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Favorite Family Game for All Ages

Updated on April 7, 2015

I Wonder Why Grandma is Upset...

The Way to Play the Game

Usually, we started with the youngest child. They had to say "I packed my grandma's suitcase with an " _______. It always had to be "an", because the game starts with something that begins with "A". Let's use, for our example game, the word "anteater".

The next player has to say - "I packed my Grandma's suitcase with an anteater, and a _____. That would be something that starts with the letter "B". Not only does that player have to add an item that starts with "B", they also have to accurately repeat what the player before them added. So, that one would say "I packed my grandma's suitcase with an anteater, and a balloon."

The game continues that way, until the alphabet is exhausted. If a player misses one of the items in the alphabetical list, they are "out of the game".

Of course, we helped the little ones a lot, and everyone had a great time!

P.S. Don't be surprised if the children beat you - they have a lot less to remember than we do!

I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase

Invariably, when I packed my offspring into our vehicle for a jaunt or a journey, someone wanted to play this game. It is simple enough even for toddlers to enjoy, and never failed to bring some joy to our excursion, as we all found some very strange things to pack into "Grandma's" suitcase.

Since the game is a product of imagination, any items will do. They can be large, or small - real or imaginary - animal, mineral or vegetable - tangible or intangible.

Some of the things that we chose, fell into the categories of:

  • Animals
  • Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Games
  • Household furnishings
  • Ideas
  • Insects
  • People
  • Places
  • Plants
  • Toys
  • Vehicles, or anything else we could conjure up in our brains...

The game can be played with only two people or a crowd of people. Often, when driving home from my store, one granddaughter and I almost managed to get through the entire alphabet - and the trip only takes about six minutes. We played it as fast as we could, but we never quite made it to "Z" before we had to get out of the car.

Options for A, B, and C!

Everyone knows their ABC's, right? Well, let's get started. Credit for the clip art is farther down the page!
Everyone knows their ABC's, right? Well, let's get started. Credit for the clip art is farther down the page!

Suggestions for A, B, an C

A
B
C
amphitheater
broccoli
cup of coffee
abalone
baboon
cheese
apple
ball
cauliflower
airplane
brother
chocolate chip cookie
aquarium
baby bottle
crab
ambulance
beach
calliope
appetite
blanket
cat
aardvark
balloons
clouds
We could go on and on, and I am sure you can come up with more!

Don't Get Too Technical

Sometimes, other people want to get "technical" with this game. Don't let them - it will spoil it for everyone, especially for the youngsters.

Of course you cannot put an elephant into a suitcase, or clouds, or memories, or "nothing", or a cup of coffee. That's ridiculous! Part of the fun of the game, is that children and adults alike can let their imaginations have free-roam. Anything they can think of that starts with the letter in the alphabet that they have to apply when it is their turn - works!

How droll, to think of a porcupine in a suitcase with a balloon, or a cat with a mouse, or French fries with icicles. Keep it light, and keep it going.

Here Come D, E, and F!

There are so MANY more options for D, E, and F - but we'll leave that up to you! See the credits for clip art, below...
There are so MANY more options for D, E, and F - but we'll leave that up to you! See the credits for clip art, below...

Suggestions for D,E, and F

D
E
F
dolphin
earrings
French fries
doughnut
elephant
fish
donkey
envelope
fairy
diver
egret
frog
dump truck
eraser
feather
doll
eggplant
film
duck
England
fox
dishes
eggs
fingernails

Not just for children or car trips!

Before you scratch this entertaining game off your list of games to play, I thought I had better tell you that "I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase" is not just for families, children, or car journeys.

At any gathering of people, it is one game that can be played without:

  • a board
  • game pieces
  • dice
  • cards
  • a table
  • a score pad
  • pens or pencils, or any other "props".

That is one thing that makes "I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase" so easy to play, and once you learn it, you will want to play it again and again.

Next - G, H, and I...

G, H, and I ideas, and there are so MANY more options! Please take a look at the photo credits in the link list below...
G, H, and I ideas, and there are so MANY more options! Please take a look at the photo credits in the link list below...

It's Time for G, H, and I!

G
H
I
Grandpa
honey
ibex
gingerbread boy
harmonica
iron
gorilla
hummingbird
igloo
gondola
halo
ice cream
genie
heart
ink
golf bag
Hawaii
Italy
glue
hippopotamus
iguana
gold
ham
icing

Please rate the game!

Cast your vote for "I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase"

The Poll - Please participate!

Have you ever played "I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase" or - what do you think?

See results

It's a BRAIN Game!

Before you dismiss this game as foolish nonsense, let's look at a few more reasons why you should be playing it.

A brain that is not challenged, deteriorates. One way to keep it active, is by playing "brain games". Watching television is not a brain game. Watching movies is not a brain game. Shopping is not a brain game. I can think of many other ways people occupy their time, that do not truly stimulate their brains.

In order for those little neurons to keep racing around inside your head, sparking the neurotransmitters in your brain functioning properly, they need stimulation.

One of my sons is determined to get his brain stimulated at least once a day, by playing video games. Well, he is a grown man, and limits himself, so I cannot object to his recreation. There is a lot of evidence today that shows the brain is stimulated that way.

However, when playing "I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase", you do not need a computer, a monitor, a cell phone, or anything else --- just your brain.

Try playing it all by yourself. You might just be surprised how hard it is, the first time, to remember the words - in alphabetical order - that you chose...YOURSELF!

Enter J, K, and L...

Hope I have whet your appetite for the game! For photo credits, see our link list below...
Hope I have whet your appetite for the game! For photo credits, see our link list below...

J, K, and L, anyone?

J
K
L
jacket
ketchup
limes
jukebox
kayak
llama
juggler
koala bear
lariat
jellyfish
king
limericks
jewelry
kitten
lumber
jump rope
kettle drum
lemonade
jungle
key
lion
jack-in-the-box
kumquat
lollipop
Are you ready to play?

M and N and O

Photo credits for clip art are given at the bottom of this article.
Photo credits for clip art are given at the bottom of this article.

Now for M, N, and O

M
N
O
mountain
needle
opera singer
mouse
numbers
octopus
marshmallows
nutcracker
ox
manta ray
neighbors
orangutan
milk
nightshirt
omnibus
money
newspaper
orange
memories
nothing
oatmeal
mango
nest
opposum

More Exercise For Your Brain!

Cranium Family Edition
Cranium Family Edition

Here is another great game you can play with your family, although it is not as easy as "I Packed My Grandma's Suitcase". The game is simply lots of fun for anyone 8 years of age or older. I can attest to what a great game it is, as my family played it a lot!

Players can draw, sculpt, sketch, and guess their way though it, and it is sure to be a hilarious journey!

My "tribe" loved playing it, and learned a lot of interesting things we didn't know while we were doing it, too.

 

P, Q, R - A Few Ideas...

There are so many more! How about quiet, or quip, or quicksilver for Q, or pinwheel, puppy, or punching bag for P? R options - roof, rabbit, rug; the choices are innumerable! Photo credits are below, for the clip art.
There are so many more! How about quiet, or quip, or quicksilver for Q, or pinwheel, puppy, or punching bag for P? R options - roof, rabbit, rug; the choices are innumerable! Photo credits are below, for the clip art.

P is next, and Q and R

P
Q
R
pizza
quilt
rubber band
pumpkin pie
quarter
roast beef
peppermints
queen
rainbow
porcupine
quinoa
roast beef
pipsissewa
quintuplets
railroad
purse
quarterhorse
rainstorm
pillow
question
rod and reel
popcorn
quince
rutabaga

Are Your Wheels Spinning, Yet?

Well, are you getting a hankering to play the game? Believe it or not - the children do it better than the adults, as I stated earlier.

At a party, this is really a lot of fun, especially for those who have never played it before. Not only does it make people think - which does not go on a lot at most parties, but very often, the party-goers will learn a lot of new words they didn't even know EXISTED!

I hope you play the game. Cost - $0.00. All you have to spend, is your time!

Give me an S, give me a T, give me a U!

S and T are easy to do, but you'll find few, when using "U"! Photo credits for the clip art are all below.
S and T are easy to do, but you'll find few, when using "U"! Photo credits for the clip art are all below.

Now, for S, T, and U!

S
T
U
sunflower
trampoline
urn
sunglasses
trophy
ukulele
shark
turtle
umbrella
shade
turnip
umpire
sofa
toilet tissue
United States
sandals
trout
unicorn
sunshine
toucan
underwear
squid
trumpet
unicycle

Another Terrific Brain Game!

Brain Quest Travel Card Game
Brain Quest Travel Card Game

I cannot tell you how many "Brain Quest" games I have purchased. Usually, they are printed on long cards, that have a rivet through them, so that they are portable, and easy to store.

Many adults have flunked the middle school aged "Brain Quest" games, which I quite amazing.

At any rate, the Brain Quest featured here, is for the car. It comes in a durable tin, instead of the typical cardboard box.

Open it up, and let the fun begin!

 

For V, W, and X - two more to go!

V is easy, so is W, but X will get some effort out of you! Photo credits for clip art is below.
V is easy, so is W, but X will get some effort out of you! Photo credits for clip art is below.

Almost finished! V, W, and X are here...

V
W
X
vacuum cleaner
wagon
xylitol gum
velvet
waterfall
xenophobiac
vitamins
wristwatch
xenosaurus
valise
window
xylophone
vase
walrus
xenon
visor
whisper
xylologist
violin
watermelon
X-ray
Venezuela
windshield wiper
Xerox machine

Xenophobiac? Xenosaurus? Xylologist?

If you are confused, you are NOT alone. Here are the definitions:

A xenophobiac is someone who has a fear of strangers, and it is usually applied to someone who has an increasing fear of strangers.

A xenosaurus is a lizard that is found in Mexico and Guatemala. There are several different types in the species. They all belong to the family called Xenosauridae.

A xylologist, is a person who studies wood, specifically, the "gross and minute structure of wood", according to its definition.

At the end, with Y, Z and Double Letters, too!

Finally at the finish line, with a double letter twist! Y and Z, are not EASY! All clip art credits are down below.
Finally at the finish line, with a double letter twist! Y and Z, are not EASY! All clip art credits are down below.

Y, Z, and a Double Letter Finish!

Y
Z
Daily Double Option
yacht
zookeeper
purple pencil
yardstick
zero
venomous viper
yam
zipper
dirty dog
yak
zucchini
brown bear
yarn
zero
quick question
yearbook
zeppelin
limp leopard
yesterday
zither
vintage velocipede
yegg
zoo
red radishes

Yegg? What is a yegg?

Ah, that is one of my favorite short words!

A YEGG, is a slang term for a safe cracker. It is not used much, but that's what it is!

To Challenge Children 6-12 Years old

Brain Quest Smart Game
Brain Quest Smart Game

This game is great for youngsters - they'll have so much fun that they'll forget it is a game of wits!

It is designed for two to four players, and there are questions in the following categories:

Science, Math, Art, Reading, and The World.

Challenge your young people, and join them for the fun!

 

Photo credits for the Clip Art used...

Exclusive clip art from Clip Art Lord:

  • ambulance
  • brown bear
  • eggplant
  • Grandfather
  • hippopotamus
  • iguana
  • koala bear
  • orangutan
  • rattlesnake - that I call our "venomous viper"
  • shark

From CamStockPhotos:

  • yegg - rights purchased by Emily Tack

For the pink octopus, the credit goes to: tobian.DeviantArt.com

Credit to: Vladimir Zuñiga for the lion and the king: Foca.tk

Many thanks also, to:

Clker

WPClipArt

OpenClipArt

FreePik

PDClipArt

PublicDomainPhotos

Public domain clip art:

  • apple
  • airplane
  • balloons
  • beach
  • broccoli
  • cheese
  • chocolate chip cookie
  • crab
  • dolphin
  • doughnut
  • dump truck
  • elephant
  • envelope
  • fairy
  • fox
  • French fries
  • gingerbread man
  • gold
  • honey
  • hummingbird
  • ice cream cone
  • iron
  • jacket
  • jellyfish
  • jukebox
  • key
  • limes *
  • llama
  • mailman
  • mango
  • mouse
  • newspaper
  • numbers **
  • nutcracker
  • orange
  • piggy bank
  • pizza
  • pumpkin pie
  • quarterhorse
  • queen
  • quintuplets *
  • rainbow
  • rainstorm
  • red radishes
  • rod and reel
  • sandals
  • squid
  • toucan
  • trophy
  • trumpet
  • umbrella
  • unicorn *
  • unicycle *
  • vacuum cleaner *
  • vase
  • vitamin bottles *
  • walrus
  • watermelon
  • wristwatch
  • xylitol gum *
  • xylologist *
  • xylophone
  • yam
  • yarn
  • zeppelin *
  • zipper *
  • zucchini

* Altered by Emily Tack from clip art in public domain

** Created by Emily Tack

© 2014 Emily Tack

Comments

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    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 2 years ago from USA

      Thank you, peachpurple. We play it a lot, and can often get through the entire alphabet in 6 minutes, playing at "warp speed"!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      this looks like a family game that everyone should try, voted up

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 3 years ago from USA

      Thank you, "Lilly"! I am glad you liked it. My kids are all grown, but the grandkids love it!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 3 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      This is very cool. All of my kids and grands are older now, and we don't play as many games, this is a good one. Thank you.

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 3 years ago from USA

      I am so glad you liked it, stuff4kids! We had heard there were some other versions "out there", but the tribe always wanted to play the one that was familiar to them. I always enjoyed the game as much as the children did!

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      That was neat. It is so simple but such an engaging and fun game to play with all the family - especially on long journeys, as you say.

      There are some other versions of this, too. We always played, "My grandma went to the store and put a "..........." in her basket" That raises laughs, too, when Grandma puts something impossible in her basket!

      Thanks for sharing.

      :)