There’s just something about being trapped next to your brother or sister in the back of a mini-van that makes you go berserk…..at least that appears to be the case with our children! As we are preparing to hit the road for a little mini road-trip this week, I wanted to come up with a few fun activities to help pass the time AND keep my children happy and engaged. Boredom leads to a wealth of behaviors – none of which make for a pleasant road-trip! Activities like this road-trip bingo game, can help keep kids occupied and alert, while also reinforcing literacy skills and cooperation.
This game is not only fun, but helps emergent readers begin to notice environmental print. It won’t take long for your budding reader to begin to point out the letters and words they see on road signs, billboards, and storefronts as you drive throughout your community. The picture cues that go along with the printed words, will also help your emergent reader feel successful. Building an early reader’s confidence can lead to an increase in reading attempts and helps set the tone for a positive reading journey.
I filled our bingo boards with things that I knew my children were likely to see on our trip. I intermixed common-place items with a handful that may take a bit more time and patience to find. I wanted the game to be FUN, but also a project my children could work together on for an extended amount of time. I chose to make each board have the same items – simply in a different order. Understanding how the personalities of my children work, I felt a “same but different” approach would be the best option.
We like to use clear sheet protectors to preserve our bingo cards. With a sheet protector and a dry erase marker, kids can play and re-play the games over and over again!
The great thing about road trip bingo, is that although the items to seek and find remain the same, the landscape is always changing, giving your child a “new” game every time. Kids can even play multiple times on the same trip, as the scenery outside of the car changes with every passing mile.
Have fun (yes it is possible!) out on the road with your kids this summer and beyond! Keep them engaged with active minds and cooperative activities!