Five Brilliant Word Games For Long Car Journeys
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What is traditionally every parent’s nightmare – the long car journey with the kids – does not have to be an exercise in unrelenting boredom. Many now like to solve the problem by loading up hours’ worth of videos on the laptop and plugging their kids in to a screen. This guest post from Vivienne from Yellow Moon suggests some fabulously fun and favourite verbal games to take the monotony out of car rides:
The Guessing Game
One player thinks of a thing: any object, person or concept. The other players must guess what it is by asking yes or no questions. It’s a simple concept but if it’s played right, it can keep you going for hours.
The Alphabet Game
One for the slightly older kids, the Alphabet Game is a slow burner that can be played in conjunction with conversation or listening to music. The object is to be the first to spot, in order, each of the letters of the alphabet on road signs, the sides of trucks or anywhere else that you pass. However the catch is that once you’ve seen the letter and claim that example (for instance S if a Sainsbury’s truck is driving past), no-one else can claim that particular instance of the word and must look for another.
The Number Plate Game
The alphabet game is non-competitive – perhaps the best option for some sets of siblings – and involves using the letters on number plates you see on the road to make a creative sentence or phrase – another game that can lighten the mood in the car and inject a little creativity into your trip.
This is a great game to unify the whole family and make you work together as a team. Simply, someone starts a sentence and everyone has to listen and work together to make an interesting story. The aim is not to stump with silly contributions but to contribute and get the satisfaction of a well-told spontaneous story. It may take a few tries to get into the swing of things and to learn when to end the story.
A kind of verbal poker, Arrogance involves setting the stakes with a claim – “I can name 10 varieties of tree”, says the first contestant, and then following clockwise around the car, others have to top their claim: “I can name 12”, and so on. However, after a claim is made, the next person in line can call that player’s bluff – at which point that person would have to attempt to name that many varieties of tree. If they succeed, the person who called bluff loses a point (everyone begins with five); if they fail, they lose a point for making arrogant claims.
So if you are a parent who baulks at the idea of putting a screen in front of their child for entertainment, here are five great resources to turn a potentially dull car journey into real family time – and best of all, there is no equipment necessary.
Vivienne Egan writes for Yellow Moon the arts & crafts suppliers