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101 Family Vacation Games: Have Fun While Traveling, Camping, or Celebrating at Home Paperback – April 10, 2006

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101 Family Vacation Games: Have Fun While Traveling, Camping, or Celebrating at Home + Rubberneckers: Everyone's Favorite Travel Game + National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: SmartFun Activity Books
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hunter House (April 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897934628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897934626
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


101 Family Vacation Games is a compilation of activities that can help entertain both children and adults. The games are divided into six main categories - travel, vacation, beach, outdoor, home, and birthday party games. The book title is somewhat misleading because the games, with the exception of some of the beach games, can be easily adapted to be played anywhere. There is also a special section at the end with games parents can use to interact with babies and young children.

The layout of the book is excellent. Listed at the beginning of each game is the number of participants required, the level of difficulty, and whether any props will be needed (i.e. music or a deck of cards). Most of the games are fairly simple and can be completed quickly. Also provided are ways to modify the games so that younger children can also be included. Several of the games are old favorites, such as Charades, I Spy, and Rock, Paper, Scissors, but there are many with which I had not been previously familiar.

The author stresses the importance of making sure everyone understands and agrees to the rules before the game begins. He also states the importance of parents taking part in the games so they can share similar experiences with the child and create memories as a family. Playing provides many benefits including: exercise, learning ways to relate to others socially, releasing stress, and acting as a diversion to forget about one's problems for a short time. Some games help to develop reflexes and concentration skills. Others involve exploring the world around us. The next time you see children playing don't be surprised if they are actually learning something.

I recommend 101 Family Vacation Games for all parents and children. It will not only help to develop a closer relationship between the two but also allow them to learn more about the other's thoughts and dreams. Playing together develops lifetime memories that become more precious as the years pass. It is important to set aside a few minutes each day to play, whether it is to remove oneself from life's daily stresses or simply to spend time with those you love. — Leslie Granier, Reader Views

Jump-start family fun time with these 101 ideas for games and past times. You shouldn't wait for your next vacation to spend some time with these simple, low-tech games.

Right out of the bubble mailer my boys were playing Word Tennis and laughing out loud. On first inspection, I spotted some tried-and-true favorites, like Rock Paper Scissors, which are probably already in most families' repertoire. But for the most part, the games were new to us. I appreciate the useful table of contents matrix, which matches each activity with the number of people needed.

You might think of "vacation games" as "games to play in the car." But that is just the first section of this book. There are categories for: Travel Games, Games at the Destination, Beach Games, Sand Figures, Outdoor Games, Games to Play at Home, Birthday Party Games, and finally Games for Babies and Young Children.

If you are like me, and your brain stalls when required to come up with something to entertain your children, you'll want to have this book handy. I know I will. — Mary Ann Therese, LibraryThing.com Early Reviewer

I admit it. Although I am a creative person, sometimes after a long day at work or a long drive to a vacation spot, I am exhausted. Flipping on a video screen is an all-too-common cop-out to using my brain to think of something more creative, more engaging, and ultimately more satisfying.

But now I have the solution! With this great little book I don't have to put my brain into high gear to think of something to do--- I can just browse through dozens of easy and fun games for kids of all ages, categorized by situation, age, and equipment needed. There are some old favorites, but many ones that were new to me. All were well-explained and looked entertaining to play. Also included were many tips and encouraging words that simple creative play really is both necessary and fun and doable even in hectic 21st century life.

I really appreciated both reading the book and putting it into practice. Highly recommended for all families. — wiseasgandalf, LibraryThing Early Reviewer

This book is full of great game and activity ideas for kids of all ages. There's a special section just for babies and toddlers, and many games that are suitable (or can be adjusted) for older children or pre-teens. While some of the games are old favorites (I Spy), there are some great new ones that I can't wait to try with my daughter. There are active and rambunctious games, and also mellow quiet one-person activities. A great selection! — Kyliebeth, LibraryThing Early Reviewer

Some of the games in this slim little volume are familiar, others were completely new to me. Having a hundred game ideas grouped themetically by the circumstances one might play them (e.g. travel games, beach games, game to play at home, birthday games...) is a good balance between variety to keep things interesting and a manageable sized book that you'd actually want to throw into your travel things. My daughter is only two, so most of these 'family games' are completely beyond her, but perusing the section of games aimed at babies and small children, I thought there was potential for things to try over the next year or two so this book will definitely be sticking around. — Elfchild, LibraryThing Early Reviewer

About the Author

Shando Varda is a storyteller, musician, community artist, teacher, workshop leader and playleader from kindergarten to corporate levels. Inspired in the 1970's by the New Games Foundation's approach to cooperative play, he now teaches and leads play with people of all ages. He lives in Lyme Regis, Wales.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on October 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I do a moderate amount of traveling through out the year and this book will come in handy for my future departures. There are quite a few important topics to choose from and this will help you make family outings successful, safe, and fun, whether you're shopping for clothes, visiting your out-of-town relatives, or going camping. After your done reading this you will discover tactics for managing boredom, frustration, and sibling squabbles during delayed flights and seemingly endless cross-country journeys. Using the ideas in this down-to-earth book, you can end grocery store tantrums and car-ride meltdowns, and transform any trip with young children into an enjoyable and memorable outing. "Family vacation games" is simple and eventful to read and share with the kids.

This book starts off with a detailed graph listing of games that are suitable by age and appropriate group size. Once I got my hands on this book I went straight to "Travel Games" because that seems to be the hardest part for me to do with my kids. Come to found out I already some of the games that were listed such as: Word Tennis, I spy, Family Sing-a- long, and Rock-paper- scissors. As I got deeper into the book I found a few games that were intriguing like "Travel Trivia Quiz," The game goes a little something like this: The leader writes a trivia questions on pieces of paper before the journey. She /He can ask different family members to contribute questions. During the time in the journey, the leader asks players the trivia question (How many aunts or uncles in a family will be attending the reunion? Or How long will the next flight will be?) Come to fine out this course help the family work together, plan and develop a sense of anticipation before a journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Donnelly on October 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I first got this book my first thought was ,"Oh great, Another book on parenting that has bad illustrations and is full of syrupy platitudes which I've read before." Lines in the book like, "People who use this book can personally discover the wonderful effects of play." did not help. I started to look through the book and remained unimpressed when I read a few of the games. The whole feel of the book did just not click with me. There was ONE thing about it that I liked about the book on my first time through. The icons that gave you at-a-glance information about each of the games. Having just done a search for games for a Cub Scout den the week before I could appreciate not reading halfway through the game before I figured out it was not an appropriate game for my purposes. After reading most of the prose in the book that wasn't game rules I figured there was really only one way to review a book about games. Time to play some games. I called the kids into the living room and told them I needed their help. We chose games mostly at random easily eliminating the ones that required props we didn't have, a beach, or some other element that would prevent us from playing that game. The next two hours flew by and I had to promise we would play some more games the next day in order to get them to go to bed. I quickly learned that it is not possible to know how fun a game will be just by reading the description. Some of the ones that sounded cool, like Toe Fencing didn't work out, but a simple game like Word Tennis was a great hit. I will be putting this book permanently in the car so we can avoid the Are-we-there-yets on the next family vacation. I still think the book could be presented better, but there is no denying that the games are fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William C. Hand on March 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
This has a number of clever and fun games, with useful information right in the Table of Contents that allow you to quickly find a game for your group.

Most of the entries are easy to understand, well written and complete, with warnings and suggestions to ensure safe game-play.

Only a few of the entries (e.g., Frisbee golf) seemed half-done and rushed, with incomplete information to play the games (as if they were crammed in at the last minute).

By and large, though, this is a very useful guide to quickly locating a suitable game and modifying it for the age range playing.
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By bookworm on June 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Several car games I forgot about and several new ones that were fun. Some require thinking/planning ahead so review it before heading out on your trip.
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