We did it.
3 kids. 14 nights. 4 national parks. 3,000 miles. 14 lunches on the road. Countless potty breaks. And slightly less than expected whines of “Are we there yet?”
While planning for our family road trip I began to panic about the time spent in the car. I worried that my girls would spend the entire time fighting, crying, and whining. I also didn’t want our time to be spent in a perpetual loop of DVDs; I wanted to interact with my kids, engage them with our surroundings, and still maintain sanity.
Melissa and Doug, one of my favorite go-to toy brands, offers just what I was looking for: quality products, travel ease, and entertainment value, all coupled with a focus on spending fun together as a family.
I had the opportunity to review these products and can heartily give them my thumb’s up and Trekaroo approval:
The Melissa and Doug Flip to Win Travel Bingo set is a great road trip/car staple. My kids loved playing with and against each other, and the four different game cards (city, road signs, country, and vehicles) made it perfect for any setting. The wooden flaps stay connected to the board game: kids can easily mark off bingo, but no pieces are lost! Major score!
– Super portable & sturdy; wood frame & flaps will hold up over time.
– Varity provided plenty of gaming opportunities.
– My girls even enjoyed playing along with each other as opposed to competition. They played blackout games as a team (yay working together!)
– The game sheets are not connected, so they can fall out and get lost. If the game is stored upright, they will not slide out.
The Box Girls Family Road Trip Box of Questions provided hours of games, trivia questions, and fun getting-to-know-you questions. I was surprised how much I learned about my girls when they answered questions like, “What is the favorite city you have ever been to? Why?” and “What are you most looking forward to seeing on this trip?” The questions are definitely re-usable as answers can change based on your destination and ages of your kids, making this a toy that will last through childhood. The trivia questions were mostly a bit hard for my 6 & 7 year-old, but they still had fun with the answers. Game cards remind you of games you most likely played as a child; although there is nothing incredibly new in the game lineup, it is a nice refresher if hours of travel have turned your mom-solution mind to mush. I have stashed the cards in my car for safe keeping and will be pulling these out, not just on long-road trips, but whenever the kids need a mix-it-up moment on a tiring drife.
– Super fun! My girls were begging me to pull out the game cards (again!)
– Appropriate for a variety of age levels.
– Small & compact
– A bit hard to get the cards out and in of the box. A flip top or key ring design would help you not spill cards all over the car.
I was a bit worried that this large (11″x14″) sticker and paper pad might be cumbersome or awkward in the car, but my girls absolutely loved it. My three girls loved making faces, adding in accessories, and naming their beautiful creations. Even my two-year-old joined in the fun, although she did need a little bit of help with the stickers. The pack includes 20 blank faces and 250 stickers to decorate with. Although not specifically designed for the road, these sheets provided excellent entertainment, and we were able to play with our girls.
In addition the regular “girl” faces in the Make-A-Face Sticker Pad, the Create-A-Face Set features both boy & girl figures like pirates, clowns, and princesses, and would be more appropriate for a group of boys and girls.
– We all LOVED creating these faces. They are very fun.
– Easy to peel off stickers. There weren’t any tears over torn lips or eyes.
– Lots of pages & extra stickers made for no fighting over “the last ____ accessory,” etc…
– It is a bit bulky to take in the car, although I did have a perfect spot to slide it where it wouldn’t fall over or get trampled on.
– Stickers can only be used once, so without a lot of creativity, this isn’t really a reusable toy.
Disclosure: I was provided free Melissa & Doug travel toys for the purpose of these reviews. I was not required to state any particular view; all opinions are my own.
“Note: This article contains affiliate amazon links.”
updated: April 29 2014 by filmdncr