Alphabet Game / Barbara Cady a.k.a Mom / Counting Game / Family Activities / Kids Games / Monte Cady a.k.a. Dad / parenting / Peggy Cady / Uncategorized

Road Trip!!

Oh, the conflict these two words awoke in me as a little girl.  Knowing we were going  somewhere.  Doing something.  Seeing something or someone.  I could hardly contain my excitement!  Oh, but he driving.  The endless, boring, hot hours driving in the car to get to our destination.  **sigh**  But wait, the end result was almost always something super cool.  And if the trip was long enough we would likely stay at KOA Campgrounds along the way.  Somebody send Debbie Downer home!  I was

definitely going to have fun!

Once the car was packed and Mom and Dad had us herded in, it never took long before someone whined one of three phrases, “Are we there yet?” “How much longer?” or “I’m bored!” Occasionally the statements were met with, “Sit down and be quiet!” but mostly it was as if Mom and Dad were expecting it.  Mom always had a bag of goodies stashed next to her full of things to occupy us for awhile.  Now remember, these were the days when we had to entertain ourselves.  This kind of travel was not for ninnies and grasshoppers.  There were no movies loaded on the iPad, or DVDs playing in the headrest in front of us.   Mom was a pro at using her skills, resources, and imagination to keep us entertained.  I remember her pulling things like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, crossword puzzles, Mad Libs, craft projects, Archie and Jughead comics,

coloring books, Disney classics on tape, etch-a-sketch,  word finds, choose your own adventure books, or any number of things to do out of her wrinkled up paper grocery bag.


Dad, on the other hand, didn’t need anything other than his mind and a willing participant.  We played games that I’m convinced have been around for generations and will be around for generations to come.  These games were perfect for up and coming K-12th graders.  The two most important skills required for these games were the ability to count and a working knowledge of the American alphabet.  I met both


Alphabet Game Victuals

requirements and was in the appropriate age category, so I loved road trips where we played games like, “The Alphabet Game” and “The Counting Game.”  Don’t be fooled by the complexity of the names, anyone can play them.


The Alphabet Game” is simplistic in its rules yet genius when you want to reinforce letter recognition in younger children.  In it’s easiest form you look for the letters of the alphabet on road signs, billboards, license plates, or anything outside the car.  There are a variety of other versions that I’ve heard of that include, only on license plates, only on bill boards, only on signs, or the one I just learned from my 23-year-old daughter and her husband last week, only use the first letter of a word.  Isn’t that amazing that I can be driving in the car with my adult daughter and her husband and hear him belt out, “Gloria!  Alphabet Game!”  followed by them calling out letters.  Goes to prove that good things last forever.

The Counting Game” was equally as simplistic in its play and just as diverse in ways


Count the cars!

to play as The Alphabet Game. It usually began with, “How many {insert object} can you find in {insert age appropriate time span here.}” We counted things like trains, cows, horses, bales of hay, motorcycles, 18-wheelers, and once I remember counting flashes of lightning during an electrical storm.  Dad told me I could spot a ladybug combing her hair on the trunk of a tree from fifty paces, so I was always ready to play. After all, he’d never lie to me, right!?


How many semis in 15 min?

Something else Dad did to keep us entertained was to make up stories on the fly.  I remember seeing a sign that said, “Watch For Falling Rock” and asking him what that meant.  Without even missing a beat he strung a yarn a mile long about an Indian boy who got lost.  His mother posted signs along the road so people passing by would keep a look out for her son, Falling Rock.  Seriously Dad!?  The problem is, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.  I kept my eyes peeled for that boy for about a week until Mom finally told me it wasn’t true.  I felt a little sheepish, but Dad just laughed.

It’s been fun on this road trip discovering that my husband used to play The Alphabet
and Counting Games growing up as well.  We both have passed them on to our children, and I’m sure that they will pass them on to theirs.  What kind of games do you remember playing on road trips when you were younger?  Share them in the comments.  We’d love to hear about them!

Peggy – #4


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4 thoughts on “Road Trip!!

  1. One that my kids still love is “are the snake.” You just go around the car counting from one to a million, but you have to skip all numbers with an 8 in them. If you say a number with an 8, the screaming and ribbing ensues because you ate/eight the snake.

    Liked by 1 person

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