Be prepared the when your kids say, “I’m bored!” on your next family vacation. Choose games that everyone can play, regardless of age. If the members of your family start to lose interest in one game, switch to another game-this keeps enthusiasm and participation levels high. Make sure to prepare your ideas and props ahead of time-planning will help you stay organized.
Obstacle Course: Take your family to the playground at the campground for an obstacle course challenge, as suggested by jmgkids.org. This outside family game you play on vacation works well with a small or large group. Time players individually or group family members into teams. Use the stopwatch on your cellphone as a timer. Bring some of your own obstacle props like a tennis ball and sleeping bag-or use the playground for a variety of obstacles. Design the obstacle course with the ages and physical abilities of your family in mind. An obstacle course example is crawling through a tire swing, sliding down the slide, climbing into a sleeping bag and then zipping and unzipping it-and finally, throwing the tennis ball into the air while you clap four times.
Water Balloon Toss: Everyone in your family can enjoy the thrill of a water balloon toss on a your next family vacation. Load a bucket with water-filled balloons to keep the game rolling, as suggested by National Geographic Kids. For small groups, play this game in a circle and toss the water balloon to each family member counting the number of times it’s caught without dropping. Try to set a new record each round. For large families, form two lines facing each other-with an equal amount of people in each line. The person across from you is your partner. Give each participant (in one line) one water balloon. At the sound of the whistle, toss the balloon to your partner. If your partner catches it, she takes one step back at the sound of the next whistle and tosses back to you. If your partner drops the water balloon rather than catching it, the two of you are out until the next game.
Hopscotch: Hopscotch is a classic outdoor game of skill and coordination that requires minimal space. Play this game on the sidewalk when you spend the night at a motel on your road-trip to or from your vacation destination. You need a piece of chalk to draw the hopscotch diagram and a small stone for each player. Throw your stone at each number consecutively. Hop to pick up your stone and bring it back while hopping. Do not step on the lines. The first family member to make it to 9 and hop back is the winner.
JMGKids.org: Using the Obstacle Course to Build Confidence in Your Child
National Geographic Kids: Water Balloon Toss
Health.gov: Hopscotch in the Defense Commissary Agency