Family (or Couple) Travel Game – Mutual Story Telling – Builds Communication and Cooperation

As parents we know that children (well, actually adults too) can just last so long in the car before they become bored. Here is a game that can be used as a family or as a couple.

Here are some of the benefits of the MUTUAL STORY TELLING GAME:

  • This is a communication game in which careful listening is required by all players.
  • It encourages creativity and using your imagination.
  • Working together as a group is critical to making this mutual story telling successful.
  • It is also a cooperation game opposed to a competitive game. This story telling builds on what each person says.
  • There is no technology involved,  just your family.
  • Potential joint problem solving.

The Mutual Story Telling Game

Equipment Needed: None

Ages: 4 years and up; This can be used as a family game or as a couple game.

1.  Explain to family members how the game works. Keep it simple and consider the developmental age of your children. The explanation could be something like the following :

“We are going to tell a story together. There is going to be a beginning, a middle and an end. One of us will start with  – Once upon a time ….. Then then after a sentence or two, the next person will take over the story and

add something to the story that goes with what the first person started and then the next person will add something else, etc.

2.  It is important to note there is no wrong or right way for the story to be told or created. It may be a silly, fantasy story or a more serious one.  Whatever the members what to create is the order of the day.  This is also something you can relay to the family so they know that this is fun with no specific expectations or wrong or rights. Note:  If, as a parent, if you are concerned with the direction of the story you can add in with your parts ways to balance and interject your thoughts without judging or correcting.

2.  One possibility is to have a designated end time set up in the beginning that everyone is aware of. The ages of your children and the interest level may help decide this or you can decide as a group. Five minutes can give everyone several turns and not extend it out so long that folks become bored. You can always choose to end early if you feel interest is being lost, by simply saying lets each take one more turn and have our ending. You want this to be a positive experience. Note: An alarm timer on your cell phone can be set as a neutral time-keeper and then when that goes off you can each have one final turn.

3.  As to ending the story, you can have the person who started it, end it OR you can have another family member end the story. Deciding in the beginning who will end will help alleviate arguments.  

4. If there is enough interest, you can take turns starting a story, creating additional family stories.

Special Note: You might consider “Recording the Story” as it is told to create a fun family memory. Many cell phones have an audio record device.

The important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process of CREATING SOMETHING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY!

family travel


This activity can be done as a couple also. This will probably work best when there is some time involved, like an out-of-town trip, when you have miles ahead of you. It also works best when you are both feeling a bit light-hearted and playful and feel like experimenting a bit. It can be a fun bantering kind of playful story that ping pongs back and forth. Give it a try and see what you think. You might consider setting a time limit, like 5 minutes or less if you are just trying it out. As mentioned above you can set an alarm to end your story, with each having one more turn after your timer goes off.

Here is to lots of fun mutual fun story telling as a family or as a couple!

couple traveling

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