Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fun on the Run – Keeping the Driver Sane With Top 7 Kid’s Games to Play While Traveling

Moms & Dads:  Don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.  As a parent, what do you do to keep your kids boredom-free?

By Janis Brett-Elspas

It’s every parent’s chagrin. You’re on a family trip with your child when you hear he/she say the B-word. Don’t worry, this is a G-rated family-friendly website. What I’m talking about is actually a two-word phrase that includes a certain word that starts with the letter ‘B.’  That kid’s refrain most of us moms and dads are all too familiar with known simply as “I’m bored."

Since my own four were in diapers at the same time we’ve done many U.S. car trip vacations ranging from just a few days up to five and a half weeks in length. I really couldn’t tell you, BTW, how many times my own darlings have said those dreaded words during all those trips because I lost count a long time ago. Come to think of it, you don’t even need to be going away or even to leave your house to hear I.B. from your kids, right?

So, like many other challenged parents, perhaps even like you, I was a member of that same club.  That is, until my youngsters (13 year-old triplets plus big brother, age 14) and I set off on a four-week road trip this summer which eventually totaled 6,000 miles of crisscrossing across America’s heartland.  Unlike those earlier travels of years past, though, this road trip was different. That’s because I am often asked to review products for kids, such as games and activities that enhance family togetherness and for this trip I came up with the idea of assembling a traveling toy box to keep my kids busy (read: not fighting with each other) during drive time.

In addition to being safe and lots of fun for the whole family, to qualify for this particular treasure chest of roadtrip fun each game or activity selected had to
  • Be small enough to fit inside a single compact carry-on rolling suitcase that would serve as a mobile toy box which all four kids would share as we traveled
  • Be age-appropriate for tweens and teens with appeal to both boys and girls to play solo, with each other or even with mom or dad
  • Consist of only easy to transport parts and pieces that would neither mess up the car nor be so small or in large quantities that they would get lost without much effort
  • Be something the kids could easily do in the car, outdoors and/or in the motel each evening 
  • Not involve any kind of electronics 
  • Be affordable, priced at $25 or less
  • Games with multiple variations of ways to play not required, but a definite advantage
Each of the games we tested & reviewed for this blog fit all the above pre-requisites and in all cases, even more, including

Backseat Drawing from Out of the Box, Ages 12 to Adult, 4-8 players, $24.99
Think-ets Genius from Think-a-lot-Toys, Ages 8+, 1 or more players, $15.99
Flickin’ Chicken from Haywire Group, Ages 6+, 1 or more players, $20.99
Yahtzee Hands Down Card Game from Hasbro, Ages 8+, 2-6 players, $6.99
Sorry! Revenge Card Game from Hasbro, Ages 6+, 2-4 players, $6.99
1000 Mille Bornes Card Game from Hasbro, Ages 8+, 2, 3, 4 or 6 players, $6.99
Family Road Trip Box of Questions from The Box Girls, Ages 8+, 1 or more players, $19.95

Insider's Tip:  Be sure not to miss any of the individual in-depth game reviews on the above seven family entertainment products that will be running on this blog starting with Part 1 of the MommyBlogExpert's brand new best of series Cool Games for Tweens/Teens That Also Travel Well.

As it turned out all our picks ended up being great choices, providing valuable family together time as well as many, many hours of fun for us all. What’s more is that all these items brought a little more sanity to mom and dad while we were on the road.  Best of all, each of these games has continued to help keep our home B-word free ever since we got back from this trip.

Short trips and long ones: What do you do to keep your kids boredom-free? Please share all your own ideas for kid fun on the road by leaving a comment.

FTC Disclosure: MommyBlogExpert received the games mentioned for review 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. 

1 comment:

  1. Well,Kids are boring at the long time travelling. Ya it's true that Games is best way to busy all the kids. I like the ideas. Here I was seen some useful kids games like Think-ets Genius,Backseat Drawing etc.