Games to play in a Pinch

Due to my inability to be still and do nothing I am always making up games to play with my kids. Something to pass the time while we are waiting or to fill in those minutes between dinner and bedtime. Here are two of my favorite Iphone and drawing games that can be played anywhere.

The Ispy Iphone Game

I was sitting in our Senator’s office waiting for an awesome woman to tell me that she can send off our fixed documents to the place to get state sealed so that we can finally get our dossier done. I was watching my friend’s daughter as well as my youngest and we had already been there for 20 minutes… doh what are we going to do? I didn’t want to just give them the phone because I didn’t want them to argue over it so it was in that office that the Ispy Iphone game was born. One player closes their eyes while the other players go and take a picture of something in the waiting room that you are in. This next step is important – make sure they know to take the picture close up and after they go to your picture in the camera roll have them zoom in on it. I played the game with two 5 year old girls. I showed them how to do it with the first one and then they were set. As you can imagine I was the set guesser as they quietly tiptoed around the office taking pictures and then zooming in and then having me guess what the picture was of.  This game can really be played for an hour because they kids really enjoy using the camera and trying to trick parents.
ispyphotogameHere are some of the pictures they took in the office. It looks like you can easily tell what they picture is, but when you go to the picture in the camera roll and zoom out by taking your thumb and index finger and spreading out so can focus just on a tiny part of the picture you took which really does make it challenging.

The Smile Game
This game is best with children from 5-12 when there is a group. I went with my daughter’s girl scout troop to Dutch Wonderland. That place is awesome by the way – the diving show never gets old even though I’ve seen it about a dozen times! We were waiting inline for the monorail and it was hot and we were nearing the end of our trip and we had about 7 or 8 minutes before we got on the ride. I had all the girls smile and I took a close up picture of their smiles. Then we went through the pictures to see if we could guess who is who.
smile-gameSo I’d like to take this time to state that this game was a huge hit with the girls, but it was also a huge momfail for me. In utero I got some type of virus or sickness that affected the adult toothbuds of my daughter and caused her to have large light orange spots on three of her adult teeth that have come in. Needless to say, being an 8 year old girl she is incredibly self conscious about them (and since it was affected during her development she can’t have them bleached off) so having a game where we take and examine pictures of our smiles is a horrible game for her. Luckily a sweet little girl also smiled with her mouth closed so we could guess between the two of them.

Drawing Games – These require access to paper and pencils and the second game needs a little prep work, but all will fit easily in a pocketbook.

The Directions Game
I love this game because it isn’t also good for fine motor skills, it is also great for listening skills, and being descriptive in your words. In this game each person receives a pad of paper and a pencil and each player is told to draw a pretty simple picture, but one that has several parts. I gave out ideas like an animal, something you can ride on, something in nature, a fun seasonal picture, etc. Each player turns their picture over so no one can see it.
The first player takes out their picture (but it is still hidden from the other players) and the other players take out a new piece of paper and a pencil. The first player will describe the picture to the other members. Here is something similar to what I said “Hold your paper upright  (then explain what that means), it’s a picture of a sail boat with two sails. The boat is sitting in water. The sail on the right has diagonal stripes. The mast has a circle on top.” The player giving the directions can’t look at the other’s papers but can clarify any directions (ie. someone doesn’t know what a mast is.). In the above picture the top left is my 5 year olds, the top right was done by my 7 year old (she’s now 8) and the bottom left is mine and the bottom right is my husbands. In the following pictures I kept our drawings in the same order and the picture with the star is the picture that was done by the one describing to the other players.
directiongame2I’d like to explain this one above. As we were playing my husband was  watching sports. My youngest did a great job describing her dog, and then her dad says… wait I missed it what did you say. Having very little patience she said… Dad it’s just a dog, draw a dog. Where for us she said it’s an oval with a circle head on the left and a curly tail… I think she probably did the best job describing out of all of us, and you can tell by how close my 7 year old and my picture is to the original… my husband’s picture – well that’s an outlier.directiongame4Again there is the hubby not quite listening. I must say that in general my husband is a fabulous listener, but don’t try to give him important details during an exciting sports game. directionsgame1
The Cartoon Drawing Game
I can’t take credit for creating this game. Mine is just a homemade version that my girls and I made of the Game Pick and Draw. We don’t own pick and draw because we made our own, but I am sure that there is no comparison and that you should buy the real deal one if you are interested. I like to draw so making this with my daughters wasn’t too hard, but it might be a little hard if you aren’t super confident with drawing. All we did was take index cards and wrote – head, eyes, ears, nose, eyebrows, hair, and mouth on the lined parts. Then the girls and I drew on the other side whatever it was. I think it’s nice to have a mixture of things drawn from all of us so that they are able to draw the different parts since they drew some of them to begin with. Plus just making the cards was a good hour long activity in and of itself. Then we each get a pad and we start picking cards. We start with face shape and then pick the others. We only pick one set and then all three of us draw the cartoon face. It’s fun seeing if you drew the eyes big or little or how far up you put the nose etc. Here are some pictures of ours.
game2 games1 games3Again I can’t stress enough that we like the game, but we’d probably play it more if it’s professional. Maybe we’ll splurge and get the real deal for Christmas – They even have a video of showing how the creator uses the Pick and Draw game to share the gospel.

I hope those help you a little bit through the summer. If you have an ideas for easy quick games to play feel free to link to them in the comments.


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3 Responses to “Games to play in a Pinch”

  1. Kelly Raudenbush July 11, 2013 at 11:07 am # Reply

    I love you. Really.

    We’re totally playing these today. We were going to go to the pool. It’s raining. I can’t do another big outing bc I have to do laundry and a million other things here. These games? They’ll save me (and my kids) today. Sweet.

    • Kelly July 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm # Reply

      We went to the Pottstown Splash Playground today – it was super fun and free if you are ever in a bind. It rained a little when we first got there, but it didn’t stop them. I hope the games went well today.

  2. Natalie July 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm # Reply

    Oh, the drawing from directions game sounds like fun! Very inventive. I am curious to play it with my daughter and her friends and see what happens :)

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