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Writing games for car rides?

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Looking for fun writing activities for teens to play on long car-rides...preferably something in a book/workbook. We'll be taking a long car trip with two teens in the car who love to write. Something along the lines of Mad Libs, for example, but with more writing -- not just filling in the nouns, verbs, etc.

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What about writing a serial story? Each person adds a paragraph, passing it back and forth.

Or timed haiku? You have 3 minutes to come up with a haiku about what is out the window. Or something like that. You'd have to experiment to get the time right.

Or story-telling? I made mine read a folk tale and then retell it to me in the car for awhile. That was one of the nicest commuting years for gymnastics. They retold them with embellishments. You could insist that they change the setting, or use people they know for the characters, or some other twist. They could write out the stories if they wanted to.

They could rewrite something in modern English or with a scifi setting or with a set of favourite characters. Romeo and Juliet with Winnie the Pooh or Star Trek characters?

You could collect some traditional stories that they don't know (pick a different culture?), xerox them, cut them in pieces, and give each child a half and have them write a beginning or an ending or a middle. Then they could read them aloud and compare them.

They could write limericks for all their friends.

They could each give each other 4 characters and a problem and a setting and then set the timer for 15 minutes and challenge each other to write a story. "On a farm, a cocky chicken, a blind cat, and a scatterbrained duck have to outwit the fox who is trying to steal eggs." (That is a boring one but gives the idea.)

They can make cryptoquotes for each other. Or crossword puzzles. Or word searches. Those are often more fun to make than to solve.

There are always those books of word puzzles that you can buy at the grocery store. Boggle works in the car. Hangman.

I would also like to recommend The Anti-coloring Book. It isn't writing; it is drawing, but they might still like it.



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I just thought of another one that is fun: dictionary. You pick an obscure word out of the dictionary and write a few fake-but-likely sounding definitions which you list along with the real one. Then the other person has to guess which is the real one. If you have more than two people, you can all write definitions and the person who picked the word can read them all aloud and everyone else can guess. You know your own is fake, of course, but that still gives you a few to choose amongst.


And another: Write sets of directions to draw something and then exchange and watch the other person try to draw exactly according to the directions. This can lead to arguments, though, so I think I might not want to include that one.


A commercial word game my clan loves is Taboo. You could make your own version if you had enough people. One person is given a word that he has to try to make somebody else say via hints within a certain amount of time. He is also give a list of 4 or 5 words he can't use. For example, he might be given the word "charity" and have a list of words he can't use that includes ball, home, money, raise, and give, so he can't say "blank begins at home" or "if I want to raise money for blank, I might have a fundraiser" or "a charity blank". In the commerical game, you have a timer and the word and taboo list is on a card. You have a pack of such cards and see how many you can get through without blowing it before the time is up. I'm not sure how that translates to the car, but if you had three people, each one could make words for the others to try to guess/make say.


Have fun!


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