G-H-O-S-T

The first person chooses a letter, the next adds another letter, and so on until you’ve spelled a word (it must be at least four letters long and cannot be a proper noun). The person whose letter completes the word loses and earns a “G.” The next time he loses a round, he gets an “H.” When his aggregate losses spell “GHOST,” he’s toast. If you can’t come up with a letter on your turn, you have the option of challenging the person before you to provide a word that the letters could spell. Failure loses that person a round; success means you lose.

Name That Tune

The champ here is the player who can name the mystery tune first. Choose a theme—show tunes, oldies, TV theme songs, or Lady Gaga (good riddance, old folks!)—and a designated hummer. The winner gets to be the performer for the next round. If nobody in your brood can carry a tune in a bucket, just turn on the radio and make it a car-wide free-for-all.

Pack It Up

This game is a great memory builder—whether the mind is developing or fading. One player says, “I went on a trip to [insert destination], and in my bag I packed.” Then she names an object that begins with the letter A. The next player repeats the opening phrase, repeats the item that begins with A, and adds another that begins with B. Get it? Now continue through the entire alphabet.