Amusing bored kids with words

Monday May 13, 2013

No one knows better than Mom the aggravations of having to wait -- in a line, in an office, in a restaurant, in traffic, anywhere -- with bored, squirming, small children in tow. The whining, tugging and tears added to her own impatience at the delay, can have explosive results.

Word games can take the edge off waiting and be educational, too, says the current issue of Family Times Newsletter, published by North Adams-based Child Care of the Berkshires Inc.

For Mother's Day, here are a few familiar and not-so familiar suggestions:

I Spy: The first player chooses an object everyone can see and provides a one-clue description. The others try to guess what it is. The one who does, starts the next round.

Rainbow Game: One player picks a color; the others look around for objects of that color. When everyone has spotted one, another player picks a different color.

I'm Thinking of an Animal: Same as above, but with animal names.

Would You Rather? First player offers a choice of two activities, or things to eat, or be, etc., while others pick and give reasons for their choices.

Alphabet Search: On a car ride, look in order for letters A to Z on buildings and signs until you go through the whole alphabet.

License Plates: In another car game, call out names of different state license plates as cars pass by. Identify the furthest away, the most colorful, etc.

Along the same lines, Workman Publishing sent us last week three revised editions of its "Brain Quest" word games for 2013 for ages 7 and up -- one to play in the car and one each on American presidents and on America itself. The 850- to 1,100-question games retail for $11.95 each. For information on where to buy them, visit

Beyond game ideas, the Family Resource Center offers other services like a free weekday children's clothing (newborn to size 10) and book exchange at the Haskins Community Center, 210 State St. in North Adams and a Parent Resource Library of books, videos and DVDs.

There's a "Stretching Your Dollar" support group on Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. Call (413) 664-4821.

To reach Charles Bonenti:


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