Keeping the peace in a vehicle filled with cranky kids is no small task, and with the summer travel season kicking off this weekend, now is the time to arm yourself with weapons against the “Are we there yet?” blues.
With advancements in technology, the family car often morphs into a mobile living room complete with DVD players, video games, and smartphones. These days, most parents don’t dare travel long distances without arming kids with portable digital devices, from iPads to portable PlayStations. These electronic entertainment systems are a far cry from playing 20 Questions in the back of a station wagon. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can take a trip back in time while keeping your kids entertained. Games such as Yahtzee, Scrabble, Hangman, Simon, Go Fish and Uno can still be played, but now there are electronic versions of the kids’ classics.
When your pint-sized passengers become bored of their digital devices or if the batteries die before you get to your final destination, then you can pull out some other classic travel sanity savers. One of my family’s favorite time killers is License Plate Poker. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a savvy card shark to win. To play, the driver of the car takes a license plate from another vehicle driving down the road and makes a poker hand from it. The letter “A” is an ace, as is the number one. A “K” is a king, a “Q” is a Queen and a “J” is a Jack. Meanwhile, the number “0″ represents a ten. The person taking the first hand may try three different license plates to come up with the best five “card” hand. The next player then has to beat the first player’s hand in three license plates. If he does not, he is out. If he has a better hand, the first person (the driver) is out. The next person in the car then tries next for the best hand and so on. The person with the best hand after everyone has had a turn is the winner.