This is the classic, the ultimate, the go-to car game. One person chooses an object. The remaining players have to guess based on either of the following clues: "I spy with my little eye something that is (the object's colour)", or "I spy with my little eye something that begins with (the first letter of the object's name)." The player who guesses the object goes next.
TIP: Be fair! When you're in the car, choose a landmark that will be in view for at least a few minutes.
2. 20 Questions
Whoever goes first thinks of something. Anything. The first question is always "Animal, vegetable or mineral?" The rest of the players then ask for clues like "Is it bigger than a bread box?" or "Can you eat it?" The answer to the questions can only be "yes" or "no". If you get to question 20 without a winner, everyone takes a last guess before the item is revealed and a new round begins.
TIP: "Are we there yet?" doesn't count as a question in this game.
3. Licence plates
This game can have many variations, depending on the ages of the players. Younger participants can call out letters in alphabetical order, and the first person who gets to Z wins. Older players can keep track of the out-of-province plates they see or build phrases using the letter sequences in the plates they see.
TIP: Kids getting from A-Z too quickly? Get them to find doubles (or triples) of letters.
A game similar to (yet far less violent than) Punch Buggy. Whenever a player sees a dog, they yell "Zitchdog!" At the end of the trip, the person who has called "Zitchdog!" the most wins.
TIP: "Zitchdog!" is really fun to say.
5. Find the alphabet
This game can be played in teams or as individual players. Use road signs, billboards, store names - any text outside the window that's on your side of the car. The goal is to find every letter of the alphabet, in order. First one to Z wins.
TIP: Seriously, make sure the text is on your side of the car. Wars have been fought for less.
6. Name that tune
Choose a theme for each round, like '60s oldies, TV theme songs, or bluegrass classics. Then, someone sings, hums or whistles a song. Whoever guesses the correct song title first, wins.
TIP: Can't sing? Hit the seek button and guess the songs on the radio.
7. Going to a picnic
Test your memory with this classic game. The first player starts with "I went to a picnic and I brought..." and then names something that starts with the letter A, like apples. The next player repeats the phrase and the item mentioned for A, then chooses one for the letter B.
TIP: It's not as easy as it sounds. Try keeping track of 23 items plus figuring out what you can take to a picnic that starts with X!
This is probably the easiest game on the list. When you come to a tunnel, see who can hold their breath the longest.
TIP: The driver should probably not participate in this one, but it'll be fun for the passengers.
9. Geography lesson
Choose a theme for each round - cities, states and provinces or countries. For example, if you chose cities, the first player names a location, and the next person has to name another that starts with the last letter of the previous player's city. So, if Kamloops was chosen, the next city would have to start with S, like Saskatoon.
TIP: Make the game harder by choosing more specific themes, like rivers and lakes or capitals.
10. Count the...
Another one for the "easy" column. Name anything that can be counted - telephone poles, traffic lights, red sports cars - and start shouting out the item to keep track of how many you've seen.
TIP: This one might get a little loud. Maybe you should pack some ear plugs.
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