Thursday, June 13, 2013

Boredom Busters: Travel Games

The clock is counting down to the end of school and the unofficial start of summer. Which means I have less than 24 hours to get my act together and accomplish all the things on my to do list that I'd prefer to do solo. Big C&G and Little C&G are happy to hike all over Europe, but ask them to go to Target and you'd think I'd asked them to build a bonfire out of their entire Lego collection.

One errand I've taken care of is stopping by the local toy store to stock up on travel games. We spend a lot of time in cars and planes and I'm always on the lookout for things to keep the kiddos occupied that don't involve batteries or power adaptors. I've gathered some of our favorites to share with you, and I'd love to hear about yours. Let me know in the comments!

The only single player game of the bunch is IQ Twist. This has been the biggest hit in our house since Big C&G unwrapped it on his birthday. Nobody can seem to put it down, including Papa C&G who logged quite a few hours between martinis with it. I love that it comes in its own self-contained case not much bigger than a deck of cards. It's a brain teaser game, where you have to match up colored pegs and colored playing pieces, following the set up instructions in the book of 100 challenges.

Plan ahead to avoid the pout of doom
The card game Beat the Parents is a favorite of Little C&G. Each card has three questions for the kids and three for the parents. Answer correctly and you keep your card, first one with five cards wins the game. Tricky parent questions test your knowledge of Elmo's favorite food and the names of the characters from Yo Gabba Gabba. I don't know about you but it's been a long time since I've sat down to watch Sesame Street, so it's usually kids rule on this game.

The compact little cube of Table Topics To Go for Kids is perfect for car, plane, or cocktail hour conversation. It takes up no room in my purse, and can snap the little C&Gs out of a cranky mood in no time. Nothing gets them giggling faster than trying to come up with new flavors of toothpaste or sharing what their superhero power would be. Obviously mine would be G&T flavored toothpaste (sounds refreshing, right?) and the ability to travel at the speed of light.

Last up in my stash of travel games is Blurt. The goal of the game is to get the players to figure out what word you're describing. I can barely accomplish this in everyday life, much less at rapid fire pace under the barking orders of my children, so it's always a lot of fun. The cards have a target word (like "purse") and the clues you use to describe it (like "a small bag for holding money"). The storage tin has a magnetic scoreboard and the first player to get twelve points wins. It's really a game for the youngsters with fresh neurons, but we still give it our best effort.

Of course after an hour or two of so much enclosed space togetherness we could all use a break, and I don't mind handing out the headphones if we've had some good laughs. Vacation memories rarely include those hours of zoning out in front of a screen, but they will always remember what kind of toothpaste you wanted to invent.

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