All of these day trips have resulted in lots of driving around for us. We don't have a yucky DVD player in the car and so this forces us to spend lots of time chatting, bickering, whining about who did what to whom and when we will arrive at our destination, as well as asking complex questions, laughing and trying to entertain ourselves.
One of the most popular time-passing-activities is to play a game called "guess the animal." One person starts the game by saying, "I'm thinking of an animal that....". And they finish the sentence with one attribute of the animal, ie "has four legs", "lives on a farm" or "lives in the desert". Then the rest of us have to ask yes or no questions to try and figure out the animal. Whoever guesses the animal first, gets to be the start for the next round.
Elie and Isaac pretty well understand the game, but still have some difficulty with various animal designations, like "mammal" or "omnivore". This often will cause much confusion when Adam or I ask a question and the response is "no....well, ummm, what is that?" or "yeah, wait, uhhhh no uhhhh I don't know!" But pressing on, we will eventually get to the answer. Elie and Isaac also think it is very important to ask questions about where the animal is from, even though they have a rudimentary grasp of global geography. Or they will guess where the animal is from and then ask a question that has absolutely no chance of being yes based on where the animal is from. Talia is just barely to understanding. For a long while she would get to start, say she was thinking of an animal and then, no matter what animal the first person guessed was, she would say that was the animal she was thinking of. Now she seems to understand that she has to think of her own animal, but she almost always picks a cat. Leila doesn't understand the game at all. And so she says, "I'm thinking of an animal and it's a kitty!" Then we have to ask, "Is it a kitty?" And she says YEAH!!! Adam and I take part as well and for the longest time, I wasn't allowed to guess Adam's animal because every.single.time.I would guess what animal it was straightaway. It was very funny. My streak has been broken though and I'm back to being a mere-guessing-mortal.
We play this game in the car, while waiting for dinner, in lines, at the park, while hiking. You guess it. The kids love it and it is hilarious to listen to them guess.
Recently, Talia decided to introduce a new game to the rotation. She told us she had learned it at school and that it was called "Apple Pie". She carefully told us the instructions. She told Dadam that she was going to close her eyes. Then he was to say "apple pie" in a disguised voice and she was going to guess who said it. Dadam and I were laughing so hard we were wiping tears from our eyes. Gamely, Dadam told Talia to close her eyes and then he said "apple pie." She guessed it was him right away.
Now that we've got the rules fully sorted out (ie, you need more than two people to play), this game too has been added to the rotation. It's a bit tough to play in the car, as it is clear(ish) where a voice has come from. But it's great for hiking.
I don't think I could have ever imagined how fun it is to just be with our kids. And it makes the drive go by a lot quicker!