Five Thinking Games for Kids

Thinking games for kids are some of the easiest indoor activities you can find. They also work when you are out of the house, too. 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.

Fun thinking games for kids.

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, 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?

Thinking games for kids build brains!

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  1. 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.

    • 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!

      • says

        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.

  2. Vickie maduzia says

    I will be sharing these fabulous ideas with my “RidesRUs” business! I work for a lady who employs 17 moms around in our school district, we shuttle kids to school and then take them to their homes after school. We all LOVE what we do, and love any ideas on how to engage the kids while we have them in our vans! Thank you so much for sharing these fun games!!

    Oh –and you asked what other kind of thinking games we do? The only ones I know of (before reading this blog post!!) are:

    1) I SPY. Where you pick out something in the room you’re in, and the other people have to ask yes/no type questions to guess which object you’re thinking of.

    2) Fifteen Questions. Similar to I spy above — but the object can be any random thing! We played this in the car today and the objects today were: Tomato, George Washington and a KNEE!! Start off with “is it animal, vegetable, mineral, or person?” And then ask questions about SIZE of the object (smaller than a car? Bigger than a basketball?) and questions about where you would find it (is it in my home? Does it live in the jungle/desert/ocean) etc. The main rule is, whoever is IT has to write down the object first! On a scrap of paper — so they don’t change their mind halfway through the questions haha

    Thanks again for your fun ideas, I can’t wait to try these with my RidesRUs kids — and they will be such fun games on road trips with my own family!

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