Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Part 1 of the 7-Part Series Cool Tween/Teen Games That Also Travel Well
Parents: You're invited to add your two cents with a comment at the bottom of this post. How do you keep the peace when you and your kids are in the car for extended periods of time? I can't wait to read your tips.
by Janis Brett Elspas
Writer's Note: This summer my family and I took a 4-week road trip across America. As a mommy blogger I suggested each of my kids select from among all the games in the queue for review by MommyBlogExpert. What they packed resulted in the original Traveling Fun on the Run Toy Box for Tweens/Teens actually created with a small rolling carry-on bag measuring a tiny 18" x 12" x 6" to hold everything pictured. Anyone who has teens knows how challenging taking any sort of vacation can be with that sometimes surly age group, don't we? By trip's end, though, I can assure you, I was pleasantly surprised by this summer trip games-in-the car experience in general and, in particular, by the bonding that took place between us as a family during the weeks we traveled.
One of the most interactive -- yet non-electronic games -- my four children (triplets, age 13 and big brother 14) tried out on our summer road trip vacation was Backseat Drawing from Out of the Box. This amusement, by the same company that created the very popular game Apples to Apples, is geared for ages 12 to adult with 4-8 players so it was perfect for my family's age group and because we had an even number of kids in the car to play together. That's not to say, though, that kids slightly younger than that might not like this just as much. Also, keep reading and you'll see that it's possible to play it with odd numbers of players, too and even with just three or two of you playing at a time.
My two sons and two daughters were practically hypnotized playing Backseat Drawing while sitting in the back two rows of seats of our SUV for hours with -- you guessed it -- the boys and girls were gung ho about teaming up against each other for the battle of the sexes. They even devised new ways to play when only three or two of them wanted to do it by getting creative and making up some playing rules of their own.
With all the hilarity and time they played you'd think they would have grown tired with this. But, because my teens only got through a small fraction of the 168 double-sided challenge cards (totaling 336 different drawing challenges), I'm betting they'll still be playing this frequently now that we are home from this trip.
As their mom, I think this really beats that other game known as "Backseat Driving" that most everybody knows and hates. Out of the Box's product turned out to be entertaining for me as an observer, too, as without taking my eyes or attention off the road I could eavesdrop and listen in on my kids as I drove. The object of the game is to use the provided dry erase markers to draw objects on a pair of erasable drawing boards. But, what makes this funnier and more challenging than you'd expect is that the person drawing doesn't know what they are making a picture of -- the player at the board is just drawing the lines and shapes that their team mate directs them to make via verbal directions only.
In addition to the hefty choice of challenge cards, Backseat Drawing comes with 1 card viewer, 2 erasable drawing boards, 2 dry erase markers, 2 erasers, and a brief, well-written rule sheet in English, Spanish, French, and German.
With a retail price of $24.99 it is available direct from Out of the Box here and in-store at a variety of retailers. There is also a Backseat Drawing Junior ($19.99) for younger children, though we did not have the opportunity to try it out.
In summary, this entertainment novelty was very practical for traveling because it came in a sturdy compact box and did not involve a huge number of ultra small pieces that might disappear magically down our leather bench car seats.
What's Your Opinion?
How do you keep the peace when you and your kids are in the car for extended periods of time? Please leave a comment below this post as it would be great to hear about your own experience with this.
FTC Disclosure: MommyBlogExpert's family received Backseat Drawing from Out of the Box to facilitate the test and review described but did not receive any payment or other compensation associated with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.