Waiting. Probably not at the top of most kids’ ‘Fun Things to Do’ list. Heck, I don’t even like waiting! I like it even less when my kids start getting antsy from having to wait too long. There are many times when we are all just left to wait – at the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, in a checkout line, during a long car ride or plane ride, or when you have to tag along to big brother’s hockey practice.
To avoid the antsiness and the whining and complaining that will most likely ensue, be prepared with activities or games to avoid the stress of waiting – for both child and parent.
There are lots of different FREE printable scavenger hunt games on the internet, but you don’t even need a printable to play. Just call out things for your kids to find. If you’d prefer, print out a few scavenger hunts to keep in your purse or car; here are a few good ones –
- Restaurant scavenger hunt
- Airport scavenger hunt
- Hotel scavenger hunt
- Letter scavenger hunt
- Color scavenger hunt
- Road trip scavenger hunt
This is a classic game that I think everyone has played at least once in their life. This requires no supplies and just 2 people to play. In case you’ve never played, here is a quick rundown:
The game starts with one players saying, “I spy something _______.” The blank is filled in with an adjective (red, big, soft, round, etc.). The other player(s) try to guess what the other player is referring to. The goal is to be the first (or find it quickly if there are only 2 players total) to identify the object.
ABC Memory Game
You need at least 2 players for this game. You are going to go through the alphabet and name an item for each letter and you have to remember all the previous ones already stated. You can think of some kind of theme to go along with it. For example –
The first person would start out by saying, “I’m going on a trip to Grandma’s house and I packed in my suitcase an Apple.” The next person would then have to pick an item that starts with B and also say what was chosen for A. Then the next person picks and item for C and has to also say the items for A and B. You go all the way through the alphabet; it starts to get tricky at the end because you have to remember all 26 items!
Keep some blank paper or a notebook and some writing utensils in your purse so you can pull it out to play a little tic-tac-toe. If you are in a restaurant, make the game a little more hands-on by using some straws as the game board and sugar packets as the Xs and Os.
Other paper and pencil (or pen) games
- Dots and Boxes
- Build A Word – choose a saying or phrase and write it at the top of a piece of paper. From using only the letters in the phrase, see how many words you can make.
Mini travel games
You can get mini, travel versions of many popular board games. Some of the ones we have in our collection are –
You need at least two players for this game. One player thinks of an object and the other players have to guess what it is by asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. The players asking the questions can only ask up to 20 questions or else they are ‘stumped.’ To make it easier with younger children, you can narrow down the categories to choose from such as making it an animal, food, or toy.
You need at least two players for this game. One player picks the name of a place (state, city, country) and the next player has to name another place that starts with the last letter of the place that the previous player just used, and so on. You could also do this with celebrity names.
Pick a category and try to name as many things that fall under that category as you can, or try to name a certain number of them in a certain amount of time. For example – name as many states as you can, or boy names, colors, countries, presidents, fruits, animals. To make it more difficult narrow down your topics more or make it so they can only start with a certain letter.
Write a story aloud
Take turns making up a story. The first person starts with a few sentences and then says ‘pass’ mid-sentence and the next person picks up where that sentence left off. That player then says a few sentences and says ‘pass’ mid-sentence, and so on. End the story whenever you’d like. It might be fun to write it down at the end or record someone telling it so that you can remember it.
I love trivia games. It seems that nowadays no one goes places without there phones, so download a couple of good trivia apps and you’re good to go. Here are some suggestions –
Portable travel kits
- Travel activity binders
- 10 activities that fit in a gallon size bag
- Preschool busy books
- Are we there yet? Bags
- Portable Lego kit
- Coloring kit
- Portable dry erase drawing kit
Good old-fashioned reading
Throw a few books in the car or your purse, or better yet get some digital books so you can take even more options with you. For some great book lists for kids, check out my Books for Kids Pinterest board.