Whether you’re stuck in holiday traffic or at the airport, sooner or later the electronics run low on battery. This list of classic games (that boost language, memory and other learning skills too) can be played anywhere and are perfect for this time of year. Let the games begin.
Botticelli. One player assumes the persona of a well-known person and provides that person’s initials as a clue. The other players try to guess this person’s identity with specific questions that can only be answered with yes or no. For example, the first question may be general, “Are you alive today?” The player answering in character as Abraham Lincoln would say, “No, I’m not alive today?” From there the questions continue to zero in on the character’s identity until a player correctly guesses who the character is. This a great game for older kids who are learning about historic figures.
Charades. Divide players into two teams. Each player writes a phrase on a slip of paper, folds it up and puts it in their team’s bowl or hat. Players take turns picking a paper from the opposite team’s bowl and acting out what’s written on the paper. If their teammates guess the right phrase within an agreed-upon time limit (usually 1 minute), they win the round.
Geography. Start with one player coming up with a place name (town, state, country, etc.). The next player much come up with a place that begins with the same letter as the last letter of the place the previous player mentioned. For example, if player one said “Spain,” then the next player needs to name a place that starts with the letter N, like “New York.” The next player must name a place that starts with the letter K, like “Kansas.” Keep going and see how many different places you can name.
I Packed My Grandmother’s Trunk. This is a great game for younger kids who are confident with the alphabet and strengthening their memories. Each player starts with the same sentence "I packed my grandmother's trunk and in it I put ___," and completes the sentence with a word that begins with the letter A. For example, "I packed my grandmother's trunk and in it I put an apple." The next player repeats the same sentence but completes it with all the objects mentioned by previous players plus an object that starts with the next letter in the alphabet. Play from A to Z and test your memory skills.
Twenty Questions. One player thinks of an object and lets the other players know whether it’s an animal, a vegetable or a mineral. Then the other players ask yes or no questions to determine what the object is. For example, “Is it bigger than a computer?” or “Can it move?” If they can’t guess after twenty questions, the player who thought of the object wins the round.