Smartphones can be annoying – on the other hand they can be a great way to entertain the kids, and I don’t just mean handing them the phone, and letting them use your Angry Birds App at the first opportunity. We have discovered a much better use for them – and anything else than allows you to time somebody…our wee game “Five Alive”.
Its a great activity for indoors, so on the train, or as we found invaluable recently, on the ferry to France….
Few willing players
Stopwatch – easily available these days on those clever wee smartphones, but you could just use the second hand on a watch too of course
Pencil and paper (not required)
How to play
- One player controls the stopwatch, and another names things, people, places – whatever they want to in fact. Turns move clockwise around the group if there are more than two players
- The person with the stopwatch chooses a “set” of things for the person naming to think of, anything from fruit, to items of clothing, to members of the family
- Start the stopwatch, the person naming has to say five items from the group they were asked to pick from as fast as they can, so:
- The person with the stopwatch wants them to name fruit
- They say; orange, apple, banana, pear, and grape as fast as they can!
- On naming the fifth item, the player controlling the stopwatch….stops the clock
- The player who named the items, remembers how long it took, or writes it down, and tries to beat it next time its their turn.
- Play moves clockwise, with another player taking their turn to name items, and another to control the watch.
- Problem solving
- Numeracy; sets
- Literacy; vocabulary
- Most importantly, the ability to stay calm in the face of great pressure!
A great game to pass the time anywhere – to get more competitive, you can always see if you can beat your opponents’s time rather than your own. However, when we did, the whole game became slightly less serene, and I am not too sure that the people next to us on board the ferry were too impressed….! ;-)
Ages 4 and up – the younger players may struggle with thinking of their five choices within the a set – but they can still have fun – promise!
What do you think? Would this work for your kids too? Do you have any other games to play with the timers on your smartphones? Or are you just a wee bit scared to hand them over! ;-)
Thursday 12th of September 2013
Nice tips- I haven't yet had the courage to let my boys use my iPhone. They still think it is my brothers and that I only borrow it occassionally.