Does your family have a long car ride coming up for Thanksgiving this year? Here's an idea from my friend Andrea that you can file away in the back of your mind in case the kids get restless. (This idea actually works best if there are at least 2 older kids in your bunch).
Have in mind a list of phone numbers that it would be good for your kids to have committed to memory. Maybe it could include grandparents, a work phone, the school office, a trustworthy neighbor, etc.
Hand your kids your cell phones (or if you'd rather, you could make a print- out of the letters that correspond to the phone number buttons ahead of time). Give them one phone number at a time to work on converting into an easy-to-remember word or phrase. (Most people have a much easier time remembering words than numbers).
One and zero are kind of tricky because they don't have letters assigned to them. Because of that, you might end up having to leave some numbers in your mnemonic device. For example, 512- 775-3746 might become "51 apples go."
See who can come up with the best idea, and let it become something your whole family uses from then on! Maybe you could work on converting the phone numbers of everyone who will be at your Thanksgiving celebration this year. Your kids would get a kick out of informing everyone of what their phone numbers spell, I'm sure.
Once you run out of phone numbers that need converting, you can work on your license plate digits. In that case, you'll work things a little differently. Each letter becomes the first letter of a word in a phrase. For example, HMQV-234 could become "Her Majesty Queen Victoria the Second is thirty-four" (never mind the fact that it's ridiculous- it works!)