I've been reading a lot about the "summer slide"...when our kids have a break from school and those brains get a tad mushy. Now, I'm a firm believer kids need a good break from the intense bits of school, spelling tests and book reports, but there is something to be said for keeping up those mind muscles. Which is why I love games and activities the family can play that also are kinda-sorta mental exercises...but really just more fun than anything else. Just watch, you'll be having a blast with your brain too.
Categories - It's like the reverse of that game show The $25,000 Pyramid. You all know the category and have to come up with things that belong in it. They can be broad (colors, ice cream flavors) to more challenging, specific ones (animals in the jungle, things you find in the refrigerator). Great for even little ones to play if you pick a category big enough.
Mad Libs - Verb, adjective, noun, proper name. Call ‘em out and write ‘em down. Not only will these fill-in-the-blank funnies stretch their vocabulary know-how, it will also tickle their funny bones as they read back what's been created.
20 Questions - Yes, this game has been around for ages, but, somehow, it always helps families have a fun time on that three-hour car trek to the amusement park. This game gets your kids surfing on those critical thinking brainwaves and, depending on who the "mystery person" is, can prompt some great discussions on historical figures.
Geography Starts and Ends - Cover the globe as you sit by the campfire or poolside. One person starts with a country (or state or city) -- like Russia -- and then the next person's county (or state or city) has to start with that ending letter -- you could use Alabama or Asheville.
Share your fun tip on how to prevent the "summer slide?"