It's summer and for many of us, the kids are home, and it's . . . loud. Lots of talking, lots of people, lots of chaos, and lots of noise. Some days, we all need a little bit of quiet.
So here are three quiet, no-talking, perfect-for-anytime games that my kids really love to play. They are great for wind-down times after play dates, or they're great for early mornings or evenings. They're great for waits at swim meets or for a little post-camp R & R. They're great for unplugged time in the backyard or bench time at the park.
Here are our kids' three favorite quiet games:
1. Big Dog. We play our own version of Hangman called Big Dog, and it's a super game that sneaks in some literacy skills along the way. One person chooses a word and draws small lines for each letter of that word on the paper. The other player tries to guess the word by choosing one letter at a time.
If the letter is part of the word, the letter goes on the appropriate line. If it's not, then part by part, the Big Dog is drawn: first the head, then the body, four legs, two ears, a tail, eyes, nose, and a mouth.
Can the person guess the word before the dog is drawn? Let's hope so! If not, the first player yells "Big Dog!" and it's his or her turn to guess the next word before the Big Dog is drawn.
2. Silent Conversations. Silent Conversations are another favorite of ours, and my children love this game as much as my students did when I was teaching high school.
Silent Conversations are just that: conversations that require no talking because they're composed on paper. I might start out by writing on a piece of paper:
Hi, Maddy! What did you eat for lunch today?
Then, I pass the paper to her. Maddy writes her response, and passes it back to me. The conversation continues until it ends—or the meal arrives or practice is over.
I love it. Simple, but interesting, and so very quiet.
3. Mama Drama. Along the same lines as Silent Conversations is Mama Drama, where mom and child switch roles in an on-paper drama written by mom and child! (If Dad plays, we call it "Papa Drama.")
I usually begin by writing my child's name and some sort of question that he or she would be likely to ask, and then I hand the paper to the child for a response. Mama Drama might go something like this:
Maddy: Mom, can I please have Lilly over for a play date?
Mom: Yes! You got it!
Maddy: You mean I don't even need to clean my room?
Mom: No, the messier the room, the better.
Maddy: Wow! Mom, are you losing your mind?
More suited for slightly older kiddos, this game requires more thought and a bit more writing, but it always ends with giggles.
I've found that Mama Drama is a great way to step into another person's shoes for a short bit, and it also opens doors to conversations and discussion. It's sometimes silly and sometimes straightforward, I'll take a little drama in the name of learning any day.
You never know what kids will say when they're given the opportunity to pretend to be mom -- or dad -- for a bit!
What's your favorite quiet game? We'd love to hear it! Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on twitter, @teachmama, and let's continue the conversation!