Friday, September 23, 2011

Travel Games

Game anyone? 
Great games for the car:

Educational (but they won't know it!)-

Start with any place in the world (You can limit it to just your country depending on ages of players).  Georgia, for example.  The next player has to think of a place that begins with the last letter of "Georgia," like Arkansas.  The next player needs a place that starts with an S.  No places can be used twice in the same game and each place named must be real!

(I used to play this all the time with my class at school because it makes kids think and can be played with any number of players.)

One player choses a number: example, 3.  Then, starting at one and counting up, each player says a number except multiples of the chosen number and instead, the player says, "Buzz!"  Example, 1, 2, buzz, 4, 5, buzz, 7, 8, buzz, etc.  If a person makes a mistake, the game starts over.  The goal is to make it to 100 without making a mistake.  Great practice for multiplication and paying attention!

Minister's Cat
This is an alphabet adjective game.  Each player fills in the blank for describing the minister's cat alphabetically and then play moves to the next player.  Example:  It goes to the beat of (feel free to clap along) "The minister's cat is a... angry cat."  Next player, "The minister's cat is a bald cat." Next player, "The minister's cat is a cranky cat." etc.  If someone can't think of an adjective with the correct letter, they are out of that alphabetical round.

(Variation for older children:  each player must say an adjective for the same letter before play moves to the next letter in the alphabet.)

Just for Fun (but you may learn something!)-

Would You Rather?
(This is a great getting to know your family game!)

Brainstorm opposites.

Ask players would you rather... live the the mountains or by the ocean?  visit the zoo or the aquarium?  read a book or play a game? eat a candy bar or potato chips?  go snow skiing or snorkeling?  etc.

Players take turns answering and EXPLAINING why they would rather do that.

Teddy pens another classic.
Pretend Your Bear Can Write Short Children's Stories

Anabel wins this game every time so unless you are extremely creative, don't bother competing against her.

Great games for restaurants:

Sugar Magic
While waiting our your food, lay three sugar/sweetener packets flat on the table.  Place one coin under one packet.  Move the packets around and let players take turns guessing where the coin is.  (optional: if the kids guess correctly, you can let them have the coin to add to their travel spending money.)

What's Different
Again, while waiting on your food, have children close their eyes (or go to the bathroom) and change one thing on the table or about your appearance and have each player take turns guessing what is different.

Memory Game
Using your napkin and 7-10 objects found on the table or from your purse or pocket, give players 10 seconds to study the chosen items.  Cover the items with your napkin and chose a player to name the covered objects.

Great games for sightseeing:

Educational (they may have guessed what you're up to by now...)

Scavenger Hunt
(This game helps focus children on the items in the museum, exhibit or tour.)

Create a list (length is up to you) of items that can be found where you are going (use a the location's website or brochure for items.)  Give a copy of the list to each player and have them check off each as they find them.

(Variation:  Create a list of questions for each player to answer while in the museum, exhibit or tour.  I made a list of random questions for students during a field trip to the High Museum in Atlanta.  The children, ages 9 and 10, didn't run through the art.  Instead, they looked for answers to the questions.  Example:  Find Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting.  What year did Van Gogh paint "Sunflowers?"  How many sunflowers are in the painting?  etc.  I gave out prizes to the ones with the most correct questions.  Prizes could be anything to enhance your trip - treat, game, or extra spending money- that you were probably going to give them anyway, but they don't have to know that.)

I-Spy Letter Art

If you've got a digital camera and an eye for art, this is the game for you and your family!  While taking an unguided walking tour of a new city or historical location (which, let's be honest, can be pretty boring for kids),  play a game of I-Spy.  Look for letter outlines in found materials and oddly shaped windows, doors, signs, etc.  Make a check list of letters found and create an entire Letter Photo Album when you return home from your travels!  Check out these examples:

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