No-Tech Train Ride

Lila and Ava at the town beach

Lila and Ava at the town beach

A few weeks ago, my granddaughters stayed overnight and the next day we rode the train together to Grand Central Terminal where my daughter, their mom, met us. Before going on the train, the two girls remarked that their electronic devices were “dead” and they had no

Mommy will meet us here!

Mommy will meet us here!

charger with them. Ava, 8 years old, owns a tablet, Lila a Nintendo 3-D gaming system. What to do for entertainment? Lila, 6, asked if we could bring some toys to keep her busy, like crayons, clay, etc. I was carrying so much I didn’t want to add to my burden and told her so. She then said, “How about a few books?” So I packed 3 books and off we went.

For the first 5 minutes or so, we settled into our seats and then the girls each took out a book to read. Lila read aloud to me about Alaska (I learned that if you hugged a tree, a moose couldn’t step on you or knock you over. She learned that it’s dark almost all day in the winter in Alaska.) Then, she read another book to herself; Ava was reading her chapter book, so I took out my book to read.

After 15 minutes, we decided to play “something.” First we played the “tickle” game where one person holds up her arms and the other promises not to tickle her, but pokes closely, as if to do so. Peals of laughter erupted each time the “tickler” got close. Next we played the “slapping game” where one person holds out two palms and the other person places her hands on top. She tries to avoid getting slapped by the first person by having quick reflexes. I let Lila win a few times.

off grid hand slapping

You need quick reflexes!

These were followed by the Blinking Game (if you blink first in a staring contest you lose) and the Laughing Game (same as above with laughing.) We segued into hand games where you perform a rhythmic series of clapping accompanied by words, like “Concentration,” in

Concentration, names of ....

Concentration, names of ….

which you have to give examples on topic (like names of boys, flavors of ice cream, etc.) We played “measala mosala” which might be known only to my family members; one person tickles the palm of the other, saying “measala mosala” 2 times and then leaves the palm to go “gootchy gootchy goo!” up the sleeve and into the tickle spot. We played the Memory Game: “I went to a picnic and brought apples.” Second person: “I went to a picnic and brought apples and blankets.” All the way through the alphabet, repeating all that came before. We stopped at M.

At the end of the ride, the three of us were cheerful, connected and loving. The lady sitting behind us said, “Thank you for the entertainment; I had a nice time watching you.”

And we didn’t even play “A my name is Alice!” Oh, well, there’s always a next time.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Levine

    But will they work with an 8 year old grandson? I have to “sit him” tomorrow for 5 hours.
    Usually he talks to grandpa , but tomorrow it’s just me
    How about playing “Beauty Parlor and putting on Make-up”? ‘Dressing up with clothes from Grandma’s Trunk”?
    Well, thankfully I can print out Grandma Arlene’s games and have a chance of getting Dylan entertained un-technologically.!

  2. The alphabet game is always a classic, especially on car trips!!

    • And you’ve had plenty of car trips in your days!

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