Entertaining word games to pass the time when travelling

If you have to spend hours in the car, on the train or in a narrow plane seat, have a long wait in the departure lounge or are stuck in a traffic jam, time just seems to drag. Our word and language games will help you beat the boredom.

Word games I Language I Apostroph Group

Getting to the perfect beach, the pulsating city or some exotic destination can actually be a bit of a bore. And on a family holiday with kids, you will certainly have your hands full keeping everyone entertained. Naturally, tablets and smartphones will keep them busy, but language games with plenty of interaction are a fun way to keep things interesting. The following word games can be played with two or more players and are suitable for children and teenagers as well as adults. But the more participants you have, the merrier things become.

From A to Z

Start off by agreeing on a specific topic, such as animals. The first person starts with A and says aardvark. On to B next. Bear. C – an obvious one could be cat. Or if you are showing off, you could go with chameleon. If one of the people playing can’t find a suitable animal, they lose a point. It gets even more interesting if you write down the animals that have already been mentioned and you start again at A and have to think of a new animal for every letter. A for alligator, B for beaver, C for... erm... camel.
Depending on the age of those playing, you can make the topics more challenging. What about sporting legends or African countries, for example? It could well be that you actually arrive at your destination before you even get as far as Z.

Here’s another version:

You start by thinking of a topic here too. Let’s go for food and drink. One person goes through the alphabet in their head and another says “Stop”. If, for example, the person running through the alphabet is at “C”, everyone else has to say a related word starting with that letter: cake – coffee – coconut – chewing gum... Anyone without anything left in their verbal pantry will lose a point. Then the next person silently goes through the alphabet and someone else stays “Stop”. The letter they land on is “Y”. That could be tricky.

Who am I?

This game does work with just two players, but it’s much more fun if several people join in. And this is how it works... Everyone secretly writes down the name of a famous person or a well-known figure, (e.g. Batman, King Charles) on a post-it note. Each person then sticks their note to someone else’s forehead. Now the players can all read who is who. But nobody has any idea who they are themselves as they can’t see the name on the sticky note on their own forehead. Everyone tries to find out who they are by asking questions.

Word chains

This is a great game to play in English.

You start off with a word made up of two parts, for example chainmail. Now you have to find a word that starts with the end of the previous one. Mailbox would be a possibility. Then you continue with boxcar – carport – porthole – holeless– lessen and so on until someone can’t think of a word that works.

Word families

Pick a word, such as “house”. Then everyone has to take turns to think of a word that starts or ends with “house”: houseboat – housemaid – housewife – housework – greenhouse – lighthouse – housekeeper... If you get stuck, tough luck! You will get a mark put beside your name.

Simple words such as “car” or “garden” are best used for children. Obviously, you can make it more challenging for teenagers and adults. Then the marks against your name start to add up, which makes the whole game even more interesting.

Crazy stories

Start the storytelling game with a first sentence. This could be something along the lines of: A poor farmer finds a mysterious note in an old ruined castle. Then each person adds a sentence of their own to tell the whole story. Let your imagination run wild.

Making up stories like this is even suitable for boys and girls who haven’t read fairy tales for ages. What do you think of this beginning? Ten crew members are on a space station which is floating uncontrollably in space because of a malfunction.

Here’s another version:

In this version of “Crazy stories”, you will need paper and pens. Just like in the original version of the game, you can let your imagination run wild here too. At the top of the piece of paper, the players each write a sentence. Then they fold this part back so that nobody can read the text. The paper is handed on in a clockwise direction. Without knowing what the previous person has written, everyone now writes a sentence on the piece of paper to continue the story. Each person then folds the piece of paper and hands it on to the next person. Once there is no space left, the pieces of paper are unfolded and the random stories are read out – and will no doubt have you in stitches.

Tongue twisters

We would also recommend you try a few tongue twisters. Who can repeat these virtually impossible sentences without making a mistake?

  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
  • Frivolously fanciful Fannie fried fresh fish furiously.
  • Black background, brown background. 
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.
  • Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?


You’ll find more ideas here. You can always shorten some of the longer tongue-twisters to make them easier for children.
How about all of you putting your heads together to try to make your very own tongue twister?

Silent words

Somebody says a word or a short sentence silently, moving their lips but not using their voice. Who can decode the word or short sentence?

Reorganising the letters

Hand out paper and pens. Somebody chooses a word, for example “least”. Now everyone tries to make as many other words as possible from these five letters. Possible solutions are: slate, steal, tales, ate, as. You score a point for every letter you use and if you manage to use all the letters, they’re worth double points. In this case, the points would be distributed as follows: “slate, steal, tales” would earn you double points, so would be worth 10 points each, “ate” would earn you three points and “as” two. Total: 35 points.

We are convinced that these language games will help the time fly by, while improving your vocabulary. And by the end of the game, you could well have reached your destination!

We hope your journey is full of fun and games.

Do you have any questions or are you interested in working with us?

I would be happy to answer your questions or introduce you to Apostroph Group and our services in a personal meeting.
Nadia Gaille
Head of Customer Success

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