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Five Car Games NOT to Play on that Family Vacation


2009 Chrysler Town & Country

2009 Chrysler Town & Country

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Does anyone really play License Plate Bingo anymore? Seriously, someone does. After reading this travel blog post on family vacation car games, I had to come up with my own list of games NOT to play in the car:

Name That Rhythm: Tapping out the rhythm to a song with the car lock, ash tray lid (if your car is old enough) or simply on the window with your knuckle. Most annoying when the song tapped out creates and earworm not curable because you forgot to pack your favorite music.

The Imaginary Line: After blurting out, "Stop touching each other!" about 50 times, this game involves separation and the daring ventures to see how close each person can get to the dividing line without getting busted.

Seventh Inning Stretch: Also known as, "I'm taller than you." Stretching to see how far each player can reach. This includes how far up the headliner, how far down the rear window, and, most annoying, how far under the driver's seat. Of course, this requires that annoying poke in the rear.

Toss Across: Any object can become a projectile for a couple of boys who want to play catch. A Stargate-style vaporizer would come in handy for any object that hits the driver. One can wish...

Are We There Yet? Ironically, this is mentioned in the bad travel blog post. This game is not allowed in my car, in any variation. Usually there are enough maps in the car so that any antsy passenger can simply wait 60 seconds for the next mile marker and calculate it himself. Or, if he's extremely lazy, simply look at the GPS.

2009 Chrysler Town & Country

2009 Chrysler Town & Country

Enlarge Photo
It's car games like these that made me a fan of the warming glow for car rides. Since I usually don't allow much time for video games or mindless TV, I figure this is a treat.

Sure, I'd like to think that the scenery would occupy my guys for hours on end, but then we usually end up driving through Ohio on I-75. Trust me, that huge church statue of Jesus popping up out of the water is really scary when lit from below at night. It's scarier than Monster House when you're 6 years old.

Of course, there are plenty of after-market DVD players and entertainment systems available. Either install one or buy a portable unit that you can move from vehicle to vehicle. Or, if you're in the market for a new vehicle, the entertainment systems in the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country makes a lot of sense...

Okay, let's have it. Do you have any better alternatives for those long car rides? I'd love to hear them. And, with Summer travel already here, I'm sure many other parents want your ideas, too!

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Comments (6)
  1. I was laughing at these, very good job on documenting all the stuff we used to do as kids. You forgot "Dad Reaches Over the Backseat and Slaps Wildly". That was a good one. I learned to sit behind him and lean into the door to avoid most of the damage. HA Now, we have the iPod. I use it for emergencies only, but my daughter can be quiet and peaceful as long as that thing has a show for her. Scary.
     
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  2. We got our girls (6 year olds) mp3 players and loaded up on their favorite music. Sure, sometimes we have to hear them burst into song without music, but that's better than playing "are we there yet"?
     
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  3. Sheri, that's awesome! Yeah, my dad never threatened with the Wild Slap, but just about! We just made it from SC to MI last weekend, and I had read your article about not cramming too much into your trip... great advice!
    Tom, I'd love it if my boys were that into music. Too bad I am, and they're asking me to turn my music down so they can hear their movie...
     
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  4. We started making up our own car games...guessing, story, singing, silly...and realized we had so many we should...make an app for that! Now the Family Car Games app, with instructions for 100 no-equipment games families can play together in the car, is sold on iTunes all over the world. Families in Australia, Canada, the US, Switzerland are playing Pica Firma Nada and Acrobats and the Category Game. Just pick a game (there's a random spinner too), read the rules, and all can play (you don't need the iPhone to play). Everyone's included, nobody gets nauseous staring at a DVD player, and memories are made. There are games quick enough to play on a short hop too.
    http://sites.google.com/site/familycargamesapp/
    One user said it's a big seller in Australia because families take lots of car trips (and there are big distances!)
     
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  5. Eyespy every time. Or the game where you have to find a certain car.
     
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  6. The car game that my brother and me would always play was don't cross the line. Basically we just had an area of the backseat that was no-mans land until one of us crossed it which led to a lot of bruises and hitting. If only we had a gameboy or PSP to keep us occupied hahahaha!
     
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