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Vacation "Down Time" - Fun for the Entire Family

(ARA) - Getting to your vacation destination can be half the fun with the help of a few family travel games and activities. These can be performed almost anywhere, including the comfort of the back seat of the car, which keeps the kids from asking, "Are We There Yet"? Quality time on vacation includes that occasional rainy day. Families that are prepared with fun activities can make every vacation day a delight, rain or shine.

Where do you hear it? This game works by one person mimicking a sound and the rest of the group trying to guess where that sound would take place. For example, the sound of a lion roaring could either be the jungle or perhaps a circus. Once the place is identified another person can make a noise to be recognized.

Scavenger hunts can be a fun way to test your observation skills and keep the whole group involved with their surroundings. Before you leave home take a few minutes to write out a list of items that you would probably see along the way. You could include a certain color of car, landmarks, gas station or animals. Then, once you are on the road, pass out the lists and each time an item is found reward that person with a snack or choice for the next meal stop. You can even double up, and the first team to find all items gets a bigger prize.

Word building tests your vocabulary and can make time pass quickly. This game can be played with two or more people. Someone starts out by saying a letter such as "C". The next person thinks of a word that starts with a "C" and adds an "A", as in cat. Then the next person has to think of a word that contains both the letters "C" and "A", and might decide to add a "B" as in cabin. Each person has to have a word in mind, because an opposing player can challenge that person at any time if they believe there is no such word. If a player is challenged and they don't have a word, they are out of the game. This continues until only one person remains.

Depending on how far you are traveling, another well-liked game involves license plate identification. Each player has a writing utensil and paper, and as vehicles pass by you try and mark down every different state plate that passes. If you are only going to be on the road for an hour, your goal may be 8, but if you are making a much longer trip you might want to try 20 different plates. The first person to hit the goal wins.

You can make nature bracelets with a simple roll of masking tape, wherever you happen to be. Position a circle of tape, sticky side out, around the wrist. Collect items from your campsite such as feathers, leaves, flowers, ferns, twigs and bits of moss. Gently press the item to the sticky tape until the bracelet is filled.

For more great travel tips try the KOA Directory, Road Atlas and Kampground Guide. It can be purchased at any KOA Kampground for $4 or you can send a check for $6 to KOA Directory, Dept. PR, PO Box 30558, Billings, MT 59114-0558. You'll also find essential camping tips along with information on every KOA in North America, including toll-free, direct-to-the campground reservation numbers.

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This site was created by Out Of Your Mind Graphic & Web Design a division of K.C.O. Marketing Services     
last revised August 12, 2006
Copyright Kathleane C. O'Leary 1997 all rights reserved
Void where prohibited. Keep hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.