How Many Christmas Lights Can You Spot? is a seasonal counting game that’s very simple to play. All you need to do is count how many houses with Christmas lights on them that you spot during a car journey. It’s fun as well as being perfect to play in mid-winter when the daylight hours are so few and far between, limiting the options for playing many other spotting games (such as Cloud-spotting or What Colour Is That Car?). You can usually start playing this game at the beginning of December and continue right through until the start of January. Part of the beauty of it is that even if you take exactly the same route every day, the number of houses with Christmas lights on display will change on a daily basis throughout the festive period as more and more people put their lights up, or have them turned on at different times of day.
How Long Does It Take To Play? There is no set time-limit to this game, but typically it will last as long as any journey to take during or around the festive period.
Ages: Four and older. This game can be played as soon as your child has developed the ability to count to a reasonably high number.
Core Life Skills It Will Help Develop: Academic Skill – Knowledge of the counting and numbers; Critical Thinking Skills – Working memory (which is crucial for rational decision-making and self-control), as they need to keep a constantly changing tally of how many Christmas lights they’ve seen.
What Do You Need To Play It? This game requires nothing to play.
Preparation: No preparation is required for this game.
How Do You Play It? To play this game, simply challenge your child to see how many houses with Christmas lights on them they can see during a journey by car, public transport or even on foot.
Variations: There are many possible variations of this game, but one of my favourites is to specifically count Christmas trees rather than just any type of Christmas lights, but the success of this variation depends on exactly how visible Christmas trees are in your particular location. In Glasgow, where I live, the building design means that many Christmas trees are set up in bay windows in tenement flats and so are clearly visible from the street. This may not be the same in areas dominated by other house designs. Other variations include spotting pictures of Santa Claus, pictures of snowmen or, if you live in an area that gets a festive snowfall, real snowmen.
About The Author: This post was written by Colin Drysdale, the creator of How To Raise A Happy Genius.