Timewaster Tuesday: Other Alphabet Games

After last week’s introduction to the unique (read: weird) ways our family plays the alphabet game while driving, I thought I’d introduce you to some of the other alphabet style games we play.

These are different from The Alphabet Game in that you aren’t trying to find letters on signs and whatnot, instead the goal is to try and come up with things beginning with certain letters of the alphabet. In that respect, I suppose it’s a little bit more like the Stretch Limo Game, but without an intricate storyline.

Still with me? Let’s get into the games.

The Noun Game:

This game was invented during an 8-hour bus ride to Ohio. Instead of joining in with everyone else’s mundane search for those familiar shapes we call letters, I decided to turn the competition up a notch.

Basic game play is pretty simple: For each letter of the alphabet, find a noun that begins with that letter. Easy right?

The rules are pretty simple too.

1. You can’t use synonyms. So if you use Automobile for A, you can’t use Car for C.

2. Items must be found outside of your vehicle.

3. You can’t just see a sign for something, you must the actual noun.

Variation: Give each noun an adjective at well. Now instead of finding just an Automobile (easy) for A, try and describe it as well. Is it Awesome, Aging, or Accelerating?

The Category Game:

I don’t remember how we developed this one, but it’s ever-changing and can be adapted to nearly any situation or environment, which makes it great.

To play, you decide on a category before beginning. Usually we use something related to where we are. When in Disney, we use Disney characters, of course! Feel free to get more creative. We’ve also used Disney villains, Disney songs, and Disney attractions. (Have I mentioned how much we love Disney!)

As you get to each letter, each player think of something that fits into the category beginning with it. For A, I might say Aurora. You might say Ariel and my sister might say Anastasia (Cinderella’s step-sister).

The winner of the round is whoever has the best answer. This is totally subjective, but usually its fairly obvious to us which choice is the best. In the above example it would be Anastasia. Come on, would you think of that?

There’s no scoring system when we play, but feel free to assign points and have a clear winner.

As for variations, adapt the category to anything you are doing. Waiting to buy a video game? Try game characters. If you are driving across the country play with tourist traps.

The License Plate Word Game:

Again, there’s no crazy story as to how this game came into existence. All I know is that it’s a good quick game to play while driving.

There are two ways to play, both involving the letters on the license plate of other cars. We usually don’t play with vanity plates, just the normal ones with three letters. The first version involves making the letters into an acronym. For example is the plate is PLU701, what could PLU stand for? Post-Liberation Union, Princess Land University. Oh they possibilities are thrillingly endless.

The second is the same concept, but instead of making an acronym of the letters, you assume that they are part of one word, but other letters were left out. The goal is to think of the shortest word containing all three letters in order. PLU is easy: PLUS, but see how short of a word has PNW is order. A little more challenging? I thought so.

We don’t play to win usually, but if you wanted to keep score, version B is obviously whoever makes the shortest word wins. The first version would be more difficult to score, but feel free to make up some sort of system.

Variations: Pretend someone with a normal plate has a vanity plate, and guess what it stands for. PLU701 could be PLUTO! for a fan of the dog or the planet.

Enjoy these short games on your next trip (even if it’s just around the corner).


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kara
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 17:03:20

    The one we always played on long trips anywhere in high school and college was what we called the “Celebrity Letter Game” where the first person had to name a celebrity, it could be in any category or categories could be limited to actors, athletes, etc.

    If I said Angelina Jolie, then then next person had to chain off her last initial “J” for a first name, like “John Stamos”. The next person would start with “S” and so on.

    If you repeated a name or couldn’t think of one, you were “out”. It always provided hours of amusement!


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