Five Thinking Games for Kids

Ever been waiting in line or driving in the car with kids who cannot keep still or stop whining? Need some new thinking games other than “20 Questions” and “I Spy With My Little Eye…”? I thought so.

It’s easy to pull out the iPhone or GameBoy to keep your kids busy, but much more rewarding to engage with your kids. So next time you are waiting to pay for groceries, on a long car trip or, like us, waiting for the bus or subway to arrive, try one of these five six thinking games to keep their minds occupied and their brains exercised. As an alternative, all try some tongue twisters for a quick entertainment¬†fix.

1. Imaginary Traveler. Taking turns, and continuing with consecutive letters of the alphabet, kids imagine where they might go and what they object want to take along on their trip. For example, “I’m going to Aunt Amanda’s and I’m taking my Aardvark.” “I’m going to Bermuda and I’m taking my Blue Balloon.” Encourage participants to be as silly as possible.

2. Story Time. One child begins a story with a single sentence. Building upon that sentence the next child continues the story with his own sentence to continue the story. You can vary this game so that the story is told with alternating words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs.

3. I See A Rhyme. Taking turns, complete the sentence “I see a ____.” Each player must rhyme the last word with the previous player’s word. For example, “I see a bat”, “No, I see a hat”, “But I see a cat!” When you’ve exhausted one rhyme, start with a new word!

4. Fortunately/Unfortunately. This game is inspired by Remy Charlip’s book, Fortunately. One player starts a story with a sentence such as “Fortunately, the bus is coming.” The next player counters with a sentence such as, “Unfortunately, it turned into an airplane and flew away!” The next player starts again with “Fortunately…” My boys love this one.

5. Name Five. Choose a category such as states, flowers, animals and going through the alphabet, each player must name five things in that category. For example, if animals is the category, the first player may say aardvark, antelope, ant, anteater, ape. The next player starts with B: baboon, bee, bear, bullfrog, bird.

6. Timed Categories. The cell phone in your pocket probably has a stopwatch. Pick a category such as animals, games, plants, purple foods and challenge you children to see how many items they can come up with in that category in one minute.

Don’t forget to factor in the ages of your littlest participants. Each game can be altered accordingly. Name Five might became “Name Two,” for example. And don’t be surprised if your kids want to make up their own thinking games. It’s a sure sign that their brains are in good working shape.

What are your favorite thinking games?

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Comments

  1. great ideas! will be using some of these on our road trip tomorrow!

  2. Here's hoping for a sane and safe road trip!

  3. Great post! We play story time a lot, but it's time to introduce other games on your list!

  4. I can't wait to try these out with my oldest son. I have a feeling that the Fortunately/Unfortunately game is going to be a huge hit. Pinning it!

  5. Great ideas! My little guys would love these! We'd love to invite you to join us at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! I know everyone will love your great kid-friendly ideas! Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie :)
    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-20/

  6. childrens party supplies says:

    This are good tips and ideas! I was thinking about some theme for my kids party and this seems pretty interesting.

  7. I have a few I like that I keep in my Bag of Tricks – http://www.thebookchook.com/2008/12/book-chook-bag-of-tricks.html. My Aunt Likes is an all time favourite. So is Hink Pink.

    • Erica MomandKiddo says:

      I love those games, Susan. You’ve given me some ideas about games that I did as an actor and to try and adapt them for my kids!

      • An actor? How cool! I taught drama for many years so my games are influenced by that. Fortunately/unfortunately is one we used to do – I think it may be from Theatre Sports/Improv. Maybe we can get our heads together one day and write something for our blogs.

  8. These are great Ideas! I shared them with my fans on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/uswoodtoys. I’m sure they will be used. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Love these! *Stealing* these ideas for our upcoming road trip! (I could have some fun with that Fortunately, Unfortunately one, lol!)

  10. Awesome!! Very good actibity ideas for traveling in the car

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