6 Games And Holiday Challenges For Family Fun (ages 3-100)
A holiday can be a dream – but sometimes it helps to give it a boost with some family activities. Here's our selection, for heaps of fun and laughter!
Don't let that airport thriller you just finished go to waste. Challenge everyone in the family to re-enact their favourite scene from the book they are reading, playing as many characters as possible. The results are unlikely to win you an Academy Award, but they will no doubt leave everyone in stitches.
Use your eyes
Yellow Car might just be the easiest game in existence. When you spot a yellow vehicle, whoever calls out, ‘Yellow car!' first is the winner. Since being featured on the recent BBC radio comedy Cabin Pressure, it's gone viral.
Points aren't even really the aim – the game can continue for the entire holiday, lending every day-trip or conversation a frisson of excitement ("So after lunch I think we should – yellow car! – head to that museum, what do you think?"). No cars around? Change it to Yellow Hat, Yellow Bird; whatever you want! It's a family activity that's bound to appeal to all ages.
Thanks to digital cameras; it's easy to take lots of photos. Most of them, you'll delete faster than you can say ‘red-eye'. So set this challenge to the family: they can only take five photos a day. This will ensure every shot is considered, leading to a more memorable image. Make it a team game where younger family members can make the suggestions for the day's ‘album'.
At the end of the trip, the family can share their photos and the stories behind them, and vote for the best image.
To get you started, here are five sights your camera will love:
- The 1000-year-old Koutoubia Mosque near Angsana Riads Morocco
- Dawn offering of alms to the monks, close to Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, Laos
- A hot air balloon ride above Tengchong Volcano Park nearby Angsana Tengchong • Hot Spring Village, China
- The famed Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China
- Spotting the rare antelope-like Saola on Truong Son Mountain near Angsana Lang Co in Central Vietnam
Mind your language
Learn at least one phrase in the language of your holiday destination. And yes, it should be more complex than a simple ‘hello'. In fact, why not ask your friendly Angsana concierge to recommend a local tongue twister? Kids will love the attention they get and parents will enjoy learning a new skill!
Spin a yarn
Liven up a long wait at the airport, or prevent little ones from getting bored at lunch, by giving creatively fictional back stories to the strangers around you – the crazier the better. That sweet old taxi driver ("yellow car!") is actually a retired clown. The giggling lifeguard? He's laughing because an invisible monkey is tickling his armpits.
Like Yellow Car, this easy family activity helps you notice the little details around you and will cement the memories of your holiday when you're back home.
Scent is one of the strongest triggers for memory, as the brain's olfactory bulb and centre for emotion and memory sit tightly together. It's time to use that fact: and make it a family activity for everyone to re-call his or her favourite holiday smell.
It could be a delicate waft of Longjing green tea from Hangzhou, China, the spicy wafts of Tom Yum soup in Phuket or the sea spray coming off Mauritius's deep blue waves – your family will no doubt each have their favourites, and reasons why. So start sharing and bonding.