Language based travel games for the whole family
Ah, modern holidays! Long hours in the car, delayed planes, bored children, that internal groan when someone suggests yet another game of I Spy… Does anyone even like I Spy? This holiday, try something different to pep up your trip and see if it really is about the journey, not the destination.
Pass the bomb: All right, don’t try that one on the plane! This is a car version of the “Pass the Bomb” game by Piatnik. In this game of association, players name words relating to a theme or category whilst passing a ticking bomb to one another before the bomb “explodes”. For example, if the theme is park, possible words are: flowers, bush, swings, birds, dogs, etc. In the car, players take turns at saying words before passing a red vehicle (a "bomb") in the oncoming lane. Think of all sorts of categories: straightforward ones like fruits, bush animals but also more obscure ones, like famous inventors, celestial bodies, spiky things.
How Many Can You Name? Similar to Pass the Bomb. How many red things can you name? Each player estimates how many items they can name within a given category. The player with the highest number starts. If they nominate 6 and can name 6 red things, e.g. poppies, blood, apples, love hearts, stop signs, fire engines, they win the round. If they can’t the next player has a try. The player with the highest number wins.
Don’t Say It: Pick 5 taboo words, i.e. words you are not allowed to use. Have a conversation and try to avoid using the taboo words. Choose frequently used words or words that relate to your particular trip to make it tricky.
The Yes-No game: A variation of Don’t Say It, with only ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as taboo words.
Would I Lie to You? Each player makes a true and a false statement about themselves. Other players guess which one is which. Prepare to be surprised and to discover unknown facts about your family! Did Mum really shake hands with the Queen when she was at Uni? Did Dad really work as a back-up singer before becoming real estate agent?
Conversation starters: If you were an animal, what would you be? And why? If anything was possible, what would you have in your dream bedroom? What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Have you ever done anything dangerous?
Don’t get me started! Have a (fun) rant! Pick a topic, preferably a totally innocuous one and get on your soap box! Tinned beetroot on sandwiches? Don’t get me started! For one, who wants to eat a pink sandwich? Then, there’s the taste… Put a timer on and see how long you can go on the topic.
Guess the song: Hum part of a song for others to guess. Guaranteed fun if it’s Dad singing.
Continue the Story: The first person starts a story with one sentence. The next person adds a sentence to continue it and so on and so forth until the conclusion of the story. Decide how many turns to complete the story and make sure there is a decent conclusion. No “And I woke up and it was all a dream” allowed.
Yay/Aw game: Similar to Continue the Story but with a succession of good and bad news or events. The first player says “Yay! I found some money on the street”, the next player continues with “Aw, but it was only $ 2!”. Continue the story with Yay/Aw statements: “Yay! But with the $ 2, I bought a winning lotto ticket!” and “Aw, but I lost the ticket!”
Licence plate games:
Describe it: Look at a picture or the scenery around you, then close your eyes and describe it without looking, trying to remember as much detail as possible. Another good airport game and most definitely not one for the driver of the car.
The Silence Game: see how long the kids can last without saying anything… used to be my parents’ favourite! I wonder why.
ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
Looking for language tips, activities and ideas? This blog is for parents, speech pathologists, teachers, educators and anyone with an interest in speech and language.