In the car as you travel to your cousin's house for Sunday dinner. While waiting for that cheese quesadilla to arrive at the table. As you stand behind five other moms with their kiddos in the grocery checkout aisle.
These are all times where your kids have to wait. Let me rephrase this: these are all times where you have to wait with your kids. When you think about it, knowing how to wait and be patient is a tremendously underrated life skill that six-year-olds (and many adults) have a hard time remembering.
My daughter and I find ourselves waiting a lot these days: for the subway, for the bus, at the airport as we travel to visit the grandparents during Spring Break. What have we been doing to pass the time? We've been playing a few games -- ones that don't need batteries, an iPad, or even a piece of paper. All you need is time and mind power!
-- The Phrase Game. This is fun and oh-so-simple! One person says a phrase (or a compound word), and then the next person has to take the last word of that phrase to start hers. For example: candy bar, bar code, code red, red light, light show, showtime, and so on.
-- The Last Letter Game. Similar to the Phrase Game, but you use the last letter of the previous word to start your word. You can choose any theme -- names, locations, colors, animals, the possibilities are endless. If the category was locations, you could have: England, Denver, Raleigh, Hogwarts, Sesame Street, Toronto, and so on.
-- The Look and Remember Game. So, for this one, you may need a piece of paper and a pen, but it's great when you are waiting for food to arrive at a restaurant or are stuck in the airport. Have the kids look at a specific area for 30 seconds, and then challenge them to write down as many things as possible they remember seeing. Try to get them to be as detailed as possible: instead of "a man," encourage them to write down "a man in a red shirt, reading a newspaper."
-- Two Truths and One Lie. This bit of fun is great when there are more adults than kids around. One person tells two truths and one lie about themselves. Everyone tried to guess which one is the lie. It's a perfect choice to pass the time when Poppop and Nana are there, as the kids discover things about their grandparents they may never have known.
-- The "And Then" Game. In this classic story add-on game, one person starts a story. When she gets to a certain point, she says "And then --". The next person takes up where the previous person was, and keeps the story going. This game is bound to get imagination juices flowing and a few giggles going, too!
What games do you play when you are waiting around or in the car with the kids?