Car Activities – Schooling while traveling.

Car Schooling and Travel Games

This article was originally on the forum at and written in Wed Sep 11, 2002 4:58 pm Post subject: Car Activities – Schooling while traveling.

I posted the following question on the Duet6v7 list.

"We seem to spend a fair amount of time in the car, any suggestions, actives to keep busy and use the time well, homeschooling while traveling? – Roly"
I received sufficient information to warrant creating a resource page on the subject which I will post later, in the mean time here are the suggestions I received.

If you have any of your own “car activities” to add please add them to this post.



We have times-tables tapes and also French tapes. Tapes of poems are good too.



Once upon a time… a long time ago… when we were this enthusiastic icon_wink.gif

we had some BBC schools radio tapes. They were history series for 9 – 11 yr olds. Do the BBC still do these? Since we stopped having TV we haven’t had the schools programme catalogue. Of course times tables tapes springs to mind as well. Uncle rick reads proverbs I think you can still get on tape.

Depending on the age of the children alphabet games with reg numbers also is fun. Spelling bees may be done with older children teaching the younger?

then making sums from the numbers on reg plates is also fun. “countdown” style ( ie pick a large number and see how close you can get using + – x and / )

Have fun on your travels
Paula Turner.


We usually pack a bag of interesting things. Abbie always brings a book along so that she has something to read. She also likes word searches and other pen and paper puzzles. Math wraps have been a big hit, see the link below to make your own:

Abbie likes to draw so we usually bring along her sketch pad and pencil crayons in case there is something interesting to sketch along the way. We play verbal games as well. I’m not sure how old your children are so
this may be too young for them, but here are some ideas:

Math story – make up your own characters, situation, and math difficulty level. For example: Two bears were walking in the forest and decided to collect food on their own and then meet back at the cave for lunch. The first bear came upon a small blueberry bush and picked three blueberries, then he discovered some raspberries and picked six raspberries, how many raspberries did he have altogether? – You can take it through as the bear has two berries stolen from a hungry magpie, scoops a fish out of the stream, and then meets his friend back at the cave, etc.

Make a sentence – take turns saying three or four unrelated words (car, bird, trainers) and then the other person has to use all words in a sentence.

Tell a story – simply take turns telling each other stories. Abbie and I usually let the other person pick the main characters.

My husband doesn’t like listening to kids’ music in the car so I usually pack a walkman so that Abbie can listen if she wants to. We recently purchased one of the CD’s in the ‘Classical Kids’ series and we were all really impressed with it. It would be great for car rides. Abbie also has Dave’s old Gameboy and we’ve given her a chess game for it.

You can always do reading aloud if there’s someone else to drive, or have your children read aloud to you. I thought I’d share a tip I picked up a couple of weeks ago – I’m sure most of you already do this but I had no clue it would work. I read aloud to the children daily and I often find my throat getting sore, but then someone mentioned drinking tea to ease it and I have to say it really works. I read for an hour and a half tonight, after half an hour my throat was getting sore so I made myself a cup of peppermint tea and put a little honey in. After
that my throat was fine.



My middle daughter learned to count whilst we drove to and from music lessons, at that time we were in Liverpool and drove along the ‘Drive’ regularly, the day of the music lessons must have been bin collection day, because DD would count all the bins waiting! As we drove along for about four miles, she would be well up into the hundreds!
Best fun


We don’t use these in the car as we don’t have a cd player.However if you do the bible word and song is a great set to have.It has bible stories with verses which seem very close to the text and the songs are often just scripture songs. It is 5 cd’s and comes with a hardback bible,so older ones can read along too.The songs are so good my friend is taping them onto cassettes for us both so we can use them in the car.

Hope this is of interest
Kindest regards


We use cassette tapes a lot. We get books on tape from the library (chosen by Mom!) and I feel like we’re hearing more good literature than I’d be able to read aloud in a lifetime! We also have really used our history tapes. They’re done by Diana Waring, called “What in the Word’s Going On Here, A Judeo-Christian Primer of World History”. She emphasizes God’s hand in all that has happened through history. There are 2 albums, 4 tapes each. She has also done 6-8 more tapes called “True Tales from the times of…” These can be ordered from her web-site I think:, or many other h.e. companies sell them. We actually have 2 brand new ones I’d send to whoever wants them. Our order was filled incorrectly and they’re duplicates for us. Let me know if you want more details.

On trips I’ve copied blank maps for the older (9-11) kids and had them mark in the places we go and things we see. I’ve also had them keep travel diaries-it helps a lot when trying to organize photos of the trip later, too! I’ve also gotten books from the library about the places we’ll be visiting-both information books and fiction. Then I read to them about the next place we’ll see.


You can always use language learning tapes but our family loves to listen to “Adventures in Odyssey” tapes whilst on long car journeys. You can get these from “Care for the Family”. I’ll dig out some info if you are interested.

Jenny Bennigsen


Dear Roly and anyone else who might be interested,

“Adventures in Odyssey” tapes are available from Care For the Family. You can order by phone on 029 2081 0800 9am-5.30pm. They will send you a catalogue which has info about tapes,videos, books and various other related
items. You can also listen to Oyssey on line if you go to the Focus on the Family website which you can find easily with any search. Look for info under the heading ‘childrens’ and I think you just follow it through. We
have free internet access at off peak times and our children like to do this sometimes on a wet Sunday afternoon. The tapes are aimed at 8+ but we have no hesitation playing them in the car with children aged 2+, our nearly 14yo still enjoys them and Mum and Dad have been known to carry on listening after the children have all fallen asleep!Some of the stories are based around “Whit’s End”, a sort of evangelistic ice cream parlour , and some of
the stories are about people’s faith during historical events. We have a set based around some black slaves who escape which was really gripping. If you were at Cliff you might be aware that we showed 2 Odyssey videos to the children -each about half an hour long. The children all appeared to enjoy them and we had children from 4 to 16 watching (even had a couple of parents who looked transfixed!)

If you prefer to write, the address is:- Care for the Family, PO Box 488, Cardiff CF15 7YY

Their website is:-

Hope this helps,

regards, Jenny Bennigsen


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