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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Fun Educational Games To Play When Traveling

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and a time when many families start traveling. Although there are plenty of electronic devices and mobile movies to keep young ones occupied while traveling, try alternating some short and simple educational games to keep thinking skills sharp.

Below are five simple games to try. “In the Basket” and “Name That Tune” help children reinforce visual and auditory memory. “Build a Story” and “The Alphabet Search” foster sequencing skills. “Name that Color” helps with categorizing. All of these skills are crucial for good reading and math comprehension. The beauty of these games is that the kids are just having fun without necessarily realizing they are developing their educational skills.


  • Build a Story: Start a story with just one word. Then, others take turns adding the next word to the story. For example, the starter might say “one,” next person says “night,” another “ghosts.” Continue taking turns until the story ends.
  • The Alphabet Search: This game is played by finding objects on a bus or train, at the airport, or anywhere, that start with the letters of the alphabet and follow sequentially. For example, “I see an “airplane.” “There’s a bus!” Continue until all letters have been found.
  • Name That Tune: One player hums a tune, and others have to guess the song. The one who guesses correctly hums the next song.
  • In the Basket: Someone starts by saying, “In the basket there are some socks…” The next person repeats what the first person said, then adds another item to the basket. Continue on, adding items. If someone forgets one of the items, they’re out. The winner is the one who can repeat all of the items in the basket.
  • Name That Color: One person starts by naming a favorite color. Other players have to name one thing that is that color. For example, if the color is “blue,” one player might say “the sky,” and another might say “a blueberry.” Continue until someone can’t come up with anything of that particular color. That person is out. Keep going until there is just one person left. That winner then chooses a new color for the next round of the game.


Games like these are great for long or short trips. They make the time pass quickly, and you’ll be amazed at how creative your children can be!


> Educational Games for Family Vacations

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