Literacy games for in the car

By Julia Mohamed

Going on a road trip? Here are some great literacy games you can play in the car.

● One person begins by spotting a license plate and announcing the letters (not the numbers) on it.

● Everyone else, in turn, must come up with a funny phrase using the letters of the license plate, in order. So for example, KES could become “kiss every squirrel” or “knights eating steak.”

● Create a list of things to look for while you’re on the road.

● Your list can be adjusted, depending on where you’re travelling. For instance, a city scavenger hunt list may have: a flashing red light, someone talking on a cell phone, and a sign in a foreign language. A rural scavenger list could include: a horse, a tractor, road kill, a silo, a pond, and a gas station.

● Before the trip, buy a note pad and box of crayons for each child in the car.

● Every day on your vacation, or for each memorable event that occurs, have the kids draw a picture and write about it in their travel journal.

● Give them some suggestions to get them started (“how about drawing the beach we were on this morning”) but after that, let their imaginations run wild. Encourage them to use as many words as possible. They may want to do the art in the evening in the hotel room or campground, and add the words in the car while you’re driving to your next destination. Young children can write one or two words (“Beach” or “Playing frisbee”) while older kids can write descriptions and even leave out the pictures altogether.

Julia Mohamed is a freelance journalist. This was her first assignment for GKR and I’m hoping it will be the first of many articles from her. (Hint, hint Julia.)
Photo: Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com.

Car literacy games? Literacy games in the car? Not quite right. Literacy games for in the car? Looks weird – sounds ok. It’s what you’d say but it looks wrong when you see it spelled out. I dunno – today’s not a good headline day for me obviously. Sorry, Julia. Harumph.


  1. Great "non-tech" suggestions!!

  2. Joyce Grant

    Great article, Julia!
    We tried the "License Plate Game" in the car the other day and it was really fun – got us giggling.

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