Summer Games 2

Travel Toys that Make 
Family Vacations Fun

It’s that time of year to pack up the kids and set out on a family “Walley World” road trip like the Griswold’s. Instead of having the kids zone out on movies and battling territory lines in the back seat, consider introducing a new class of educational and fun games.

Learning Express Toys local franchise owner Charlie Darrow says that Fidget Spinners are the toy of the year. “Fidgets are HOT. We carry Fidget Spinners, Cubes, Controllers, Chains, Tangle Therapy, stress balls and more. Fidget Spinners are a screen-free way to keep the kids occupied. In fact, my daughter sat through a three-hour dance recital and was happy playing with her spinner.”

Darrow also recommends Brain Games, Doodle Pads and Sticker Books from Usborne Books. “Boogie Boards are also great for travel. They are a kind of etch-a-sketch with a pen and LED Screen which erases with the push of a button so kids can draw without using crayons that would melt in a hot car.” Darrow also says that Squigz allow kids to suction pieces together as well as to windows and tables to create custom shapes. Her shop offers free personalization of lap trays which provide storage for books and markers.

But what if you want the entire family to engage in game playing? Darrow says that Tenzi is one of the best … it’s a dice game that can be played 77 different ways and can adapt for all ages. She also likes Slapzi, Fast Flip and Word Around. Who knew that positioning a word in one continuous ring would make it so tricky to read? The challenge is to quickly figure out where the word starts and be the first to shout it out. And, of course, there is the old standby game called Spot It for the younger ones. “I spot a red car. I spot a blue whale.” You get the drift! The challenge is to “spot” the matching image on the game card before everyone else. The kids will remember playing these games forever and the practice may become a family tradition.

If you want some help selecting travel games for different ages, Charlie gives shoppers her advice Monday through Saturday from 10 am. – 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at 108th & S. Memorial in The Vineyard on Memorial. Darrow just celebrated her second anniversary of opening the store. “We provide free gift wrapping, personalization and fun in-store events,” said Darrow. Prior to going into business, Darrow served as the director of operations for a medical and wellness spa. “My favorite thing about Learning Express Toys is the customers,” said Darrow. “Everyone is happy and excited when they come into the toy story. The children’s faces light up and we get to experience the wonder, joy and amazement in children every day.”

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