After reading the article on ‘Screen Time – How much is too much?’, some parents said that, while they agree they should not let their children watch a lot of television and/or handheld devices, they are not too sure of how they should engage their children if they take out the TV time.
One thing that I would like to reiterate is that – It is not your responsibility to engage and entertain your children all through the day. Let them be. It increases their creativity. Read the article on ‘How to Raise Creative Children’.
Having said that, there are certain games you can play which are fun and at the same time develop some skill or increase the knowledge of children in some way. The fact that you spend some constructive time with your child playing a game which you can also enjoy is an added bonus!
The City Hopper Game
The game for this week is The City Hopper. It is a fun game of cities and countries.
Number of players: 2 or more
Age group: 5years+ (children should know the names of at least some countries and cities to begin with).
How to play: One person (chosen randomly or the youngest player in the group) starts the game by speaking the name of one place. The place can be a city, a country or a continent (oceans, planets, stars, or areas within a city are not allowed). The next player has to say the name of a place which starts with the last letter of the previous place.
You are not allowed to repeat the name of a place that has already been spoken by any player in the game. If a player does not know the answer, he/she can ‘pass’ it to the next player. One point is added to the score of the person passing. The game ends when everybody passes any alphabet. The player with the lowest number of points is the winner.
For example: If 3 players are playing the game –
Player 1 (can start with any city, country, continent) – India
Player 2 (has to say a place starting with ‘A’) – Asia
Player 3 (has to say a place starting with ‘A’) – Abu Dhabi
Player 1 (has to say a place starting with ‘I’) – and it continues
If Player 1 doesn’t know a place starting with ‘I’, he/she can pass and Player 2 will have to say a place starting with ‘I’. Player 1’s points become 1. Player 2 can say the answer or pass it to Player 3. If Player 2 also passes, his/her points also become 1. If Player 3 also doesn’t know, the game ends.
What you can expect – If the children are very small, the game will end quite fast in the beginning. You can give hints about places you have been to, or read about in TIPS Times or other places/books.
Tips to make full use of game
Useful Tip 1 – When we tried out this game with some children, we gave them a world map after the 1st game. The children pored over it greedily looking for countries and cities around the world.
Useful Tip 2 – When you tell them the name of a new place (which you say when your turn comes) – do tell them some interesting fact about the place. It helps them remember the place and also the fact. Next time, if he/she is stuck on that alphabet, you can give the fact that you had told as a hint and see the child can remember the place. For example – P for Paris, tell them about Eiffel Tower and Louvre museum. Or A for Antarctica – which is at South Pole and home to penguins. Next time you say ‘Home of penguins’ and he/she will probably remember Antarctica.
- The first benefit is that you can engage your child in a fun manner without any gadgets or toys.
- You can play this game in the car, at home, while walking – essentially anywhere, without any props.
- The children’s knowledge of geography – cities, places, countries in the world – increases dramatically.
- If you also follow our Tip 2 and tell them facts about different places, their understanding of architecture, key monuments, etc also increases (depending on what fact you tell them).
- It also increases their memory power since they have to remember all the places that each of the players have mentioned in the game.
Happy City Hopping!!
Do write to us about your children’s experience with the game and any variations that you found useful.
Also read – ‘Games to Increase Creativity – Spiralling Stories’.