sarahb
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Parents, travelers, please help me out!

This Christmas, my nieces (ages 10 and 4) will be heading to Australia to visit their dad's side of the family. Mom (my sister) and dad will also be going on this trip.
I have been tasked with finding 2 games each for the girls, to be wrapped and brought out as the trip gets unbearable. Specifically, I am looking for shortish (~20 minutes, maybe?), very compact, engaging, age appropriate games. The girls will likely NOT be sitting beside each other, so one girl + one parent will be the primary audience for these games.

Requirements:
1) MUST FIT ON AN AIRPLANE TRAY TABLE. Seriously, if it doesn't, or doesn't easily, it's not getting sent.
2) Must have at least a great option for 2-player, if not be only 2 player.
3) Must be in a small box.
4) Each game must be ~or less than $20.
 
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sarahb
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For the 10 year old, who is very clever, but has a tendency to get frustrated if she can't figure things out... We have had a lot of success with Qwirkle, Ruckus, Forbidden Island, and Thief of Baghdad (playing open hands).

Definitely:
Ingenious: Travel Edition
I know she can handle this, and it's well designed for travel, compact, within the price range, etc... Plus, I love it.

Possible:
Looney Labs' Treehouse
This is compact, simple to learn, and has high replayability. Also, so many other games can be played with the pieces.

Mr. Jack Pocket
I know her dad likes this game (we gave him the big version several years ago), but I worry the tiles will take up too much space for the tray table.

Hive Pocket
I think this would be good. It's spendy, but I'm leaning towards this being her #2.

Rejected:
Qwirkle Travel
She has the big box version of this, so it won't be something new. We have decided these should all be NEW games for her.

Travel Carcassonne
Too big for the space.

Rory's Story Cubes
She already has it.

Aquarious
She already has it, and I think it would take up too much space on the tray.

For the 4 year old, who is also very clever, but also very willful and tantrum-prone...

Definitely:
Spot It
My sister says she'll love it. I'm taking her word.

Possible:
???
Yeah, I have nothing. Help me out!

~~~~~~~~~

They will also be getting other things to be brought out: a travel spirograph, books, coloring books, etc., but I'm specifically looking for games.

Dad will also be getting games (though these will be his Christmas presents, opened before they leave, which he might opt to not take with them):

Friday
Because it's solo, different, and I really like it.

Onirim
Because it's solo or co-op, and I think he could play it with the older niece.

Zombie in my Pocket
A PnP version of this. I haven't ever played it, so it might be too big for the tray table criteria above. He can decide.


Other suggestions? Thoughts? Similar experiences? Please help me out! I appreciate all the help I can get!!
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    Kindle Fire.
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sarahb
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Sagrilarus wrote:

    Kindle Fire.


As in, buy each girl a Kindle? Nope: I'm a student- I can't even afford to buy ME a Kindle.

Mom does, however, have an iPad, so there will be some new things loaded onto that for them. Thanks for the recommendation, though!
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EnderWizard
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Easy: Hive Pocket
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Dave C.
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Pente avaialble as a travel edition
Kalah ditto
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Mike G
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Benadryl.
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Gertrude McFuzz

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Twice a year we (me, my husband, and three boys 4, 7, 10) drive 22 hours (in 2 days) to visit my family, so I have some experience occupying kids on long trips, although fortunately we don't need to keep them quiet.

To be honest, while we normally limit electronics at home - limited leapster/ ds gaming time, and only in the car, and no TV at all - electronics get us through these trips better than boardgames. And lots of books, of course, as well as maze books, usborne puzzle books, and sticker activity books. And art materials (Wikki stiks, and Model Magic being the favorites). And a shallow tray of lego with a secure top for my middle son.

For games, I would suggest some of the solo puzzle games available, such as Rush Hour. For the 4 y.o. I'd suggest Rush Hour Jr., River Crossing Jr. or Camelot Jr, (which takes up more space but is the best game for that age). Also, a card game like Sleeping Queens is fun, and may not take too much space, if played on two trays. Two games we haven't played, but which may work in the space (for the younger girl) are Tell Tale (Tell Tale) and Hedbanz for Kids. There is also a new version of Crafty Badger by Gamewright called Elephant's trunk, which may work for her.
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sarbet wrote:

Zombie in my Pocket
A PnP version of this. I haven't ever played it, so it might be too big for the tray table criteria above. He can decide.


I have played this on a plane tray table.
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We usually take Jaipur along on trips, and it works on the plane, although it's a bit tight. My seven year old plays this one, so it would be perfect for the 10 year old.

We've also played Monopoly Deal Card Game on the plane, it works better with >2 players. Too complex for the 4 year old, I'm afraid.
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sarahb
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Ender Wiggin wrote:
Easy: Hive Pocket


I was leaning this way for the older one, too. Good to have another upvote for that one.

Cooz wrote:
Pente avaialble as a travel edition
Kalah ditto


We played the heck out of Pente when I was a kid- you wouldn't happen to know where I could find a travel version, would you? I guess I could make one... but it needs to be SMALL.

falluper wrote:
Benadryl.


I'll tell you, I love these kids, but I am NOT disappointed that I'm not going on this trip. I've done the flight before, and it's tough for ME.

123ABC wrote:
Twice a year we (me, my husband, and three boys 4, 7, 10) drive 22 hours (in 2 days) to visit my family, so I have some experience occupying kids on long trips, although fortunately we don't need to keep them quiet.

To be honest, while we normally limit electronics at home - limited leapster/ ds gaming time, and only in the car, and no TV at all - electronics get us through these trips better than boardgames. And lots of books, of course, as well as maze books, usborne puzzle books, and sticker activity books. And art materials (Wikki stiks, and Model Magic being the favorites). And a shallow tray of lego with a secure top for my middle son.

For games, I would suggest some of the solo puzzle games available, such as Rush Hour. For the 4 y.o. I'd suggest Rush Hour Jr., River Crossing Jr. or Camelot Jr, (which takes up more space but is the best game for that age). Also, a card game like Sleeping Queens is fun, and may not take too much space, if played on two trays. Two games we haven't played, but which may work in the space (for the younger girl) are Tell Tale (Tell Tale) and Hedbanz for Kids. There is also a new version of Crafty Badger by Gamewright called Elephant's trunk, which may work for her.


Every Christmas vacation in my youth was a 20 hour (straight) drive, with parents and 2 siblings (4 and 8 years older than me). One of the things that made the trip fun was that our dad would bring a box of wrapped presents for us to open every 4 hours or so. We're trying something like that here, hoping it's a success.

I understand what everyone is saying about the electronic toys/games/etc., but a) I can't afford it b) it doesn't seem to have the same "fun" factor as having something new to unwrap and c) their parents will load a few new things on the tablet they have. The puzzles are a great idea; the older niece has made this trek many times in the past, and has taken Kanoodle: http://www.amazon.com/Educational-Insights-2978-Kanoodle/dp/.... I will definitely add your recommendations for the little one to my short list! I've had my eye on Crafty Badger for a while, so it'll give me a chance to look into it again.

Very helpful! Thanks so much!

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sarahb
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Jastin wrote:
sarbet wrote:

Zombie in my Pocket
A PnP version of this. I haven't ever played it, so it might be too big for the tray table criteria above. He can decide.


I have played this on a plane tray table.


Great to know! I was hoping it would work...

fowlerj wrote:
We usually take Jaipur along on trips, and it works on the plane, although it's a bit tight. My seven year old plays this one, so it would be perfect for the 10 year old.

We've also played Monopoly Deal Card Game on the plane, it works better with >2 players. Too complex for the 4 year old, I'm afraid.


Jaipur is one of MY current favorites, but I wasn't positive it would be good for her (or would fit easily on the tray). I'm glad to get some feedback on how it fits- I'll add it to the short list for the older one.

We've also played a lot of MDCG with the older one- she likes it a lot, but I agree, it doesn't shine with 2. I'm trying to make choices that don't need 3 players, so there's no opportunity for the little one to feel like she's not participating (plus, I don't know how their seats will be arranged).
 
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Robert Zaleski
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Sleeping Queens I'm pretty sure this will fit on a tray, may be a bit tight, but you could overlap the queens so it would fit. Girls 4-18 love this game though.

Catch the Match This will work great.

SET but probably not for the 4 year old. I know adults who can't get this one.

A deck of cards allows slap jack, war, and Go fish.

24 Piece puzzles fit in a small box, we double up the puzzles in the boxes so it takes even less space, and I think those would fit on a tray. You may want to find out how big a tray is and the size of the puzzle.



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Robert Zaleski
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Kids came in after we talked about what to play on a plane, and these may be bigger if you don't have a travel edition. Both are ONLY 2 player too.

Connect Four - May not be the best for the 4 year old, though she'd probably enjoy it.
Guess Who? - Again may be pushing it, but maybe not by much.
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10-year-old
Ingenious Travel - you've obviously decided upon and it sounds great. I don't know it - would otherwise suggest Blokus Duo which is 2 player, very secure and portable.

Looney Pyramids and rules for all the games that can be played with them, also sound great. Tantrix is another, in some ways similar, possibility.

4-year-old
+1 (or 2 or 3) for Spot it!! Such a great little game and adults enjoy it too. It could get a little loud if they play the way our grandsons do! We like Blink too but Spot it! is even better.

+1 for Sleeping Queens.

Duck, Duck, Bruce might just fit on a tray table. It's a fun game. Better with three but still good with 2.

Other Gamewright games that might work with a clever 4-year-old are Frog Juice, Loot or Rat-a-Tat Cat.

Dad
+1 for Hive Pocket

+1 for a regular deck of cards and print-out of rules for some fun games to learn/play

Travel Sequence perhaps?

Would Coloretto Amazonas work? Not sure whether it could be done on a tray table.

iPad

Some great games available:
Blokus
Hey That's My Fish
Hive

Their Mum will probably already know lots of good iPad games for 4 year olds - Monkey Playschool Lunchbox, heaps of good matching/memory games, drawing games, puzzle games. There are also great stories and videos (many of them free) for iPhone/iPad. Headphones would be needed for a plane though.

May they have a wonderful journey to Australia. It's well worth the effort, of course ...
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Ryan Morgan
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CITY Alarm will fit on a tray table and because it's lego the pieces all stick to the board. Also you can play it inside the box and roll the dice in the lid. It will also double as Lego to play around with. AAAND It can be stored fully built inside the box, so there is no need to worry about trying to build it on the plane.
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Tea or Coffee?
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Not board games, but Smart Games have worked great for us on super long trips. They are fantastic solo puzzles, but of course you can work together on them. They usually play and pack away in their own small, sturdy plastic box. Perfect for travelling.

Check them out, I think you will like them.
Tea
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sarahb
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rzaleski wrote:
Sleeping Queens I'm pretty sure this will fit on a tray, may be a bit tight, but you could overlap the queens so it would fit. Girls 4-18 love this game though.

Catch the Match This will work great.

SET but probably not for the 4 year old. I know adults who can't get this one.


Sleeping Queens seems to be highly rated, so I'm heading for that as the second for the 4yo. From what I'm reading, Catch the Match seems to be along the same lines as Spot It.

Set is one of my personal favorites, and I know they have it, but I don't think it's caught them the same way it has me. Maybe I'll try to push it a little more when I visit for Thanksgiving.

rzaleski wrote:
Connect Four - May not be the best for the 4 year old, though she'd probably enjoy it.
Guess Who? - Again may be pushing it, but maybe not by much.


Both great suggestions, but I agree, they might be too big. The plan is that each girl will have a new backpack that they are responsible for carrying which has all the stuff wrapped up in it, and which they can delve into for something new at some interval. Small = good.

AnnC wrote:
10-year-old
Ingenious Travel - you've obviously decided upon and it sounds great. I don't know it - would otherwise suggest Blokus Duo which is 2 player, very secure and portable.

Looney Pyramids and rules for all the games that can be played with them, also sound great. Tantrix is another, in some ways similar, possibility.

4-year-old
+1 (or 2 or 3) for Spot it!! Such a great little game and adults enjoy it too. It could get a little loud if they play the way our grandsons do! We like Blink too but Spot it! is even better.

+1 for Sleeping Queens.

Duck, Duck, Bruce might just fit on a tray table. It's a fun game. Better with three but still good with 2.

Other Gamewright games that might work with a clever 4-year-old are Frog Juice, Loot or Rat-a-Tat Cat.

Dad
+1 for Hive Pocket

May they have a wonderful journey to Australia. It's well worth the effort, of course ...


Thanks for all the feedback! I know the trip will be worth it; there is a lot of family for them on your side of the world, including lots of cousins they don't see too often. I'll keep the rest of the GameWright games in mind- those are pretty easy for us to find, and I love taking games with me when I visit them (since I know I'll be able to teach them, and that they'll get played, at least a few times).

big__rhino wrote:
CITY Alarm will fit on a tray table and because it's lego the pieces all stick to the board. Also you can play it inside the box and roll the dice in the lid. It will also double as Lego to play around with. AAAND It can be stored fully built inside the box, so there is no need to worry about trying to build it on the plane.


An idea I hadn't thought of! I don't think the little one plays much with LEGOs (I don't know how that happened, actually, since the rest of the family are LEGO junkies...) and the ages listed are 5+. I also worry about the size of everything in a small backpack. Sounds really good for a lot of reasons, though... I'll look into this more. Thanks!

industrial strength wrote:
Not board games, but Smart Games have worked great for us on super long trips. They are fantastic solo puzzles, but of course you can work together on them. They usually play and pack away in their own small, sturdy plastic box. Perfect for travelling.

Check them out, I think you will like them.
Tea


Another great idea! I actually just bought one of these for my *other* internationally traveling niece (this time an 8 yo who visits her mom's family in Cyprus every year). You're right, they're wonderful, and I LOVE the self contained design of a lot of them. Excellent suggestion- thanks!



 
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