Friday, May 18, 2012

Low-tech & no-tech travel games

When you're going on long flights or long drives with kids you will have a lot of time on your hands. Air travel, for example, involves a lot of waiting: waiting in lineups, waiting to board, waiting for the flight to be over, and so on.

These days of course there are lots of gadgets to help you pass the time, from iPads and smartphones to hand-held games and music players. But it's always good to have some no-tech and low-tech travel games up your sleeve for when your kids are going a little nuts with boredom. Here are some suggestions:

Rock paper scissors - This classic never gets old. Well, yes, I guess it does get old, but you can always update it by playing rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock.

I spy - Another classic game that is easily adaptable for all different ages. You can spy things by color, first letter, whatever you choose.

20 questions - This was a favorite on car trips in my own family when I grew up. One person thinks of something: a person, a word, a thing, and the other people get 20 yes-or-no questions to try to figure it out.

Bingo games - These involve some pre-planning, and usually you would bring along some bingo boards specifically made with things you would see on your trip (car trips would differ from plane trips obviously). You can find some pre-made car bingo games at MomsMinivan.com for example.

Scavenger hunts - Make a list of things that everyone has to try to spot on the trip. Again, the list would differ depending on your mode of transport and where you're traveling. Some suggestions can be found here.

 
Keep a travel diary - For kids who like to write or draw, this can be very entertaining. Get them a travel journal or diary before you leave (a nice notepad can do just fine), and then let them draw things they see or write down what happens on the trip.

Fingerplays - Young children usually LOVE fingerplays. I have a rather limited repertoire myself (Itsy Bitsy Spider and Where is Thumbkin), but you can find lots of ideas at websites like Preschool Rainbow. These can be a great way to entertain or distract a child on a flight or in a long lineup.

Make hand-puppets - Bring along some paper bags, or use the paper bags usually provided on flights, and decorate them with stickers, crayons, and markers.

Story-telling game - Have each person take turns making up one sentence of a story. This can get pretty crazy, depending on the people doing the telling...

Virtual hide and seek - I just saw this game mentioned in USA Today. Very cool idea: you imagine a place in your house (or some other location) where you're hiding. You also agree on how small you are in this imaginary game (a mouse or ant can hide places a person couldn't), and then the other people have to guess where you're hiding!


2 comments:

  1. My family's created an app that gives instructions for 101 games that families can play that need no equipment (and you don't need an iPhone to play the games--which means NO FIGHTS ;-)), called Family Car Games. These are games for people of all ages, talking, guessing, singing, even games that use the car radio. It's been favorably reviewed and recommended...and we've continued to play the games ourselves (although one of our "developers" off to college...but she's useing the games with the camp kids she's counselor for this summer.) Helped us feel close on trips, since the driver can play too. I hope you'll check it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow that sounds fantastic! Anything that helps achiever the objective of "no fights" is a good thing! :)

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