When you are on the road and have little in the way of resources handy, you need to make use of everything you can see in front of you. In this activity, we will use the license plate numbers of all the vehicles you see around you to form words.
This is a fun and simple way of turning every road trip into a fun word creating adventure.
Objective(s) of activity:
Form a word with many of the letters you find in some vehicle license plate. The more letters you utilize, the more points you get.
You can do this as a collaborative effort or a competition, especially if there is more than one child in the vehicle.
Targeted age group:
Norah who is 5 going on to 6 can do this activity quite comfortably. As long as your child has started developing a sense of writing and reading, the child can do this activity.
Number of participants:
One child is sufficient to do this activity. If there is more than one child, you can bring in a collaborative element if the children are of different ages. If the children are of the same age, you can make the activity a competition.
The first step is to choose a license plate that is clearly visible. Suppose you see the following plates. (Note: I am following the Singapore template of vehicle license plates. The plates in your country may be different, but you can do the activity as long as the license plate has some combination of letters with numbers.)
‘SLK 2677 P’
The objective is to form an English word with as many of the letters in the license plate as possible. The letters do not have to be in the order you see in the license plate. I have provided some example below.
Some words which have only one of the letters
Some words which have only two of the letters
Some words which have three of the letters
Some words which have all four letters
If it is possible to keep track of score, you can give a point for each letter used in a word. So ‘Sit’ would get 1 point, whereas ‘Planks’ would get 4 points.
If there are two children competing with each other, the child that forms the word with more of the letters can be given the point.
If your child can do without it, feel free to skip the points.
Note that it is not necessary to follow the order in which the letters are found on the license plate.
Once the word has been formed, another child can pick a different license plate from another vehicle on the road.
Notes for scaling up difficulty:
One way to make the activity harder is to impose the ordering restriction. Thus if the license plate is ‘SLK 2677 P’, then the words that are formed must have the letters in the same order as well.
So if two letters are found in the word, then ‘Sell’ is possible but not ‘Loss’ because ‘s’ must come before ‘l’.
This may mean that four letter words are close to impossible to form.
One way to follow up on the activity is to write down (or remember) some of the difficult combinations and then consult a dictionary together with your child once you get home.