Foreword Review — May / June 2000
The bags are packed and the car is loaded. It’s going to be a long day, though, and the kids start getting restless an hour into the trip, just the time to open Todd’s new book. With more than seventy-seven games and activities, there should be something for everyone.
Todd, a long-time game lover and player who also teaches English at the college level, has compiled a variety of activities geared for all ages and interests. The games have been tested by the author’s niece and nephew, and require minimal supplies—paper, pencil, a dictionary and thinking cap. The seven sections each have a theme, and all sections are introduced by “Avoiding Conflict,” which tells how to avoid conflicts while playing the games, and gives suggestions for deciding who plays first. All non-competitive games are marked with a symbol. As these games don’t have winners or losers, they are games that avoid arguments. All games include trivia, jokes, or “Gotch” boxes that add to the fun.
Word games, such as “I Spy,” are found in “Take A Guess,” while “Imagine That” games include “What If?”, “Time Travel,” and “Build a Superhero.” Eating plenty of brain food, such as milk and cookies, is suggested before playing games in “Brainstorm,” and “Hands On” lets players play traditional games such as “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and “Thumb Wrestling.” “Out the Window,” “Not Like the Others,” and “Play with Words” round out the sections, with games such as “License Plate Bingo” and “Gross Out.” The book ends with logs, journals and other pages for playing nine of the games. In addition, readers are encouraged to send in ideas for new games.
The reading level is easy enough for young readers and the instructions are clearly written and easy to understand.