Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seven Cool Games to Play with RVing Friends and Family

RoadAbode - Playing Games at a Campsite
Playing Games at a Campsite
When the RoadAbode Crew goes for week-long  journeys, or even when we go for our long weekends, part of the fun is to disconnect from the world and reconnect to each other. With our daughters now in their "twenty-something" and teen years, our regular work weeks are filled with deadlines, meetings, and well... work. We try to eat at least a meal together during work weeks, but sometimes even those can be hurried affairs as we chow down - and then rush off to an evening appointment or continuing on some project.
Thankfully when we take time in RoadAbode, the meals are more casual, we can enjoy the outdoors, or perhaps just sit camp-side and enjoy the view. While relaxing and being a little active, one thing we like to do together is a good game. Maybe it's our competitive nature, the challenge of something that does't have a deadline, or just the laughs we get as we play. When we choose to play, here are our seven favorite games to share with friends and family.

Deck of Cards

First up is the simple yet awesome deck of cards. For the money you can't beat a deck of cards to have fun with. Either by yourself playing solitaire, two players playing war, or get everyone in with a game of spit.Our girls are always bringing new card games into the fold, and it's always part of the fun to learn new games from friends we bring along.
Cards for when RVing


According to Wikipedia, In 1971 barber Merle Robbins of Ohio invented UNO to resolve an argument with his son about rules in the card game Crazy Eights. They had so much fun, they started making the revised decks of cards for friends and family. The original decks were designed and made on the family dining room table. Then Merle and his family saved $8,000 and created the first UNO decks to sell. At first he sold them out of his barber shop. In 1981, he sold the rights to UNO to International Games for $50,000 plus royalties of 10 cents per copy. Today this popular game is produced by Mattel in over 80 countries and has sold over 151 million copies worldwide.
One of the great things about UNO is it's ability to be played by all ages, the rules are pretty straightforward, and it can teach little kids numbers and colors - without them knowing it. The ability to "reverse" play can keep everyone on their toes!

UNO Cards - Great when RVing

Ladder Golf

Card games are great for beautiful nights under our canopy, or rainy days inside RoadAbode, but for the RoadAbode Crew, nothing beats Ladder Golf for a sunny spring or summer afternoon. A tossing game, Ladder Golf, (Also called Ladder Toss) is played by throwing bolas (two balls connected by a string) onto a "ladder" made of PVC. Each ladder has three rungs, and each rung is a different point value. The point is to get a bola wrapped around a rung on the ladder. First team to get to 21 - wins. Ladder golf takes some skill, but is a game that can be played by all ages. We tend to bend the rules a bit when we have younger - or unskilled - players. It's more about the fun you have together sometimes than the win!
Ladder Toss - Great Game when RVing


Teach kids spelling and lean new words? Find combos of words for weird sentences? I'm in! Rules are simple - compete by spelling English words from cards in hands of increasing size, each card worth various points. The game could be considered a mixture of Scrabble and gin rummy. There are 8 rounds played per game, beginning with a three-card hand and ending with a ten-card hand. The rest of the cards form a draw pile. The top card is turned over to start a discard pile. A players turn starts when they pick a draw card and ends when they discard. a card. A round is done when a player puts down a word (or phrase) and has no cards left. Winner is whomever has the most points at the end of all the rounds. There are variations, but those are the basic rules. games can go quite quickly, and it's fun to see what words friends and family will come up with.
Quiddler - Great Game when RVing

Apples to Apples

The last of our card games, is another great activity because it holds the interest of those learning to read or older, and because it can help younger kids learn about words that go together. Players are dealt five to seven noun or noun phrase "red apple" cards. The Judge selected for the round selects an adjective "green apple" card. Players pull what noun card they have to best fit the adjective. Each player also can plead their case of why theirs is the best word. Finally, the judge selects - and  what the judge says - goes! The winner of the game is the first player to accumulate four green cards. The game is structured so that the rules can be changed or bent to particular ages or skill levels. There are even expansion and specialty word packs available.
Apples to Apples - Great Game when RVing
Apples to Apples Party Box - The Game of Crazy Combinations (Family Edition)

Not in our top seven, - but needed a listing- A game strictly for adults with a similar theme that has become famous is Cards against Humanity. This game features irreverent, dark and politically incorrect word and phrase pairings, which in the right company could have hilarious consequences. It consists of Black "Question" cards and White "Answer" cards. I would not play this with your kids, or your parents. You've been warned.

Cards Against Humanity


Corn hole is sometimes called "hilly-billy horseshoes" I can't say that hilly-billies wouldn't play regular horseshoes and Cornhole, but Cornhole is definitely a homespun game. The mythology of  Cornhole states that a game of very similar nature was played by Native Americans in Midwest America, who filled pigs' bladders with dried beans and competitively tossed them for entertainment. I could not find information to back that up - but it's a cool story!
Players take turns throwing bags of corn at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. Play continues until a team or player reaches the score of 21. Each round of play is called an "inning" A player tosses 4 bags one after the other per inning. Below is a special code from the Cornhole Store for 10% off a purchase!
Take 10% Off First Purchase w/Code: CORN10 - 300 x 250

Washer Toss

This game is also similar to horseshoes but with a twist. Washer toss, or Washer Pitch, uses ordinary  metal two inch diameter hardware washers to score points by tossing them into a four inch diameter PVC pipe centered in a"pitching box" that's 16x16 inches. There are other versions such as a three hole toss and a plain sand pitch. These can depend on what is favored locally. Plans to build the game and rules can be found at www.washergameplayers.com If you don't feel like building - check out the Washer Toss completed kit below.

Washer Toss - Great Game when RVing
GoSports Pine Wood Washer Toss Game Set

What's your game?

Those are our favorite games when spending time as a family. We'd love to hear and learn about other games. What do you play with family and friends when out RVing? Please comment below and let us hear about your favorite games, or how you play the ones mentioned above. Happy RVing - hope to see you down the road!

We want you to know - If you click on the images or links in this blog post and make a purchase, the RoadAbode Crew get a small commission, and you pay the same price as if you went straight to the online retailer. These are items we have or have played with friends while RoadTripping in RoadAbode. Read our disclaimer for more info. If you can enjoy any of our suggestions, we humbly thank you in advance for your support.

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