Play this fun animal game with restless kids
Kids often get restless — whether it’s in a restaurant waiting on food, traveling, waiting in line, or maybe because they are all done with their food and are bored waiting for everyone else.
So here is a fun game to play before you get to the point where you’re ready to rip your hair out or have a screaming fit like a toddler. The kids call it the animal game, which comes out of our children’s love for animals. Especially our oldest who loved animals it seemed from the time he was 2 years old.
We name a continent or country, Africa for example and then each person names an animal that is in that continent or country (for example: lion). Each person takes turns until a) the food has arrived or everyone is done or b) no one can think of any other animals. If you are still waiting, then you pick another country and continue. Sometimes our kids get so into the game they will want to resume play as soon as we are done eating or even during the meal.
Melissa Boehling | Contributor
We don’t use our smart phones — we check just our brains for what we can recall. However we do help our youngest if she gets stuck and others can think of more. It’s great as it can help them in so many ways such as learning about geography and nature. In addition, it teaches them in the basics of how to take turns, when to help someone and when to let them try first.
It’s not a complicated game, and, honestly, the kids have become the ones to bring it up whenever we go somewhere to eat — even the other day when we were in the mall cafeteria just to pass the time while eating. Now we have, on occasion, had to say, "Okay, we have to take a break and eat more than we’re playing, and then we can resume once we’re all done."
We’ve also played it at home, too, if one of the kids is done and waiting. Additionally, we’ve started another variation where we use letters and name objects that start with letters. We generally will use whatever letter our daughter has for that week at preschool. Everyone has fun, and little do they know they are learning too.
You can also use these games for when you’re traveling so that you don’t have to repeat yourself and try to explain how long the trip really is — the kids most likely don’t care or understand unless it’s the words "we’re there."
It seems if you can find a game related to what your kids enjoy, that helps too. My kids really love animals, so that seemed to work best to get them started. You may be able to increase the complexity of the games based on their age. In time we’ll most likely have them start spelling the words or at least our oldest will.
Here are some links to some other games that can be good for traveling or waiting:
What fun games do your family play while waiting for food, in line, traveling or other times?