5 Fun Language-Based Activities for Car Rides with Your Preschooler

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5 fun language-based activities for car rides with your preschooler | Eastside Speech

1. I Spy

An oldie but a definite goodie. It’s also excellent for extending language or phonics skills. You can use this opportunity to reinforce concepts involving size (e.g. tall, gigantic), colour, shape (e.g. round), and numbers (e.g. 3, many). Clues involving rhymes (e.g. it rhymes with ‘bar’) and letter sounds (e.g. it begins with ‘k’) will help prepare your preschooler for learning to read and spell at school.

2. I went to the supermarket and I bought…

One person starts the game by saying “I went to the supermarket and I bought .. (something you would find in a supermarket e.g. apples)”. The next person continues by saying the previous item and adding on one more (e.g. I went to the supermarket and I bought apples and… some bread!). Continue to go around the car, recalling previous items and adding on new ones, and see how many items you can all recall! This is a great game for extending vocabulary, attention and memory. You can change the theme of the game to reinforce a different set of vocabulary, for example, I went to the zoo and I saw…

3. Tell a story together, a sentence at a time

One person starts the story by saying one sentence (e.g. Once upon a time, there was a little boy called Angus), then the next person continues to tell the story by giving another sentence (e.g. One morning, he woke up, and he had lost his favorite toy giraffe). Continue to tell the story, sentence by sentence, until the story is finished. This activity is great for stimulating your child’s imagination and story-telling skills.

4. 20 Questions

Think of an object, animal, person, or place. Tell your child the category this item belongs to, then invite them to ask you up to 20 yes or no questions to figure out what the item is (e.g. Can this animal swim? Does it eat meat or plants?).

5. Jokes

By early preschool, children can begin to play around with simple classics like the Knock Knock jokes, such as:

  • Knock knock
  • Who’s there
  • Cows!
  • Cows who?
  • Cows go moo, not who!

As your child’s language develops further, they will begin to enjoy using puns, riddles and wordplay. Who would have thought learning about sounds in words and word meanings can be so much fun! ?​

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