101 Family Vacation Games: Have Fun While Traveling, Camping, or Celebrating at Home

101 Family Vacation Games: Have Fun While Traveling, Camping, or Celebrating at Home

by Shando Varda


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Playing with your offspring helps parents to meet their children as equals and to bring fun and laughter into family life. When we laugh and have fun together, tensions are dissolved, and we come fully alive. In this age of electronic media, families are simply forgetting the many wonderful ways of playing together.

101 FAMILY VACATION GAMES includes different types of games new and old and from all around the world that create a wonderful repertoire for parents to explore with their families. The author encourages parents to use games as a parenting skill and finds that parents who do this cause their families to blossom and bubble over with vitality.

Although the book focuses on games for families on vacation, the games can be used for any time when parents or other adults want to engage with children in a positive and fun-filled manner, helping the children to learn and laugh, and building lasting relationships between children and adults.

The book includes games to play at the beach, camping, in the car, on the plane, at picnics, at vacation homes, and at birthday parties. Some sample games: Word Tennis, Treasure Hunt, Pebble Pictures, Storytelling Starters.

Age level is 4 and up.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780897934626
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/25/2006
Series: SmartFun Activity Books Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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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101 Family Vacation Games: Have Fun While Traveling, Camping, or Celebrating at Home 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
maryanntherese on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jump-start family fun time with these 101 ideas for games and pastimes. 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.
cranjetta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reviewing all the games presented in this book, I was left wondering why some where included and other excluded. Almost every kid I know, and probably most parents, have heard of a fair number of the games presented in the book since I was hoping for games my wife and I haven't played with our three girls. Games like Family Sing-Along, "Rock, Paper, Scissors", I Spy, Toe Fencing, Treasure Hunt, Hop Scotch, Frisbee Golf, Frisbee Tag, Musical Chairs, Guess Who, Peek-A-Boo and quite a few others seemed to be better suited to a book titled "101 Classic Children's Games". The book's title also seems somewhat misleading since I was expecting games specifically to be used on vacation (in the car, on a plane, train or bus, in the hotel) but there are sections for the beach specifically (and some of those games can just be played in the back yard), for toddlers and for birthday parties. While I find the book a great asset when attempting to find something for my three girls to do at home, I was expecting more from a book title "101 Family Vacation Games" that I could use while traveling.
wiseasgandalf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
tripleblessings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received an Early Reviewers copy in November 2007. At first browse it looked good: travel games, beach games and sand sculptures, home games, birthday party games, baby games... We have tried a few games at home, for children's play dates and birthday party ideas. We also took it on our Christmas vacation to see how helpful it is on an extended plane ride, car trip and for hotel stays. First published in England in 2003 as "Family Holiday Games" by Games of Life, the author Shando Varda is an experienced teacher and researcher of games. This family-friendly collection includes games for vacation and for home, suitable for a wide range of ages. Categories include games for the car, simple games to play at the destination, beach games, sand sculptures (with good photos), outdoor games, at home games, birthday party games, and games for babies and toddlers. Some games are well known family classics, others are novel (to me at least). Not all games are suitable for travel, but most are simple, requiring few to no props, so good when you're staying away from home. Many give opportunities for children to suggest variations and express their own ideas and creativity. I like the appendix at the end, which suggests songs for a sing-along, forfeit tasks, prize ideas, make believe games, teaching kids to tell stories, simple activities to do on a walk or outing, and "ways to give back" to the environment.We haven't tried all the sections of the book yet, but have found some good ideas for children aged 6 to 8. We liked Smaug's Treasure, a game where one blindfolded player guards small toys between his feet and tries to prevent other players from stealing them. We also liked the Feather in the Air game, making up silly and fun "forfeits" for the person the feather lands on. The book helpfully reminds me of many other games we used to play at school, girl guides or camp, which is great when I am trying to keep our children and friends entertained. Kim's Game, Hunt the Slipper and I Spy are good ones to remember. Some games include a lot of improvisation and creativity, such as One Word Story or Favourite Dream, or Picture Storytelling, which are great for school age kids. There is a set of Frisbee games that look like fun too. We haven't made the sand sculptures yet, but I'm looking forward to those ideas at the beach this summer.Overall this is a good reference book for parents, teachers or leaders of children's groups, and it's not too heavy to take along on a trip. Recommended.
elfchild on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Melsar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
momathwtk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is written by the author of the ¿Smart Fun¿ series of game books. Other titles include 101 Music Games for Children, 101 Games for Children, 101 Improv Games for Children and Adults, 101 More Life Skills Games for Children, 101 Cool Pool Games and several other titles. This selection from the series is simply written and illustrated but I found it a useful source of ideas and wish that I had owned it prior to our most recent vacation. The book is a small paperback, which makes it very convenient for tucking in a travel bag or in the side pocket of your mini-van (yes, I¿m a mini-van driver). The illustrations were black and white line drawings, in one instance (but only one) I think the illustration actually represented a reversal of the game players positions. But, since the ¿Leader¿ determines the rules I don¿t suppose it really matters. Also, I noted that on the back cover color illustrations of individuals playing in a pool were included but I didn¿t find any pool games in this book. There are plenty of beach games however. Some of the games in this book will be familiar to you, or are variations on games that you may already play but there were several games that were new to me. Games are divided by category and include: Travel Games (for in the car), Games at the Vacation Destination, Beach Games, Sand Figures, Outdoor Games, Games to Play at Home, Birthday Party Games, and Games for Babies and Young Children. There is also an appendix with suggestions for songs, story topics, prizes and other useful tips. The front of the book features a quick index of all of the games, separated by category and with notations indicating the number of players needed for each. Next to each game title throughout the book you will find icons indicating the type of play, number of players, and special needs such as props or music for each game. While there were only few suggestions for Sand Figure and Outdoor Games, I really enjoyed these sections and will incorporate some of the ideas on our next trip or maybe right here at home. The Birthday Party games included the most recognizable games for me including Musical Statues, Charades, and Murder Wink. Some of the games, particularly those intended to be played on the beach may require some physical contact and other may require a level of skill that your littler gamers don¿t possess. But these factors are usually mentioned in the game description. If you need some ideas to jump-start your vacation fun and don¿t feel like surfing the Internet endlessly before you depart, this book is a good resource. It¿s not overly extensive, but will offer you some ideas to complement your travel plans. Note: I received my copy of this book free of charge and am publishing this review as an ¿early reviewer¿ of the book.
Shijuro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent collection of games for all ages, playable with little or no materials. Covers old standards and some simple but innovative amusements for families on outings, in the car or just inside on a rainy day. The table of contents also shows number of players and category of game, which makes finding suitable games quick and easy.