I just have to tell ya'll about our family's new FAVORITE car game!!! It's the U.S.A. License Plate Game (board) by Melissa & Doug. (And nobody's paying me to talk about it, dangit.) I have my friend Janna to thank for the idea in the first place.
Here's how we play (and how Janna's kids taught us): We keep the game board in our car at all times. The License Plate Game re-starts every month on the 1st. All states' "license plates" on the board are turned so that the license plate picture is showing. Starting on the 1st, whenever we see a car with a license plate not turned over on our board, we turn it over. (The plates are attached with sturdy elastic bands)
That's it! It's EASY!
And guess what? My kids are LEARNING while playing. They are not only learning state names and placement on the U.S. map, but they are using their BRAINS riding in the car--instead of being "plugged in" to electronics.
Even more thrilling for my girls, is that they are in a huge competition with Janna's kids (even though Janna's kids don't know we are!!)--because they know that Janna's kids' record is 43 license plates in a month. My girls are DETERMINED to beat that record. We've had the board about a week now, and we are up to 41 plates already. Of course, our hardest plates here in the Midwest are Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., and several of the North Eastern states.
Now, I will say that living in a tourist town definitely helps with this game. However, this would make a GREAT gift for your family's next car trip.
And you tourist town folks--I CHALLENGE YOU to try to beat our girls! I have some pretty competitive girls at my house...as well as a mercilessly competitive husband...who would probably rather drive our daughters around parking lots filled with cars (and license plates!) all night long, rather than lose a challenge.
So, who's in? Everybody run out and get yourself a License Plate board, and let's get our kids busy using their brains in the car!
(No one paid me, or gave me anything to talk about the License Plate game. Dangit. I'm just telling you about it from the goodness of my little heart. But, if Melissa & Doug happen to ask about me--please send 'em my way, and be sure to say I accept both cash money and alll-expenses paid vacations)