Easter is only a few short weeks away and while most of us will holiday during that time, it comes with the rite of passage most adventurous parents will partake in at least once in their caregiving career: the camp trip. I’ve covered this topic on a number of occasions, but never the dreaded bit between dusk and sleep time. Feeding them only takes 30 minutes at a stretch and if it’s your first time at the camping rodeo, you’ll probably still be on your Screen-Ban High Horse. What to do with the children in this particular Witching Hour, when they’re wrecked from a huge day of camping, but not tired enough to go to sleep without an equally huge fight?
And if it rains? And all of you are stuck together in the space usually reserved for your ensuite? You need a back up plan and I have it: Games. DON’T CLICK OUT!!! Yes, I too have glared in exasperation at my offspring as I realise I actually have to do stuff with them to stop them endlessly whingeing. Giving them life and ruining my loins wasn’t enough: now I have to entertain or at least give them some life skills as well? Yes. Yes you do.
So without further ado here are two games to take holidaying with you. They’re small, compact, involve mutliple players and if you’re lucky enough to have an even vaguely mature older kid, can eventually be outsourced to that one and be completely child led while you kick back in your camp chair.
- Spot ItI had never seen this particular card game before until Peckerhead brought it over after her recent trip to America and we were all pretty hooked very quickly. In this game, the stack of cards is placed in a pile with each player given one card. Players then have to match ONE symbol from their card to ONE symbol on the pack card. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? This game almost shoved my learned and quick-witted husband to his slow-spotting knees. Me on the other hand? I’m a machine: I yelled out one correct symbol after another and won almost every game I played! Oh and we let the kids play a bit too.
Spot It is easy to play, comes in a tin small enough to hide in your handbag and as it’s based on symbols, younger children can play as well (though not with me because I will annihilate them).You can get lots of variations such as ones made specifically for toddlers, one with camping symbols and the ‘hip’ version which is for all the new mums and dads who still fancy themselves as somewhat fashionable.
We played this compact dice game on a recent trip to Fraser Island with my parents, my husband and our kids. Sussie (seven years old) become reasonably addicted to it which was slightly concerning since it does have a few gambling elements to it, but on the bright side, it involved lots of counting so win/win right? Riiiight. It’s touted as being for ages eight and up, but if your kids can count, they can play.
Anyway, you can have as many players as you want and it’s all about using the six die to roll as many multiples as possible to gain the most amount of points. If you get a double six for example, you can still roll the leftover die to get more points, but if you don’t get any multiples, you lose all the points from that round: you’ve been farkled.
We found this game to be hilarious (especially when Poppy started to cheat a little- always fun ), accessible to school age children and up. Plus it’s small and compact providing more wine, beer and potato chip room in the back of the car. You do need a pen and paper to keep score (you can buy fancy score sheets or just a scrap piece of paper).
You can get Farkle from Amazon or from Fishpond .
Yeah, you can call me an Old Skool Nerd if you want but I love UNO- and I’m not even good at it! UNO can be played by anyone who can recognise colours and numbers and is super compact, being a pack of cards. It’s also wonderful entertainment for those amongst us who like to cheat. Of the techniques I’ve observed, my favourites are surreptitiously dropping cards to the floor or sitting on them, followed closely by the I’m Just Getting A Drink No I’m Not Looking Over Your Shoulder (I’m Totes Looking Over Your Shoulder) trick. Fun for all.
4. Cards Against Humanity
This is for adults only and involves trying to turn a benign question or statement into something more disgusting than any one else playing the game. Yes, I laughed till I cried playing this but it is not for the faint-hearted, people who offend easily or the very politically correct.
What are your preferred camping or holidaying games? Do you play any now with your children that YOU played as a child?
Linking up with the #IBOT crew.