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Our family loves board games. So much so, that we incorporate it into our homeschooling and have lots of games on pretty much every topic in our game closet! Because we play so many games as a family, we also bring some on our travels. This post will focus on games that are geography themed (where the subject matter is maps, world trivia, etc) and games that are compact enough for travel but not necessarily travel themed. Milana has been to over 20 countries at the age of 8, so teaching her geography, customs, world facts, etc. is something that is near and dear to our heart!
These are all games that we personally own or have played multiple times with friends, so we are familiar with them and are recommending ones our family personally enjoys. Kids learn so much through play and games are an awesome way to teach them about pretty much any topic. And the games in the second section of this post are small enough to bring on your trips. Just stick a couple in your backpack and you will have endless entertainment on your next trip!
TRAVEL THEMED GAMES
Here are our family favorites, these are games that either have maps, some world trivia or something else related to learning about the world. Most are too big to travel with as they are true board games, however a few of these are small enough to pack in your carry on.
- Guess in 10-Cities Around the World This is a super fun game for the entire family. In this game, you ask questions to try to figure out the city on the card. It sounds simple, but it’s not as easy as it looks and your entire family will learn some interesting facts while playing this game!
- Guess in 10-Countries of the World Similar to above, but this time the theme is countries.
- Guess in 10-States of America Want to learn about the states? This is a fun game for the whole family.
- National Parks Games: If your family likes US National Parks, then these two games are perfect for you! Trekking the National Parks is best for older kids while National Parks Opoly is fun for even the youngest players.
- Brainbox: All Around the US This is another trivia game, this one being all about the US. Your kids will learn state facts and geography while playing this game. Our entire family loves Brainbox and we play these often!
- Brainbox: All Around the World This is another version of the above game, this time world themed.
- Explore the World Milana plays this game with dad all the time, it’s one of their favorites! Your kids will learn a lot about different countries, including flags.
- Pack Your Bags Now this isn’t exactly educational, but it’s fun for even the youngest kids! Milana loved this when she was around 4, even the youngest kids can play this fun game. The first player to find and pack the right clothes for their trip wins!
- The Scrambled States of America This is a classic and you’ve probably heard of it! This is a fast paced game where you find states starting with a certain letter, states that border a certain state, etc. It’s fun, fast and a great way to learn about the US.
- Sequence: States and Capitals You probably have some Sequence games in your game closet, they come in so many different themes! This one is state themed and the person who matches 5 states in a row on their board wins. Not much different from other Sequence games, but this one has a travel themed twist!
- Game of the States If I had to pick just one US themed game to buy, this would be it! We have been playing this every night. The premise of the game is buying and selling products and transporting them to various states in your truck. Your child will learn the location of states really quickly by playing this game, this is definitely a family favorite!
- Continent Race This is another really fun and easy to learn game. Your kids will learn continents, countries and flags in a really fun way. I’m betting the adults learn something too! It’s another family favorite for us.
- Race Across the USA This is another US themed game, where you collect all of the state cards on your card and the person who collects them first and returns to their home state, wins. This is super fun and educational for the entire family.
- Geography Bingo Just like the name suggests, this is a game of bingo. We have both the world version of this one, but they also have the USA one if your prefer that.
- Flags of the World I’m amazed at how quickly Milana learned to recognize flags after playing this game. She knows so many different flags as a result, I highly recommend this game if your kids are interested in flags!
- Rat-A-Tat Roll So this game isn’t one that will teach your kids much geography but I added it because it’s fun, teaches strategy and does have some landmarks on it! We love the original Rat a Tat Cat card game (see below) and this is the new board game version.
GAMES THAT ARE GREAT TO TRAVEL WITH
While I wouldn’t bring many of the travel themed games on trips due to their size, here are some awesome educational games that we do travel with. The majority of these are card games, that will fit into a backpack and can be played anywhere. Bring them to entertain the kids at the airport, plane, hotel, etc.
- Rat A Tat Cat This game is a classic! Once you understand the rules, it will become a favorite. Kids will learn math and use their memory skills to win at this game. It’s my personal favorite!
- Sleeping Queens I’ll be honest, this took a little while to learn but once we did, it quickly became a favorite! The player who wakes up the most queens wins. It’s not as simple as it sounds, you’ll need to develop a winning strategy to win!
- Go Nuts for Donuts This is by far Milana’s favorite! There is a lot of strategy involved in this game, it’s one of our family favorites!
- Too Many Monkeys Another card game that’s fun for the whole family, and this one can be played in under 15 minutes which is perfect if you’re in a time crunch. This is also one of the few that’s easy enough for the younger kids to play!
- Cha Cha Chihuahua Now this isn’t a card game but the box is pretty small so technically you can travel with it. Milana got this for her birthday last year and we all love it! It’s easy to learn and fun to play for even the youngest kids.
- Llama Drama I’ll be honest, we bought this game after seeing it at an independent toy store in Oregon because of the llamas. But it quickly became one of our favorites! This is another game that you can easily play in under 15 minutes and is easy enough to quickly teach new friends how to play.
- Slamwich You can play this game with even the youngest players by adapting it to their skill levels. It’s fun and fast paced, Milana loves this and plays with her friends often.
- Wig Out Now this isn’t a game to play on the plane, as you will annoy whoever is sitting in front of you by slamming on the tray! It’s a great game for the airport or your hotel room. This is one of my personal favorites and super fun to play with 3 or more people, though you really only need 2 to play.
- Uno An oldie but goodie! Who doesn’t like to play Uno? The best part? Almost everyone knows this game so you can find game partners everywhere you go.
- Dos This is a newer sister to Uno. This one took us a little time to figure out but once you do, you’ll have fun playing it too. We still prefer Uno but sometimes you need something new to keep you entertained!
- Traffic Jam Logic Game For those times when you don’t have a game partner and need a game you can play solo. This is a strategy game that is perfect to bring on the plane, as it is guaranteed to keep your child occupied for a while! Milana loves this game.
- Classic Card Games Sometimes the classic games from your childhood are the best games! Milana is almost 8 but still enjoys playing these with us. Go Fish, Old Maid, etc. are games most people are familiar with and easy and quick to play.
- The USA Game This game comes in a small tin, which you can easily pack for travel. Your kids will learn lots of facts about the USA while playing.
- Cat Crimes This is a really fun game for everyone in your family. There are multi level challenges, making it perfect for a wide variety of ages. It’s a one person game, so a great option for kids who like puzzles.
- Trash Pandas Once you learn the rules of this game, it will quickly become your family favorite! Milana is the score keeper, which means she gets to practice her math skills at the end of each round.
- Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza A game with a funny name and one that’s super easy to learn, even for the youngest players. A must in your travel bag!
As you see, there are many awesome, educational games for kids. We love games and add to our collection all the time. Do you have any favorite games that are either travel themed or perfect to bring on trips? Share with us in the comments below!