Build a Better Family Vacation
The games are piled high in your closet, but when do you sit down as a family to play them? Small, travel versions of perennial favorites such as Scrabble, backgammon, and Boggle won't crowd suitcases, and playing them will keep kids from begging to watch TV at night (a tendency you might want to encourage when you get home). Outdoor games, such as flashlight tag, touch football, and Frisbee, can launch stories and friendly ribbing that will be revisited for years to come. Finally, have the kids make a scrapbook while they're still on the trip. Give them disposable point-and-shoot cameras and a blank composition notebook or two. At the end of each day, they can write about their activities and glue in postcards, photographs you've had developed at a local drugstore, and any other mementos they've collected. When you get home, there's no stack of photos waiting for you to organize―it's all done.