Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and a time when many families start traveling. Although there are plenty of electronic devices and mobile movies to keep young ones occupied while traveling, try alternating some short and simple educational games to keep thinking skills sharp.
Below are five simple games to try. “In the Basket” and “Name That Tune” help children reinforce visual and auditory memory. “Build a Story” and “The Alphabet Search” foster sequencing skills. “Name that Color” helps with categorizing. All of these skills are crucial for good reading and math comprehension. The beauty of these games is that the kids are just having fun without necessarily realizing they are developing their educational skills.
- Build a Story: Start a story with just one word. Then, others take turns adding the next word to the story. For example, the starter might say “one,” next person says “night,” another “ghosts.” Continue taking turns until the story ends.
- The Alphabet Search: This game is played by finding objects on a bus or train, at the airport, or anywhere, that start with the letters of the alphabet and follow sequentially. For example, “I see an “airplane.” “There’s a bus!” Continue until all letters have been found.
- Name That Tune: One player hums a tune, and others have to guess the song. The one who guesses correctly hums the next song.
- In the Basket: Someone starts by saying, “In the basket there are some socks…” The next person repeats what the first person said, then adds another item to the basket. Continue on, adding items. If someone forgets one of the items, they’re out. The winner is the one who can repeat all of the items in the basket.
- Name That Color: One person starts by naming a favorite color. Other players have to name one thing that is that color. For example, if the color is “blue,” one player might say “the sky,” and another might say “a blueberry.” Continue until someone can’t come up with anything of that particular color. That person is out. Keep going until there is just one person left. That winner then chooses a new color for the next round of the game.
Games like these are great for long or short trips. They make the time pass quickly, and you’ll be amazed at how creative your children can be!