Playing on the Move: Children & Grandchildren


Playing on the Move: Children & Grandchildren

Today we have a special guest, George Schalter. He is a dad blogger who would like to share some play tips when ‘on the move’. Enjoy!


We do a lot of weekend road trips. Our drives are not very long, but they are long enough for our kids to doze off. When they are not dozing, we play. A lot. It keeps us all entertained.

Photo by: ThreeIfByBike, ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Photo by: ThreeIfByBike, ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Here are a few games we play:

1. Word games : One of us starts the game by saying aloud a word. The next by turn says a word which starts from the end-sound. It’s a phonetic game, which makes it easy for our younger one to join in. E.g.: Car-Roll-Lip…….

When no word pops into the younger one’s mind, a word is made up – right there, on the spot! The word occasionally gets a meaning and it’s even used in conversation for a few days until it dies a natural death.

We play another variant where one of us gives a meaning, and a single equivalent word has to be given. E.g.: Things which help a bird fly would be wings

2. Counting games : This one gets real funny. One of us starts with an ‘I count …a number’. The next in turn has to suggest something which adds up to that number. E.g.: If we are four in a car, and one us says ‘I count 4’ the person next in line could say, ‘4 heads’ or ‘4 noses’.

Do remember to make it clear to younger ones that counting birds on passing trees or up in the sky is a ‘No-No’. We have had hilarious arguments about birds having flown away!

3. Spotting Games : This is best played while waiting for food to arrive or in a gas station. Definitely not while driving, unless the participants are real quick. Typically one of us goes, ‘I spot a yellow backpack’ and then the race is on as to who spots it first. The one who does the maximum firsts gets a bigger ice-cream!

4. Group sketch : The name says it all – we take turns to add our bit to a group sketch. It could start with a swing and grow into a park or a Zoo or a yard depending on what is added by the rest. Again, only non-driving participants!

5. Guessing game : Before starting on a trip, either my wife or I pack a small bag with many small harmless things like a jigsaw piece, small animal figures, pen caps, etc. On the journey, we take turns to put our hand in, pull out something with our eyes closed and guess what it is. This one’s a non-driving-participants only game.

Most of these games are simple and can be morphed into other games which families like. The number of participants can also be flexible.

Since their grandparents gifted our kids a tablet, we have given a twist to our playing on the move. We have downloaded apps which are both fun and educational and play them by passing around the device. The uses were four-fold:

* Inculcated the habit of sharing a single tablet between our children

* Trained them to pass the device on as soon as their turn was up

* The introduction to games was at our pace

* The kids are used to trips with and without the device, avoiding dependency on electronic games for entertainment

We have downloaded apps for word and sketching games, learning about animals, dragon games and even spotting hidden pictures. Before downloading an app we have come across without recommendation, we use the Commonsense Media review site.

Playing with children has always been considered good for children’s all round development, and very useful for de-stressing adults. It brings out our creative self and is one of the best ways for families to bond. I still remember the wonderful times I had playing board games with my grandparents.

With or without a tablet, playing on the move has made our journeys great fun.

Author Bio

George Schalter loves being a dad. He and his wife share the joys and responsibilities of bringing up their children. As believers of good all round education, they spend a lot of time playing with their children and spending time outdoors. Being the writer in the family, he blogs at

Until next time…

Geek Girl







Geek Grandma

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Comments (2 )

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  1. Stephanie M says:


    Thank you, thank you so much for this post! My family and I are about to move for the first time and my kids are at that age where they won't sleep during the whole trip. These are all great ideas for keeping them distracted and acting well-behaved during the long ride!

  2. George says:

    Thanks very much Stephanie. I'm so glad you found the post useful. Hope this reduces the stress of moving with kids. Good Luck!