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Chess, classic games and guessing games: (Children’s) games on board.

Underway at sea: games on board and in the bay for children

On a longer stroke, it is sometimes difficult to keep little light sailors happy. Those who can not yet read for themselves and gain little from an extensive siesta, need an occupation that is fun and distracts from the agonizing question “How much longer”. SeaHelp has compiled the best game ideas for sea, anchorage and harbor.


Underway at sea: games on board for children
© Adobe Stock


Plays at sea

As soon as the ship – unless it’s a spacious catamaran – heels even a little, the cockpit table is unsuitable for most games. The board and the stones slide, the papers flutter in the wind. Large board games with many different pieces, cards and a sophisticated dramaturgy are not at all suitable for shipboard use; entire Monopoly hotel chains that disappear in the bilge are just as impractical as puzzles with as many pieces as possible. But there are fun thinking and guessing games for on the road, which do without a playing field and accessories.

I see something you don’t

At sea, it’s time for travel games that can help you pass the boredom even on long car trips, and everyone can join in. It starts with “I see something you don’t see.” This game can be extended with a few classic terms from the world of sailing, thus giving the children on board a playful introduction to sailing latin. Cleats, shackles, winches, stays, halyards – the list of possible terms is almost endless.

Personal guessing

A very similar travel game and depending on the age of the players to play with different levels of difficulty: “person guessing”. You think of a person, and then may only answer “yes” or “no” to the questions of the teammates. If the children on board are still younger, the characters to be guessed are mainly people from the immediate environment, family members, neighbors, teachers and friends. For older children, the game can be narrowed down thematically and focus on historical figures, athletes, stars and celebrities. This assumes that the person who knows which person is being searched for knows quite a bit about that character.

For the ears

For those who no longer feel like sitting on deck and for whom reading in the bunk is also not an option due to nausea coming on, you can make yourself comfortable with an audio book. Depending on the age of the fellow passengers, you can play the stories directly over the on-board system and let everyone participate in the exciting cases of the “Three Question Marks”. if the little passenger is still in the “Bibi Blocksberg” and “Paw Patrol” age, a pair of headphones help to listen to the exciting stories alone in the bunk quite comfortably.

Plays with paper and pen

Storage space is limited on board and no one wants to lug a big toy bag on board. That doesn’t mean you have to do without travel games. Problem-free always with you: a checkered pad and several pens. Now we start with the classic games for on the road, which can be easily transferred to the maritime environment.

Galgenmännchen/ Hangman

One player draws as many strokes as the searched word has letters. The other players now guess in turn, but who asks if the word might contain an “A”, takes the corresponding word from the flag alphabet “Alpha” for it. If the letter exists in the word, it is entered there. If not, the first stroke for the “gallows man” is created. First the vertical, then the horizontal, then the person is created. If the “Hangman” is finished before the word is guessed, the other player may think of another word. Otherwise, it’s the turn of the person who guessed the correct word.

Bay, sea, ship

City, country, river was yesterday, on board the classic game is completely rewritten to nautical terms. In the process, there are a variety of new categories that can be introduced: Knots, different winds, equipment on board, famous sailors, etc. This version of the game challenges even experienced sailors and gets everyone thinking.

Game classics

Everyone knows them, the rules are easy to understand and the games come without a lot of accessories and complicated supplementary sets: Board games that were as good 50 years ago as they are today. And which still bring a lot of fun to small and large fellow sailors, without the need for long game preparation or explanations.


One of the most played board games in the world is chess. The mental game that can be played even with children, there is also a travel game with magnetic board and pieces. So nothing slips and the game can be played even if the ship moves slightly. Likewise with magnetic stones and playing field there is the pub classic Backgammon.

Don’t get angry

Likewise with magnetic figures there is the popular and conceivably simple “Mensch ärgere dich nicht spiel”. If there is a lull in the wind, you can spread out the game comfortably on the cockpit table and play. But be careful: Some people get so angry during the game that the small figures and the playing field are thrown overboard in anger!


Underway at sea: games on board for children
© Adobe Stock



Always with you, but only usable in the doldrums or in a quiet harbor: cards. Whether “Uno” or “Maumau” for all the little players or Skat and Doppelkopf for the big ones – with two sets of playing cards entertainment is guaranteed. And the storage space that a deck of cards takes up is more than decent.


Almost as small as a deck of cards and usable on any cockpit or trade show table: dice. Especially the family classic “Yatzy”, also known to many as “Yatzi”, is great to play on board, but you should already remember to pack the appropriate block for the scores when preparing for the trip.

And on land?

There’s always room for a soccer ball below deck, as well as a set of beach ball bats or a set of boules balls. For ball games on the water, there are fun balls made of neoprene that don’t blow away as easily as inflatable beach balls and are easy to catch.

With these game ideas, the bag against boredom is well packed for the next sailing trip. And if you are looking for new teammates, you are sure to find new teammates and friends on the beach or in the café at the harbor so equipped.

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