Scott’s Toy Box: Spring and Summer Travel
Spring is finally here, and even if you’ve already ventured out of your backyard for spring break, you may be making plans for your summer travels. While making your plans on destination, what to pack, and how to travel, don’t forget to plan on what to do while you’re traveling. I found some great games to play as the plain, train, or automobile gets you and your family from point A to point B.
Find It is a long clear tube that is filled with tiny colorful plastic pellets. Amongst the pellets are severaldifferent objects like a penny, a little plastic top hat, and several blocks each with a letter from the alphabet on it. The object of the game is to shake the tube, moving the pellets around to uncover the hidden objects. It includes several pages of a checklist (which is also printed on one of the ends) to keep up with what you have found and what is still left buried. Once you find all the objects, shake up the tube and compete to see who can find the most objects or who can find all the objects fastest. It’s a great game that only has one piece, and it comes in a variety of different themes. You can find this toy at Learning Express for $20, and you won’t even have to shake anything.
If your family has a Nintendo DS of any shape or form, it’s perfect to take with you to spend your time when the scenery has become monotonous. The Professor Layton series of games is great and helps you exercise your brain. Professor Layton is a puzzle master, and with his assistant, Luke, he travels around solving mysteries. The game I played was called Professor Layton and the Curious Village. In the game, the two travel to a village where everyone is out to find the treasure that was left behind by a dying baron. The game is rated E for everyone, although I have seen some rated E+10. The puzzles can be a little difficult, but you can play by trial and error, and each time you solve a puzzle, it shows you how to think through the clues to get the answer (so you can still learn even if you just made a guess). The games range from $30 to $15 depending on how long they’ve been out and where you go to shop for them. I got mine from Best Buy.
Although Road Trip is a board game, you may want to take it along for the trip as well. It comes with a boardthat is a map of the midsection of America (they completely cut off Washington at the top and Louisiana and Florida at the bottom), with four different road trips, one for each car token. To play, you draw a challenge card, which will be one of four categories. Each category is different, but they all challenge you to come up with words that share the same letter. To get your letter, you roll a 30-sided die that’s also in the box. There are also rest stop cards that will either help or hinder your way across the board. It’s a great game to play in your hotel when your plans change, or you can take just the challenge cards out and practice coming up with words in the car. You can find Road Trip at Learning Express for $25.
M. Scott Anderson lives in Jackson and loves to travel. One day he hopes to fly over to England and will take lots of games to keep him occupied on the flight.