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# Verbal Travel Games - Let's share!

When I was a kid we drove from Northern ID to Southern CA every year, 24 hours one-way to get there. My frugal mama had a TON of verbal car games that we played so I thought I'd begin a thread in prep for summer travel. If anyone has others or knows sites with more, please share!

The nice thing is that these are absolutely free and can occupy a family for hours!

I-spy:

One person picks an object either inside or outside of the car and says "I spy, something in my eye that is (color of object). Other players guess until they guess the object. Players take turns picking object.

Silly Mutations:

This was one of my favorites as a kid although I remember mom growing somewhat tired of it.

Pick a normal-looking object out of the car window and imagine it changing into something impossible. Then try to describe it.

Example: Wouldn't it be funny if that tree was planted upside-down and its branches grew into the ground and its roots were up in the air!

20 Questions:

One person picks an unseen familiar object. Other players take turns guessing until they guess the object. If they guess within 20 turns, the correct guesser gets to take the next turn. If play goes beyond 20 turns, the original player reveals the object and takes another turn.

Players take turns saying "I'm going to pack my bags to go to (current trip's destination) and I'm going to take..." Then the first player picks and item to pack that begins with "A". The next player says the phrase, the "A" item and adds a "B" item. The third player must say the phrase, the "A" item, the "B" item and then adds a "C" item. Play continues through the alphabet and each player must remember the entire list of items. Players in this non-competitive game may help one another out.

Variation: Going to the Zoo and will see animals through the alphabet.

Going on a Bear Hunt:

Chant with motions, see here for lyrics:
http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/teddy/bearhunt.html

Players take turns finding letters on road signs through the alphabet. Watch out for unusual letters!

Variations: numbers, competitive or cooperative, words, colors.

Players take turns telling one sentence of a made-up story.

Visual Scavenger Hunt:

Everyone contributes to a list of items that appear commonly outside the window of the car. Players then watch for the next occurrence of the items and the first one to call out the particular item "gets" it and may cross it off his or her list. Since each item may only go to one player, the other players must watch for the next occurrence. The first one to find all of the items on the list wins.
Who's Closest?

Totally fun (um, as an aside the most fun I had playing this game had nothing to do with a car trip and there was alcohol invloved... Not that you need it).

One person starts by picking a phrase or object to think about. Everyone else says what they think the phrase or object is and then you have to argue why you were closest. The winner is usually the one with the weirdest reason unless of course there is an obvious winner. The winner starts the next round.
we do alphabet games - disasters, superpowers, things you see on the road, etc... round robin & in abc order (so like for disasters first person says avalanche, second person says bomb, third person says cave-in, etc)

silly- but it passes the time
What Did the Little Pink Bow Ride Home?
A guessing game my sister and I made up that was sort of like 20 questions, except there was no limit to the number of questions, and the questions didn't have to be yes-no. There was no turn-taking, either. Anyone could ask a question whenever they thought of one. You could ask anything at all, but the person who thought of the thing could refuse to answer a question on the grounds that it would give it away too easily. The traditional first question was "What letter does it begin with?"

Ghost
One person says a letter, then the other players take turns adding letters. The string of letters has to be the beginning of at least one possible word, but if you add a letter that makes it a complete word, you lose that round and get a letter of the word "GHOST." When you have all 5 letters of GHOST, you become a ghost and are out of the game, except that you can try to get other people to talk to you and anyone who talks to you also becomes a ghost. The last one who is not a ghost wins. (DP and I discovered as adults that this game doesn't work with two players, because the person who goes first can always win if they use the right strategy.)

Odd or Even?
We used to play this as teenagers. It's not a game you win or lose, just an entertainment. Think of two things and decide which one is odd and which is even, relative to the other. (Gold or silver? Winter or summer? Dogs or cats?) It's interesting how often there seems to be one clear answer to the question (even though it's a question that sort of doesn't actually make any sense), and it's interesting to try to figure out what factors make something seem odd or even.
We play I'm thinking of an animal all the time! One person thinks of an animal and then you guess You can also ask does it live in the water? Things like that.

Everyone pays attention to the other cars on the road in order to find plates from all 50 states.

We also did a variation on this as kids where we would see how many different trucking companies we could find on the trip.

Guess the Person

My daughter has recently begun playing this All The Time with members of our family, but it could easily be extended to book/movie characters, etc. We just say "I am thinking of a person who..." then finish it with has brown hair, loves the color red, is scared of heights, etc etc.

I Spy 2.0

We do the regular I spy, but we also do "I spy something that starts with the letter B " Or I spy something that rhymes with mouse" "I spy something that is very heavy" etc etc.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by MusicianDad Who's Closest? Totally fun (um, as an aside the most fun I had playing this game had nothing to do with a car trip and there was alcohol invloved... Not that you need it). One person starts by picking a phrase or object to think about. Everyone else says what they think the phrase or object is and then you have to argue why you were closest. The winner is usually the one with the weirdest reason unless of course there is an obvious winner. The winner starts the next round.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Daffodil Odd or Even? We used to play this as teenagers. It's not a game you win or lose, just an entertainment. Think of two things and decide which one is odd and which is even, relative to the other. (Gold or silver? Winter or summer? Dogs or cats?) It's interesting how often there seems to be one clear answer to the question (even though it's a question that sort of doesn't actually make any sense), and it's interesting to try to figure out what factors make something seem odd or even.
These crack me up! I can see them being really fun with older kids or even a group of adults (as with MusicianDad's drinking game ). Can you guys give examples of how they go, though?
The Cow Game (not necessarily for super-sensitive kids, and may not work depending on where you're driving--country roads are good for this):

Divide the car into teams--left side of the car and right side. If there are an odd number of players, then the person in the middle joins the team with the youngest kid on it (to even the playing field a bit).

When you pass a pasture on your side of the car, count the cows. (You can also count horses, or whatever else you might pass). Keep a running total.

When you pass a cemetery, "bury" your cows and start over.

Whoever ends up with the most cows at the end of the day, wins.

We also tracked license plates--I had a check-off sheet. On a three-week road trip through Canada and the Eastern US, I got every US state (including Hawaii and Alaska), Puerto Rico, all Canadian provinces except one, and a few Mexican states.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by limabean These crack me up! I can see them being really fun with older kids or even a group of adults (as with MusicianDad's drinking game ). Can you guys give examples of how they go, though?
Well, I guess the Odd or Even one might go kind of like this. Someone would say, "Salt and pepper." And then, the other person might think about it for a few seconds and say, "Salt is even and pepper is odd." (That's what I'd say.) And then the first person might agree, or might say, "Oh, no, I think it's the other way around." And then if they felt like it and could come up with reasons that they could put into words, they might talk about why salt seems even and pepper seems odd - the whiteness of salt, the hotness of pepper, whatever. And then someone would think of another one, like "Bears and wolves." (I say bears are even and wolves are odd.)
Quote:
 Originally Posted by limabean These crack me up! I can see them being really fun with older kids or even a group of adults (as with MusicianDad's drinking game ). Can you guys give examples of how they go, though?

Well it starts with someone thinking of anything, but not telling anyone what it is.

Next people make guesses like "You're thinking about the cows in the field." and "You're thinking 'how can I demonstrate this game?'" Everyone gets one guess.

Then it's revealed what the person was thinking "I was thinking about dinner."

After that everyone who made a guess, tries to argue why their guess was closest to the original thought.

"Cows are meat and meat is food and you eat food for dinner."

"You know that once your done demonstrating the game you can go have something to eat, like a hot dog which is what lots of people have for dinner."

The first person then picks the one that was closest usually based on the most creative reasoning. (ie number 2 wins because it's harder to get from games to dinner but it was still done) or a default match (ie the person guesses accurately what the first person was thinking).

The winner starts the next round.

Once you get into the game you can get some pretty funny reasons cropping up. The only real rule is that your reason has to make some semblance of sense.
The Emperor's Cat.
The first person starts off by saying "The Emperor's Cat is an active/articulate/adjective beginning with 'a'" The next person repeats the first person's statement and adds an adjective beginning with 'b', and so on. More co-operative than competitive.

Alphabet Chain
First person says a word, e.g. 'square', then the next person has to think of a word beginning with the last letter of the previous word, e.g. 'egg'. And so on. For added challenge you can make the rule that a word that begins and ends with the same letter reverses the direction of play, e.g. 'tart'.

Famous People Chain
Think of a famous person e.g. Luciano Pavarotti . The next person thinks of a famous person whose first name begins with the same letter as the first letter of the previous person's last name. e.g. Peter Gabriel, then Gary Oldman and so on. If someone says a famous person whose two names start with the same letter it reverses the direction of play. Aka the Steven Seagal rule!

Hot and Cold
Player 1 thinks of a room in your house that you're all familiar with, e.g the living room and mentally 'hides' a small object somewhere in it. So, I might hide my wedding ring behind the TV. The other players ask questions/ suggest locations and I respond by giving a temperature indicating how close or far away their guess is. E.g. Dh says on the couch - I say cool. MIL says under the rug - I say warmer etc.
Great thread! i need these ideas
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