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Road trips offer a unique opportunity to visit national landmarks and natural wonders unique to a particular state or region. However, the travel time in between attractions can leave kids in need of entertainment. While movies and handheld video games serve as fun distractions, they don’t always offer the most educational value. One easy way to ensure that your kids are enjoying their road trip without sacrificing learning opportunities is by incorporating letter recognition games into your trip.
Research has shown that a child’s ability to recognize letters of the alphabet is indicative of how well they make connections between letters and the sounds they stand for. The level of knowledge a child possesses with regards to letter recognition is a strong predictor of their future success in learning to read. Therefore, offering your child ample exposure to and practice with the alphabet will position them for greater success in school and beyond. Below are just a few examples of alphabet recognition games you can play with your kids during your next road trip:
The Alphabet Game
We are constantly exposed to the letters of the alphabet in our daily lives. This game takes advantage of this exposure. All that is required is two or more players each equipped with a pair of letter-seeking eyes! Each player must attempt to find the letters of the alphabet in the correct order on anything typically passed while in the car: road signs, license plates, buildings, etc. When a player sees the needed letter, they must shout out the letter and the word they’ve spotted that begins with the letter. For example, “B for Burger King!” The first player to find all the letters of the alphabet wins the game.
I’m Going on a Picnic
Not only does this game test alphabet recognition, but it’s also a memory game for kids age 5 and up. The game starts by the first player saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” followed by an item that begins with the letter A. To incorporate alphabet recognition, try utilizing road signs containing items one might bring on a picnic. For example, a sign advertising apples at a nearby farm. The next player must repeat what the first person said, while adding something that begins with the letter B. So, the second player may say something like, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples and burgers.” The game proceeds with the following letters of the alphabet. If someone cannot remember an item, they are out of the game. The player that is able to recall all the items on the picnic list is the winner.
The License Plate Game
Another easy-to-play alphabet recognition game, the license plate game simply requires players to call out letters they see on passing license plates in alphabetical order. The first player to reach Z wins. Another variation of the game is to have kids look for doubles or triples of a letter on a single license plate!
The fun doesn’t have to stop once you return home. If your child continues to show interest in alphabet recognition games, provide them with access to letter recognition games online that can be played in the comfort of your home.