Fun Games For Family Vacations
NOTHING BEATS A FAMILY VACATION
The rare being, the All-American dad, proudly announces to his family, "vacation time, gang!" And with that cheery piece of news, the entire family is abuzz with excitement, anticipation and anxiety. The anxiety goes to the All-American dad and mom for they have been with the kids on several vacations in the car long before this one was announced.
They know how tough travelling with kids in the backseat can truly be. This, all sensitive parents, is not a knock on children, but a lovingly-honest look at the "real-life" scenes that take place when this All-American family of four hit the road, again, in hopes that "this" vacation will not be anywhere near last year's fiasco that is always brought up at the dining table every Thanksgiving. This dreaded-story is always good for a hearty laugh from the distant family members who are "living the life," and never have such a thing as a "disaster vacation."
To prove my point to the "family vacation newcomers," here is a list of things that produce aggravation for mom and dad while travelling down the picturesque interstates of America.
Odors coming from the back seat such as foot, dog, and passing of gas from over-active intestines.
Annoying tattle-tales, "he hit me, mom," "she won't stop looking at me," and "please tell junior to put his pants back on."
Confusion in locations such as restaurants that are not on the map and tourist attractions (live alligator farms) further down the road that your gas gauge says. NOTE: By the way, who in their right mind would pay huge prices to tour a place that features, "dead" gators?
Fists and feet continually hitting mom and dad's seat making the ride as comfortable as riding on a gravel road with a wagon and mule.
These are but a few of the things that can put mom and dad's nerves on end while driving to the family's vacation destination. And no, "I" didn't write the screenplay for Chevy Chase's "Vacation." That was the folks at National Lampoon.
But mom, dad, and kids with attention spans longer than one minute, I have the answer to those emotional, mental and physical draining vacation trips that always start out good, but soon hit a "slippery slope," causing another family ruckus.
There are some nifty over-the-road games you, mom and dad, can play to defuse the obvious stress caused by kids who are hungry, irritable, and sleepy. I'm not kidding. These games actually work.
Just peer through these "life-saving" games and pick out your favorite, and enjoy that upcoming, three-day's of driving to reach the tourist attraction to end all tourist attractions: "Uncle Marvin's Live Skeleton Show and Southwest Indian Magic Exhibition," located on the backside of Sante Fe, New Mexico. You will arrive happy, relaxed and ready to rock when you play these . . ."Vacation Games For Family Vacations."
COUNTING PHRASES (for mom and dad) compete with each other in counting how many times "junior" and "sissy," will scream, "hurry up, I can't stand him/her anymore!"
COUNTING COLORS of certain makes of cars. Say keep score of how many red Chevy Malibu's you meet heading to your vacation destination. Be careful. Do not let the drivers of these Chevy's see you pointing at them for they may belong to a violent gang who despise tourists.
SING SONGS like "My Sharona," by the Knack; "Rock Around The Clock, by Bill Haley and the Comets or "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," by God knows who. These songs are purposely-written to pester any troublemaking kid in any backseat on any vacation. And can be used as leverage. "Dad, mom, please stop singing those awful songs," bellows "junior." "Sure, buddy, but you promise to go to sleep for at least four hours. Deal?" You will be surprised at how quick "junior" screams "deal!" Then you and your wife can smile at other in a sly manner.
"ONE BROWN COW" is a simple game that requires the contestants to say, "one brown cow," and then wait for the other contestants to see a brown cow and say, "two brown cow," and so on. This game is very habit-forming for kids from seven to twelve. Tell your kids that this game is only for them (giving you and your wife a rest) and you will give the winner five-dollars. What great fun the kids will have with this game.
HISTORY EXPLORER is an educational game, but fun too. You, dad, be the host of this automotive vacation game. You ask a simple history question and the kid who gets it right has to do an impression of the person or persons who were alive in that era. What laughs you will get with this game and maybe junior will finally learn that Columbus discovered Americas in 1492, not the R&B group, the Ohio Players.
NAME THAT CELEBRITY needs no explanation. Anyone in the car can say a famous celebrity from television, screen or radio and the first one who names the celebrity gets to take a nap. Dad, if you are wise enough, you may let your wife do the driving and you can name a celebrity and nap like your cat, "Johnny Three Shoes," back at home.
INSECT CITY is for the rambunctious kids at heart. See how many flies, gnats and wasps hit the windshield of the car. This game can also sharpen the kids' math skills. Sorry, no birds hitting the windshield allowed.
TRAVELLING NEIGHBOR takes little or no skill at all. But dad has to turn off the air condioner in the car. This game is for the tough kids in America. While going down America's highways and byways, when your kids spot a farmer plowing his fields, have them yell, "Hey, Mr. Farmer, thanks for your food!" Or if they see a car thief stealing a car have them yell even louder, "Police! Police, help! Car thief at work," and the children will make the farmer feel good about working in a dusty, hot field of pepper and help the police capture, "Lugs" Mallone, wanted car thief.
FINISH MY JOKE requires a sharp mind. And only for kids ages 16 and up. This game is perfect for RV's, camper's, and stationwagons. Have someone tell all of a joke except the punchline and then point to a person who has to finish the joke and in a funny way. You will get laughs by the boat load with this game. Sorry, no "men-only" girlie jokes can be told.
GUESS DAD'S M.P.H. is easy. And fantastic fun. But this game is only for the kids. Have mom use her watch and count down every 10 minutes then call on junior to correctly guess how fast dad is driving. If junior is right, he has to not talk for the next 20 miles. If junior is wrong, he has to not talk for the remainder of the trip. Same rules apply to sissy.
Hey, American vacationers, put back the fun into your yearly family outings. Play these games one time and you will swear that you have fell asleep and woke up in "dream land," for the fun, laughter and peace of mind you are experiencing.
If these games do not work, as a last resort, tell the annoying kids that there is a big, green monster hiding underneath their seats and with one tap of your fist on the dashboard, "Mr. Hungry," will appear and do what he does best: eat everything and everyone in sight.
Mom and dad, there has to be an unemployed uncle somewhere in your families who will be willing to play "Mr. Hungry," in a green costume for a nominal fee. Say $100.00.
Might be a wise investment.