Full-time mum, part-time writer, avid fantasy reader and wannabe novelist. My articles focus on family and fun. Visit my site: www.highfantasyaddict.wordpress.com
Published April 28th 2012
The road trip is a great Aussie tradition, but when the screeching, squawking, fighting and just plain silliness in the back seat has gotten enough, and the decibel metre is reaching maximum level, here are five quiet games that you can play with your children that will have you repeating "peace, blessed peace" like a mantra as you bask in joyous silence. Better than a Panadol and lie down.
The Super-Silent Game How long can everyone be quiet? The aim of this game is to see who can stay quiet the longest. If a player makes any noise at all, they are out. You can either work individually (the last player who hasn't made any noise wins), or use your stop-watch and work as a team, trying to best your last result. Ahhhh, silence!
Silent Till You See It
At the word `go` everyone stays silent until they spot a specific object - e.g. someone wearing a red jacket, a school or church, a number plate with the letter X, a three-legged flying pig wearing a ski mask etc. If you find the little ones are restless if they can't spot the object, call a time out and choose something else to look for.
How Long is a Minute? This is a mostly quiet game. One person acts as timekeeper. The timekeeper says go and then everyone has to guess when a minute is up. Everyone gets one guess. If the timekeeper is younger, get him to call out when a minute is up, and the last person to guess gets to be the new timekeeper. If an adult is timekeeper, you can wait until everyone has guessed and the person who was closest to the minute wins.
This one can get a little noisy, but at least one of you in the car will be silent. One person gets to be the "actor". The actor can't speak, but can use their legs, arms and any part of their body to act e.g. pretending to get ready for bed by brushing teeth, putting on pyjamas, yawning etc. Everyone else must try and guess what is being acted out. It can be helpful to nominate a topic eg, animals, foods, occupations. You could also have more advanced topics such as popular sayings, nursery rhymes, movies etc.) There are plenty of websites which list common gestures and signals used in charades to make it more enjoyable, or see my review here.
Draw It Similar to charades above, one person becomes the "drawer". They have to think of something and then get thirty seconds to draw it. They then show it to everyone who guesses what it is. First one to guess correctly wins and gets to be the drawer for the next round. You can use topics such as occupations, places, something I've seen today etc. At least you'll get thirty seconds of silence with this one.
So that's five easy games you can play with your kids to pass the time. Or you could always invest in a DVD player and a few sets of headphones.