Since we started deputation to share our ministry to Missionary Acres, travel is something my family is doing more of. And car games are a staple!
I wanted to have a new batch of games ready to play on our next trip. So, I started thinking.
I really enjoy creating games that revolve around themes. For instance:
- Math car games
- English language arts car games
- Car games to boost observation skills
- Color focused car games
- Car games to build communication skills
- Science car games
- Social studies car games
- Musical car games
- Christmas themed car games
- Thanksgiving car games
Whew! There are so many games you can play in the car that don’t require any materials. Cause you don’t have time to print a bazillion printables and make sure everyone has sharp pencils when you’re packing everything else on your list.
So, I spent some time brainstorming, trying to decide what theme to go with. One of my kiddos suggested art. So, I started thinking. And came up with five different games that are all art inspired. The kids aren’t actually creating art with these, as that would require materials.
Here are five art inspired car games and activities you can enjoy on your next family road trip.
1. Color Contest
The goal of this game is simple. Be the last play standing. Well, sitting since you are in the car after all!
One at a time, players take turns naming a color. That’s it.
On your turn, you name a color. Then the next person names a color. And so on.
But, there is a catch.
You cannot say a color that anyone else has already said. So you have to pay attention. (Unless you’re our four or five year olds – we let them repeat since they’re little!)
Can you do it? Can you name more colors than everyone else? Go ahead and see…
2. Types of Lines
Artists know there are five main types of lines you can use to create art: vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curvy, and zigzag. Now, how many of those lines can you spy?
You can play this game a couple of ways depending on the ages/interests of your players.
If I have my younger kids, we play a basic Types of Lines I Spy.
So, one person says, I spy a horizontal line. And everyone else tries to guess which horizontal line the person is thinking of. It’s a fun variation of the classic I Spy.
When my older kids are in the car, we play this game a little differently. I ask them to look for objects where multiple line types come together. So, they might say, “I spy an object with two horizontal lines, two vertical lines, and one curved line.”
Since we likely already passed the object they were thinking of by the time they figured out how to word the description, the longer description works well. It causes the other kids to really look out the windows and pay attention. Then they have to try to remember what they were passing when this person’s turn started.
My younger kids get really frustrated with this one. But, the older kids enjoy the challenge. We have a rule that if after three minutes no one can guess it, the player who is it gives a clue. That helps move the game along.
3. Painting in My Mind
This one isn’t really a game, but it definitely inspires conversation! As we drive, I ask the kids to look for scenes they would like to draw or paint. This simple question has them look at the world a little differently.
They’re looking like an artist, not like a bored kid in the back of the car. And that makes all the difference!
We talk about the colors we’d use, the medium of choice, and how they could recreate the scene. They talk about details.
I prefer to play this game when we’re driving on state highways or other slower paced roads. The miles on the freeway sort of fly by without us having a chance to truly admire the scenery.
4. Shape Find
Next up in my list of art inspired car games is a fun one for younger kids. I assign each of them a shape, and ask them to look all over in the car and out of the car for their shape.
So one child might get circle. They would be looking at the wheels, sewer covers, and anything else they can find that’s a circle.
Another child could have rectangles. They’d look for signs, buildings, windows, and anything else that’s a rectangle.
Another child could…you get the picture. These shapes all work well:
Having the winner be the person who finds the most of their shape isn’t really a fun way to play. There are just more of some shapes than others. So instead, I make this into a challenge. If the kids can find five or ten of their shape before we get to the rest stop or our destination, or some other stop, they get a small prize.
Then I bring along some special granola bars or inexpensive item from the Dollar Store to give the participants.
If one child finishes early, I encourage them to help the others. It promotes some team work and collaboration. Which is fun to inspire instead of always focusing on competition.
5. Name that Artist
This is a variation of our ever popular “Who Am I” game I describe in my ELA games post. Except this time, instead of picking whoever they want, the players must think of famous artists. This works best after completing a unit study on artists!
It also works better for older kids and teens since younger kids may not know as much about the artists.
Pick one player to go first. This player secretly selects a favorite artist. Now, it’s up to the other players to figure out who that player is thinking of.
Take turns asking yes or no questions to try to narrow down your options. Here are some of our best questions:
- Are you female?
- Were you in the Renaissance period?
- Did you paint pictures?
- Were you a sculpter?
- Are you famous for anything besides art?
- Did you paint a starry night?
- Did you use an impressionist style?
- Are you still alive?
The person who is thinking of someone must answer honestly, to the best of his/her ability. Once someone has guessed the correct answer, it’s time for a new player to be it.
This game helps kids review, and is a fun way to learn more about artists.
Do You Enjoy Any Art Inspired Car Games?
I’d love to hear about them in the comments! We love trying out new car games.