Car Games for Multiple Intelligences

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February 13, 2023

In for a long car ride with your kids?  

Not only will these fun games make it fly by, you'll also create lasting memories along the way...

So You're Going on a Car Ride...


If you have ever needed to hop in the car with your kids for a long car ride, you know that it can seem like a marathon.  This article will help you make those rides not just bearable, but actually quite enjoyable!


If you’re reading this and aren’t sure what I mean by the term “multiple intelligences,” this term was created by Dr. Howard Gardner who, after much research, created what is now known as the Multiple Intelligences Theory. 


This theory states that that there are eight proven, specific intelligences that a person can utilize to learn about the world around them, where one intelligence is usually the dominant, or preferred, method of learning.  Explained another way, while everyone can access all of these different ways of learning, each person has a certain “intelligence” that helps them learn the best.


I go into much greater detail about Multiple Intelligences in my resource guide,


Become a Better Teacher by Discovering How You Learn in 3 Easy Steps


where you can take a quick quiz to learn more about which intelligences you prefer.  Go to the the right sidebar on this page, enter your email, and then click the button to get your own free copy.


For the purposes of this article, I have categorized these games by Gardner’s Intelligences for easy reference.  So while all of these games are fun for everyone, to get things going, I suggest starting first with those games that appeal to your kids’ natural learning preferences.


Disclaimer:  Obviously if you’re the one driving, please stay alert and drive responsibly.  (I can’t believe I even have to say that, but you know there’s always a few “crazys” out there…)

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Your Movers)


Charades With A Twist

Each player takes a turn acting like an animal while everyone else guesses which animal they are imitating.  This can be played silently or with the edition of animal sounds, which will get everyone giggling in no time.


Silent Messages

For a more quiet game, players take turns trying to communicate through lip reading.  Start with single words and then move on to full sentences.


Make a Machine

The first player makes a body movement (like bending an elbow, making a fist, or even sticking out their tongue) while making a corresponding sound effect with their voice.  The second player repeats what the first player just did and then adds their own movement and sound effect to it.  This pattern continues with each new player until someone forgets a movement or sound in the ever growing sequence.

Interpersonal (Your Talkers)


Who Am I?

This game is a lot like 20 Questions.  One player actually becomes the subject and it is the job of the other players to ask him or her questions to determine who they are.  The subject can be a real person or a character from literature or pop culture.


Our Family Tree

In this game one person in the car tells a true story from their life or from the life of someone in the family while everyone else listens.  Then the person telling the story randomly chooses another person to become the interviewer of everyone else in the car who then asks questions to see how well everyone paid attention to the story.

 

The Essence

This game begins with everyone agreeing on the type of character that will be chosen for that round, whether it’s a fictional character, a famous person, or someone whom everyone who is playing knows personally.  Then the player who will lead that round thinks of someone who fits within the decided category and begins with the statement, “I am thinking of [state the category: a fictional character, a famous person, or someone everyone knows] who is [male or female].”  For example, “I am thinking of a fictional character who is female.” Now the other players must then ask as many questions as needed to find out more about the “essence” of that person so they can correctly determine who they are.  These questions can be about virtually anything like what kind of animal this person is, what color they are, what kind of flower, what kind of car, what kind of food, and so on.  There are no right or wrong answers and the players can take as many guesses as needed to finally figure out the answer.

Intrapersonal (Your Thinkers)


It’s Like…

One player secretly chooses a certain subject (either a person, an idea, or an object) and then asks the other players what their subject is like, even though those players have no idea what his or her subject is.  These answers can be anything— in fact the game is more fun when the answers are off-the-wall and ridiculous.  The first player then reveals his or her subject and then each player then has to justify their answer in relation to the subject.  For example, if the original subject is a cup and a player’s answer is that it’s like a car, then to justify their answer they could say that a cup is like a car because they both hold things inside them.


Associations

This game is a fascinating way to learn more about how everyone thinks.  To play, everyone begins by writing down 10 random words on a piece of paper.  Then each player takes a turn reading their list aloud one word at a time as the other players say the word that immediately comes to their mind as they hear each word.


What If…

This game is fun, easy, and a great ice breaker.  To play, everyone simply answers the same “what if” question like “What would you do if you won a million dollars?” or “What if you could fly like Superman?”  Make sure to give everyone who wants to ask a question at least one turn to do so.

Logical-Mathematical (Your Organizers)


Tic-Tac-15

Use the same grid that is used for Tic-Tac-Toe, except instead of writing X’s and O’s, use single digit numbers between 1 and 9.  The winner is the player who fills in a third square either horizontally, vertically or diagonally to make the three numbers add up to 15.  Each number can only be used once per game.


What’s In Common

Set a timer for 10 minutes and then see how many similarities each person can find between the cars around them and the car you are traveling in.  The person who comes up with the most answers in the allotted time wins the game.


Toss Around Math

The object of this game is to toss around math problems as fast as you can.  It begins with the first player stating a simple math problem, for example  “4+3 = …”  then the next player says “Seven.”  That player must then quickly follow up with a math problem that first uses the number seven, for example “7-2=…” and the game continues until someone misses an answer.  This game can be as simple or as complicated as you like, starting with simple addition and subtraction problems and then progressing to multiplication and division problems and beyond.

Musical (Your Performers)


Nonsense Echos

Be ready to giggle!  The easy version of this game is played as the first player makes up a simple melody using nonsense words and then the next player takes a turn doing the same and so on until everyone has had a turn.  The more complicated version of this game begins the same way with someone singing a simple nonsense phrase and then each successive player having to repeat every made up phrase that has previously been sung before adding their own phrase to the progression.


Where Did I Hear That?

This game is played as each player takes a turn mimicking a sound that everyone is familiar with and then other players have to guess what the sound is and where that sound is normally heard.


Medley Makers

Have fun together by seeing how many silly medleys you can make up by combining the phrases of different songs together.  For example, “Jingle bells, jungle bells, gently down the stream, stuck a feather in his hat, and Bingo was his name-o!”

Naturalistic (Your Observers)


Tigerotamus 

Create your own new combinations of animals, such as a Tigerotamus, which would be half tiger, half hippopotamus.  This game is played as two people simultaneously call out the name of any animal.  Then have fun combining those two animals together and exploring more would-be facts about this new animal, like what it would eat, where it would live, how it would move, and so on. 


Plate or Frisbee

This game is played as someone chooses a common everyday object and then everyone thinks about the many different ways that that object could be used.  For example, a plate could also be a frisbee, a stepping stone, a wheel, or a wall hanging.  Allow everyone who wants to play a chance to be the one to suggest an object.


See the Sights

This is a great memory game and is played as the first player calls out something that they have just seen out the window.  The second player then repeats what the first player just said and then adds to it by saying what they have just seen out their window.  The game continues as each player must repeat what has been said previously and then adds their own current observation.  If someone can’t remember the previous sequence when it is their turn, then they are eliminated from the game.  The winner is the last person who is able to correctly remember the entire sequence.

Verbal-Linguistic (Your Writers)


Compound It

This game begins with the first player saying a compound word, such as “bookworm.”  Then the second player must take the second half of that compound word and say another compound word, like “wormwood.”  The third player would then do the same thing and say another compound word, such as “woodchuck,” and so on with the game continuing until someone gets stuck and can’t continue the sequence.


The Secret Word

One player secretly decides on a word that is spelled with five letters or less.  The other players then take turns guessing the possible letters in the word as they try to figure out what the word is.  However, these players can only guess a letter if they first see that letter on the license plate of a passing car.  If a letter is guessed correctly, the person who knows the word must tell everyone else that the word does indeed contain that letter and how many times that letter is used in the secret word.  The winner is the first person who correctly guesses the word.


Say What?

To play this game, first decide on a silly phrase that the main player must say in response to any and every question that is asked of them.  For example, it could be “smelly sneakers” or “your jet black hair.”  Then everyone else poses questions to the main player who must always answer with the same silly phrase and do so without smiling or laughing.  Make sure that everyone has a chance to be the main player and enjoy the hilarious and clever questions that are sure to surface!

Visual-Spatial (Your Presenters)


Bag O Tricks

This game takes a little pre-preparation, but it’s well worth the effort.  Before your trip, rummage around your house (such as in your junk drawer or in the garage) and put a dozen or so random things you find into a bag that can be taken with you on your trip.  Once everyone is in the car, this game is played by pulling out an item from the bag and then passing it around as each person finds a new way that the item can be used.  Younger kids especially love this game.


Color Crusade

This very simple game is played by first deciding on which color will be the special color for your trip and how many sightings of that color must happen to end the game.  Then as your trip progresses, everyone looks for that color while keeping a tally of how many times you have seen that color. The person who finds the last sighting of your special color wins.


Quirky Characters

Take a piece of blank paper and fold it into thirds portrait style (meaning the paper is 8 1/2” wide and 11” tall).  Then the first player draws the top third of a character any way they want, specifically the head and the shoulders down to the middle of the upper arm.  They can add any number of fun accessories, including a hat, glasses, sunglasses, earrings, fun makeup, a crazy pattern on the character’s shirt, etc.  When they are finished, they then draw the continuing lines of the character for the next player’s reference so they extend to the middle third of the page and then fold the top third of the paper over so it is hidden to the second player.  

The second player follows suit and draws the middle part of the character any way they like from the chest to the middle of the thighs.  When they are done, they also draw the continuing lines of the character on to the bottom third of the page for the next player’s reference and then fold over the middle third so it is hidden along with the top third.  Now the last player finishes drawing the character any way they want from the middle of the thighs to the feet.  Now have fun unfolding the page and seeing the quirky character everyone has created!


(You can create an extension of this game by creating multiple characters and then cutting the papers into thirds and compiling them into a flip book so everyone can have fun looking at even more combinations of funny characters…)


And Off You Go…


So now that you have not just one or two, but 24 ideas for car games, you should be ready to hit the road!


If you liked these games, I actually have even more that I could share with you!  So let me know if you like this article and if you want a “Part Two”…


Happy travels!


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About the Author...

Leah Stallard

Leah Stallard is the creator of Playing2Learn.com and HomeschoolMomsHub.com and is a teacher, entrepreneur, performer, and speaker. She helps homeschool parents teach more effectively by showing them how to discover and support their children's natural learning abilities. This eliminates contention, whining, and complaining, leading to a love of learning and their children's desire to become self-motivated, mission driven adults with a world class education.

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