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Traveling with kids can be a test of patience, for every one. It’s hard for kids who get bored easily and for parents who have to try to mitigate the boredom. But, you don’t want to stop going places because traveling is awesome and it’s a great time to be together and see some cool places too.
We all know electronics are one way to keep kids occupied, but we also know that all that screen time isn’t good for them either.
Our kids get car sick, so reading and electronics are out anyway, so we’ve had to come up with some old fashioned ways to keep them entertained. These are also good for any time you have to wait anywhere, whether it’s a restaurant, the doctor’s office, waiting in line at an amusement park or any place else.
When traveling with kids, this one goes a long way because there are so many variations. And it’s pretty simple, so little ones can play too. It can last for as long as you want. Choose a category such as vegetables, animals, cities, people names etc.
Taking turns you go through the alphabet naming something from that category that begins with each letter. Person 1 has letter A. Person 2 has letter B and so on. When each person has had a turn, start back with person 1 and the next letter in the alphabet.
I heard this one being played by a family as we were waiting in our doctor’s office and my kids wanted to add it to our game list. Its possibilities are really endless and can go on as long as you want to play.
Person 1 asks a question and everyone else has to say yes or no. That’s all. No explanations or qualifiers or anything else, just yes or no. For example, “Do you like the color blue?” Yes or no from everyone. Then you can go to the next person to ask a question, or you can have person 1 ask another question. You would decide before starting how many questions each person asks before it is the next person’s turn.
It’s a really fun way to find out what people do and don’t like–especially the people you think you know best!
This one is kind of similar to the Yes/No game, since you’re going to be learning about what everyone playing feels or would choose in each situation.
The first person asks everyone which of two things they would rather have or do or be, and everyone else has to say which one they would rather. The answer can’t be neither or both.
For example, would you rather eat pizza or hamburgers every day? or would you rather be a dog or a cat? Or would you rather have a tiny left hand or a giant left hand?
This one is a lot of fun, and requires no skill whatsoever. Person 1 starts and play goes around to each person, then starts back at person 1. Determine before you start how many turns each person gets so you know when to stop.
The first person says a word and the next person has to say the first word that comes to their mind, followed by the next person and the next etc. After each person has had the number of turns as you decided on in the beginning, compare the first word and the last word said. How different are they? How similar?
There’s a reason that I Spy has endured the generations–it’s just classic and simple and anyone can do it. For little ones it can help with colors. For older kids it can help foster creativity because they’re trying to think of harder things to spy.
The first person looks around and finds an something they want as their “thing to spy” and then says, “I spy with my little eye, something that is ______ (whatever color the thing is)” and everyone takes turns trying to guess what the thing that was spied.
Keeping kids entertained while waiting–whether traveling and waiting in an airport, restaurant or in line for Disneyland, is hard. Buuuut, by playing some of the games above you’re practically guaranteed to have fun for at least a few minutes.
Good luck and happy travels!
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