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Kareni

Best small games to take traveling ...

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On the General Education Discussion board, UnionJack started a thread discussing the fact that her family (including children in grades 8, 6, 5, and 2) will be travelling for one year.  She was looking for curriculum suggestions, but I suggested a few games namely:

Iota The Great Big Game in The Teeny-Weeny Tin  ... the game truly is in a tiny box; however, you'll need floor or table space to play.

SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception  ... is another wonderful game.  This one comes in a box that is similar to one that would hold two decks of standard cards.
 

Union Jack mentioned that they'd likely take:

Qwixx
 

and I went on to suggest:

Stellar Speller (no longer in production)

Bananagrams.   Not so small, but you could use the tiles for other word games, spelling practice, etc.


I love games, and now I'm curious.  What small games would you recommend?  This is for children in grades 8, 6, 5, and 2.

Regards,
Kareni

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I'll play!  (Pun intended. . . ?

Card games are just the thing for traveling.  We've been enjoying Sushi Go lately.  Others we've enjoyed with a similar range of ages include Mille Bornes, Dos, Hanabi, and Monopoly Deal.  

Some dice games we enjoy are Qwixx, Farkle, and (of course) Yahtzee.  

Qwirkle itself doesn't take up a lot of space, but it does require space (a tabletop or floorspace comparable to what's needed to assemble a puzzle) to play.  The original game comes in a box but can be reduced to only the bag of tiles.  However, I noticed there is a travel version.   

I love games more than my children do!  ?

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Here are some articles I found:

Top 6 Great Small Box Games to Bring on Trips  (These suggestions are not necessarily directed at families with children.)

The above article also links to this product which looks like a great way to lighten your load if you want to travel without game boxes (of card based games):  the Quiver.

The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

 Games to Travel With

Regards,
Kareni

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Small magnetic chess set. 

Paper and pencil for all sorts of paper and pencil games. 

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At those ages, Rat-a-Tat-Cat would have come with us for sure.

Exploding Kittens is the game that always goes everywhere with us.

The Builders is our favorite tiny strategy game to take places. You're trying to recruit workers to build medieval buildings.

Generally any card game is easy to take along.

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Rush Hour has been one of DS's favorites for a few years now. We enjoy it too! Comes in a small bag that holds all of the pieces and can be played in the car or on a table.

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1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

LCR (Left Center Right) comes in a very small tube and is easy to learn and play.

I was going to suggest this one.

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Thanks to all who have played along thus far!

I see some old favorites such as

Rat-A-Tat-Cat

Mille Bornes

but also some games I've never played such as

The Builders: Middle Ages

LCR
 

In the meantime, I thought of a couple more games that I'd recommend 

Love Letter  (there are different versions of what is basically the same game such as AEG Love Letter The Hobbit,  Love Letter Archer, and Munchkin Loot Letter)

 Sumoku


Regards,
Kareni

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For longer trips, I'll hijack a bit & suggest a travel journal.  ?

There are many other variations of Rush Hour (like Treasure Quest), which I highly recommend.

We also created a homemade version of Car Bingo--with things our family loves (like finding a specific type of car, etc.)

There are lots of alternatives to Screen Time!

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I’m so grateful for all these responses!!!  I can’t wait to comb through them later and take notes/look them up.  We have many of these games but some are new to me—we’re always on the lookout for new games!

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Our go to games for the packpack are:

Pocket Hive.  The plastic tiles make it good for outdoor/wet weather.  Indestructible.

Love Letter (we have the hobbit version).  It is truly tiny.  Fond memories of playing this in airports.

Sushi Go

Magnetic travel chess

 

Edited by wathe
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5 hours ago, Storygirl said:

LCR (Left Center Right) comes in a very small tube and is easy to learn and play.

Yep! This one is super compact -- we've used it waiting in a line at a concert (just played on the pavement). It was a big hit. 

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We are currently obsessed with Monopoly Deal (also mentioned in a PP).  It is a Monopoly Card Game about $5.50 at Amazon.  Games can be super-quick once you figure out what is going on.  The first time we played was at my parents and we said "No way can this take 15 minutes like it says on the box."   Now I think we've had some 10 minute games.  We liked it so much at my parent's house that I bought a set this summer.  Plus the price was right.   I think we need to buy another set because the cards are looking decrepit.   When DD hasn't finished her schoolwork, we do it on weekends.  We'll play a game in between work.  So, two pages of Beast, one game of Monopoly, one page of handwriting, one game...

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There are a lot of board games available in pass and play versions on a tablet (Ex I have Ticket to Ride on my Kindle, Pandemic, Mysterium and Paperback on my iPad but there are LOTS more) This can make games that aren't terribly portable into VERY portable games. ?

 

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1 hour ago, theelfqueen said:

There are a lot of board games available in pass and play versions on a tablet (Ex I have Ticket to Ride on my Kindle, Pandemic, Mysterium and Paperback on my iPad but there are LOTS more) This can make games that aren't terribly portable into VERY portable games. ?

 

 

This seems like an excellent idea.   I remember once playing Risk on a desktop at a party.   Just the lack of dealing with the little army squares was great.   

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Yes, there are games I don't like dealing with all the stuff... I like Carcassone (for example) so much better in computer form than on a table (though that one I mostly played on an XBox).

But then we buy all the dumb games with little ships. Seriously - if your game has tiny Star Wars or Star Trek ships (miniatures, hero clix, whatever) we probably own it. We're not wargamers though we've both dabbled but tiny Starfleet? Yup.

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I just had another idea.   Obviously not a car game version, but would store super small for travel.  At the moment, there is a game on Kickstarter on the Periodic Table.   For all their games they've offered a Print-N-Play version.  So, the entire game would fit into a flat ziplock.   They do science games.  Maybe you could email them and for a very small amount of money get the print-n-play version of all their games.  Obviously tell them why you want the print version.  

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Qwirkle is a bit big (we own it).

Is the major concern space or weight or both? 

If I were traveling by suitcase (we spent three months doing this past winter), I would pack a set of Uno cards, a deck of playing cards, a set of dice and our iPad.  Frankly, a lot of games are just as much fun electronically.  My kids like to D&D roleplay, and a lot of resources are all available via pdf.

If I were traveling via RV or the like, I would probably also add Munchkin (and maybe just the cards, as it's easy to draw a board) and another tabletop board game---maybe Dominion or 7 Wonders.

We own Qwirkle, Bananagrams, Set, Milles Borne, and a lot of the other games mentioned here but they don't get much playtime. I really kind of disagree with taking primarily educational games when you're looking at something like a year long trip.  You really need some opportunities for serious indoor fun when you are in that close of quarters with each other all the time.  You want a somewhat unpredictable game (like Munchkin) where most of the players have a fairly even shot of winning despite the differences in age and skill level and where play is fairly fast.  It is awesome when our five year old stomps our 16 year old at Munchkin.  My second tabletop choice is more strategy driven, and takes a bit longer--good for the older kids who need a longer distraction.

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 8:04 PM, hopeistheword said:

I'll play!  (Pun intended. . . ?

Card games are just the thing for traveling.  We've been enjoying Sushi Go lately.  Others we've enjoyed with a similar range of ages include Mille Bornes, Dos, Hanabi, and Monopoly Deal.  

Some dice games we enjoy are Qwixx, Farkle, and (of course) Yahtzee.  

Qwirkle itself doesn't take up a lot of space, but it does require space (a tabletop or floorspace comparable to what's needed to assemble a puzzle) to play.  The original game comes in a box but can be reduced to only the bag of tiles.  However, I noticed there is a travel version.   

I love games more than my children do!  ?

Thank you!  I hadn't heard of Dos or Hanabi.  Those look fun; I'm going to put them on our list to get (whether to take or to enjoy before/after ? )  I'll need to organize a few game nights where we play all the games back to back and vote on what we want to bring with us ?

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 11:57 PM, Farrar said:

At those ages, Rat-a-Tat-Cat would have come with us for sure.

Exploding Kittens is the game that always goes everywhere with us.

The Builders is our favorite tiny strategy game to take places. You're trying to recruit workers to build medieval buildings.

Generally any card game is easy to take along.

I'm not familiar with The Builders--I will look that up.  Thanks!!

Cards are a big hit and we could do so much with just a couple decks!

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My youngest DD especially likes Story Cubes. https://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-318-Rorys-Story-Cubes/dp/B003EIK136/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539310505&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=Story+cubes&psc=1

It's pretty compact and more fun when you have expansion sets. (Still not my fave, by far...)

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On 10/11/2018 at 12:20 PM, shawthorne44 said:

 

I just had another idea.   Obviously not a car game version, but would store super small for travel.  At the moment, there is a game on Kickstarter on the Periodic Table.   For all their games they've offered a Print-N-Play version.  So, the entire game would fit into a flat ziplock.   They do science games.  Maybe you could email them and for a very small amount of money get the print-n-play version of all their games.  Obviously tell them why you want the print version.  

For many of these, check Teachers Pay Teachers. I know that some of the Kickstarter educational board games are available there print and play.

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23 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Qwirkle is a bit big (we own it).

Is the major concern space or weight or both? 

If I were traveling by suitcase (we spent three months doing this past winter), I would pack a set of Uno cards, a deck of playing cards, a set of dice and our iPad.  Frankly, a lot of games are just as much fun electronically.  My kids like to D&D roleplay, and a lot of resources are all available via pdf.

If I were traveling via RV or the like, I would probably also add Munchkin (and maybe just the cards, as it's easy to draw a board) and another tabletop board game---maybe Dominion or 7 Wonders.

We own Qwirkle, Bananagrams, Set, Milles Borne, and a lot of the other games mentioned here but they don't get much playtime. I really kind of disagree with taking primarily educational games when you're looking at something like a year long trip.  You really need some opportunities for serious indoor fun when you are in that close of quarters with each other all the time.  You want a somewhat unpredictable game (like Munchkin) where most of the players have a fairly even shot of winning despite the differences in age and skill level and where play is fairly fast.  It is awesome when our five year old stomps our 16 year old at Munchkin.  My second tabletop choice is more strategy driven, and takes a bit longer--good for the older kids who need a longer distraction.

Munchkin actually origianlly comes without a board-only the deluxe versions have it :).

 

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4 hours ago, dmmetler said:

For many of these, check Teachers Pay Teachers. I know that some of the Kickstarter educational board games are available there print and play.

 

I need to clarify something about the game company I mentioned.    They aren't really 'educational games. '   They are real games that are happen to be about Science and using Science rules.  You might have seen one of the ones that aren't the top two (which are too new).  So, a print-n-play version of a real game(s). 

Periodic: A Game of The Elements
Subatomic: An Atom Building Game
Cytosis: A Cell Biology Game
Virulence: An Infectious Card Game
Covalence: A Molecule Building Game
Ion: A Compound Building Game
Peptide: A Protein Building Game

 

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I think they tend to field test on TPT and then take them to Kickstarter. And the TPT versions are usually really cheap. 

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Pocket Farkle -- tiny dice and instructions fit in a film canister; roll and add up dice with point value, and with each roll decide whether to stop or keep going and possibly lose all the accumulated points from that turn
Yahtzee to Go
set of 12 magnetic travel-size games -- including: Checkers, Chess, Chinese Checkers, Backgammon, Snakes & Ladders, etc
Boggle - travel size
Road Trip Travel Kit -- box of activities

When I was a kid, for long road trips, we enjoyed having a map, sticker books, coloring book/crayons, Mad Libs, a deck of cards, paper dolls or small figure toys, a few magnets or magnetic toys, and some fidget toys, all in a small plastic tub.

Edited by Lori D.
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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 7:17 PM, alisoncooks said:

My youngest DD especially likes Story Cubes. https://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-318-Rorys-Story-Cubes/dp/B003EIK136/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539310505&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=Story+cubes&psc=1

It's pretty compact and more fun when you have expansion sets. (Still not my fave, by far...)

We have gifted this before!  Not my favorite either ? (although I probably shouldn't say that since I haven't actually played it!).  I can imagine more creative thinkers really enjoying this one!

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 12:08 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

Qwirkle is a bit big (we own it).

Is the major concern space or weight or both? 

If I were traveling by suitcase (we spent three months doing this past winter), I would pack a set of Uno cards, a deck of playing cards, a set of dice and our iPad.  Frankly, a lot of games are just as much fun electronically.  My kids like to D&D roleplay, and a lot of resources are all available via pdf.

If I were traveling via RV or the like, I would probably also add Munchkin (and maybe just the cards, as it's easy to draw a board) and another tabletop board game---maybe Dominion or 7 Wonders.

We own Qwirkle, Bananagrams, Set, Milles Borne, and a lot of the other games mentioned here but they don't get much playtime. I really kind of disagree with taking primarily educational games when you're looking at something like a year long trip.  You really need some opportunities for serious indoor fun when you are in that close of quarters with each other all the time.  You want a somewhat unpredictable game (like Munchkin) where most of the players have a fairly even shot of winning despite the differences in age and skill level and where play is fairly fast.  It is awesome when our five year old stomps our 16 year old at Munchkin.  My second tabletop choice is more strategy driven, and takes a bit longer--good for the older kids who need a longer distraction.

Qwirkle is a hit here, too!  The major concern is space... but weight would also be a concern.  We're hoping to take everything we need in just a carry-on for each of us.

I haven't heard of Munchkin!  I will add that to my list to look up.  I agree that we'll want some plain old fun games...and even games that don't appear to be educational still can provide a lot of lessons... Like learning to lose happily!  ? (Our older 3 are great losers but our six year old is still coming to terms with not winning every game... ? )

We have and enjoy Dominion and 7 Wonders (Splendor is another one we enjoy!) but I think those would take up more space than we could allow.  I'm thinking we'll also each take a game but when we have friends or family come visit along the way we could swap them out...especially if one winds up feeling more like excess weight (games not being used or enjoyed as much).

 

 

Edited by UnionJack
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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 8:40 AM, Kareni said:

Thanks to all who have played along thus far!

I see some old favorites such as

Rat-A-Tat-Cat

Mille Bornes

but also some games I've never played such as

The Builders: Middle Ages

LCR
 

In the meantime, I thought of a couple more games that I'd recommend 

Love Letter  (there are different versions of what is basically the same game such as AEG Love Letter The Hobbit,  Love Letter Archer, and Munchkin Loot Letter)

 Sumoku


Regards,
Kareni

Great additional suggestions...thank you!  Being put on the list to explore!

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 8:10 AM, theelfqueen said:

There are a lot of board games available in pass and play versions on a tablet (Ex I have Ticket to Ride on my Kindle, Pandemic, Mysterium and Paperback on my iPad but there are LOTS more) This can make games that aren't terribly portable into VERY portable games. ?

 

Exactly!  We have Ticket to Ride on my iPad... I am familiar with Pandemic but not the others you mentioned--I will add those!  Screens (for schooling...and for games...) will be a huge asset to us while we're away...

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 9:15 AM, mellifera33 said:

We like Hive for a two-person travel game. 

I haven't heard of this one!

I'm hearing some (unfamiliar to me) games mentioned again and again... I am not sure where I've been not to have heard of these!  I'd thought I was pretty in the know when it came to games ?

So grateful for all these suggestions!!

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Lords of Waterdeep is another unique board game with a great app! I don't generally gravitate to app games, but I think I might prefer that one with the app over the actual board.  You can play it online with friends, random strangers, OR you can play offline with a group of people and pass the phone/tablet around for each turn. 

Our favorite Munchkin is the Marvel version, but beware that Munchkin in general teaches people how to lose and lose badly.  If you have a problem being crushed by another player, you might want to avoid. 

The Settlers of Catan card game is decent- we've played that in a hotel room to pass some time.  Not quite as fun as a real round of Catan with the desired expansion, but it still is a nice game to have on hand for travel purposes.

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When we go on trips with grandparents, etc. The games we take are:  (kids 7 and 11 now)

Fluxx

Rat a tat Cat

Sushi Go

Apples to Apples (Kids Edition)

Larger games that get played enough to get serious consideration:

Qwirkle

Rummikub

And we recently purchased and had Monopoly Empire delivered to our destination so we could play it on vacation (And left it behind as our Thank you for hosting gift)

Edited by vonfirmath
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