Bags packed? Check. Car loaded? Check. Screens and devices gripped firmly in hand? Check. This holiday season, let the long road to grandma’s house be a time to unplug from the screen and plug in to your family’s creativity.
Growing up, car rides were a time for my family to get a little silly and flex our creative word play through invented games and stories. If you have a long car ride ahead of you this holiday season, make a break in technology for a little old-fashioned family folly.
One-sentence stories can create hilarious memories that promote imagination and uninhibited creativity. Begin with a title for the story, or for more open-ended play, begin immediately with the first sentence. Each
car rider must tell the story by adding only one sentence at a time. Consider recording the story to play for your guests once you arrive at your destination.
Have you ever wondered what the rear-view mirror might say to the seat-belt buckle? Come up with off-the-wall conversations between two unrelated items you see in the car or on the road. Created conversations can be as short as one punch line or as complicated as a pretend argument on which item is more important.
For a little more structured game, try playing this lyrical battle: Choose a commonly used word (such as love, good, or day) to start the round. Each family member must come up with the lyrics to a song that includes that word. Whoever can come up with the most songs, wins!
These games and stories provide not only a break from the screen but also opportunities to make treasured memories as hilarious (and clever) comments create peels of laughter. Let your children steer these games, as their own world of imagination can be way more colorful and entertaining.
Freelancer writer Emily Jamerson is a CLUE teacher at Snowden Elementary in Shelby County Schools.