With 3 little kiddies and long lines at the grocery store, I’ve been getting pretty good at coming up with quick games to help pass the time. Something fun to keep their attention before they get too restless. These games also work great for long car rides or even while waiting for dinner to come at the restaurant.

Long Lines

Image from Mind Your Decisions

Rhyme Time

  • For younger kids: I usually start by having my kids give me a word like, “blue”. Then I show them how to rhyme it by choosing the word, “shoe”. I’m the one rhyming for a while, until they hear how it works and are ready to try. Then I give the word and they try to rhyme it. If I say “red”, they may say “blue”. I try to explain that although red and blue are colors together, they don’t have the same sound in their words. They need to be “same, same”, as we call it.
  • It’s important to remember that when kids are just learning to hear and recognize rhyming words, even the silliest nonsense words can be used. You may be tempted to correct your little ones, but if they make up silly words it’s okay as they’re just getting used to the idea that rhyming words have the same ending sounds. Then as they get better, try to ask them to only rhyme with “real” words. As their comprehension grows, they’ll understand this more.
  • For Older Kids: Try to have your older kids make up sentences that rhyme. Have them do it in beats. Here is a 3 beat sentence: You say “I went to the store for some rice” Then they say, “I hope it’s not eaten by mice”.

Animal Guessing Game

  • For Younger Kids: Each person takes a turn saying an animal sound, then the others try to guess. You can start with animals that live on a farm, move onto a jungle, or in the ocean. Then, once you’ve gone through 20 or so, start all over.
  • For Older Kids: Play this by describing an animal with only 3 clues, then let them try to guess. If they can’t guess the correct animal, give another clue or you can always give the sound it makes.

I Spy With My Little Eye:

  • Fun for all ages: The person who is “it” chooses an object in the room they can see. Then they say “I spy with my little eye, something blue”. The rest of the group takes turns making a guess at the object. If they have trouble, ask for another clue. This is a great game to play with kids who are just learning simple concepts like shapes, colors, and letter.

Any of these games can be altered to meet the needs of your family. The point is to have fun and provide a simple way to pass the time.

What games do you play to help keep your kids engaged?