GAMES with KIDS while traveling

Traveling this season with the kids? We’ll have an 11 year old girl with us for 11 days this Christmas as well as Canaan, of course. We’re driving 14 hours in the car and I and the kids will be flying back. I knew I needed to find some games besides the normal reading, coloring, DVD player, etc. to help both of them behave. Here are some games I found we all might enjoy.

Everyone agrees on a silly phrase. It can make no sense like “Neener-neener-wah-wah-wah!” or it could be something like “Shelly sells seashells down by the seashore.”

One player asks any question like “What your favorite color?” or “What did you eat yesterday?”  The other player has to answer every question with the silly phrase. The trick is not to laugh. Fat chance! Players take turns.

For older kids: Take turns saying anything to make the other person smile.

Everyone smiles and waves to people in passing cars and counts how many people smile and wave back.
1 point = a smile
2 points = a wave
See who can get the most points.

Pick something to count but keep what it is to yourself. Examples: cows, green cars, coffee shops, stop signs, whatever! Tell the kids you’re going to count something that you see outside the window, but you’re not saying what. As you see the item, count the number out loud. The first one to figure out exactly what you are counting gets to be the next secret counter.

Reinvent a few favorite songs. It’s sure to get the kids laughing and dreaming up their own versions. Ryan’s really good at it!

Jingle Bells
Jingle bells, the backseat smells
Someone spilled their lunch
With cracker crumbs
And chewing gum
So many things to munch!

Row row row your boat
Drive, drive, drive the car
Quickly down the road
Wearing a cheeseburger as a beret
And French fries on your feet.

You need an empty water bottle and a crunched up paper wad that can rest on the mouth of the bottle and look as if it could easily be blown in. Challenge the kids to blow the wad in without putting their lips on the bottle. They’ll hug and they’ll puff, but they’ll never get that wad in.

TRICK: the bottle isn’t empty – it’s full of air and when the kids blow the air inside the bottle pushes the wad out.

The fasten seat belt sign has flashed and the plane is about to begin its descent to your destination. The kids are squirming. It’s the perfect time to harness the power of the atmosphere and crush your empty water bottle. You’ll need an empty plastic water bottle. Before the plane descends, open it and then cap the bottle tightly. Place the bottle somewhere the kids can see it. Rub your temples and stare at the bottle as the plane descends. The bottle will be crushed by the time the wheels hit the runway. Stop staring and shake your head as if coming out of a trance.

TRICK: What’s going on is that when you sealed the bottle at the high altitude, the pressure on the inside of the bottle was equal to that outside the bottle. But when you moved from high in the atmosphere, where the outside pressure is not as strong, to the bottom of the atmosphere, where the pressure is very strong, the bottle was crushed.

PACK A BAG for mid-air fun

For Babies under 2 years:
·         A roll of tape
·         Handful of plastic straws – maybe from the beverage cart
·         Small stack of paper cups
·         Old magazines
·         Stick note pad
·         Pipe Cleaners

For Kids 2 - 4:
·         A sheet of sandpaper and some lengths of colored yarn – portable art pad
·         Small metal tray and some magnets
·         Index cards and crayons. Fold the cards in half and they stand up. Make a barnyard, train station, hospital, fire station, kitty boutique – whatever they might like – and set up a scene on the tray table.

For Kids 5 & up:
·         Pack a glue stick, some paper, a pair of kid friendly scissors (if the airport security allows it!), crayons and markers and let them use an in flight magazine to:
o   Select pictures from magazines, glue the onto paper and then write a story connecting the images.
o   If you have more than one kid, have them make their collages then swap and write stories about the other’s picture choices.
o   Make face collages. Cut out lips, eyes, noses, ears and hair and construct a host of faces.
o   Design clothes for paper people. Either cut out clothing, and glue it onto paper and draw people in it or cut out people and draw clothes around them.
o   Mix it up! Cut out the head of one person , the arms of another, and the legs of another and make a bunch of mixed up people!
·         Origami paper and instructions - youtube has a wealth of info!
·         A deck of cards for playing games and learning tricks – youtube has a wealth of info!

Some of these taken or modified from Mama’s little book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle


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