The Best Family Travel Game Ever

This week I stumbled upon the Holy Grail of family travel diversions: Flip to Win Hangman from Melissa & Doug.

Like most stuff from the illustrious M&D, the game is nothing short of genius. The base is a white wooden board the size of a gossip magazine, about an inch thick. On top of this platform are three basic sections:

  • One, on the left, which has every letter of the alphabet on wooden tiles, strung (with elastic) tightly together and then tied to the board so nothing falls off or gets lost.
  • Another, on the right, which boasts 11 tiles that make up a Hangman. The tiles are strung together tightly and tied to the board like the letters.
  • The final section, which runs across the bottom of the board, is a strip of dry-erase material that allows participants to spell out words each time you play.
Hangman 2.0

Hangman 2.0

Of course the game also comes with a small dry-erase marker, which has a tiny square of eraser felt on the top of the cap (another great way to make sure participants don’t lose it).

Overall, the game is perfect in its simplicity. Especially for road trips. (Though, I admit, I have incredibly weak fingertips, and for people like me, those letter tiles are a bit hard to flip over until the elastic strings get some slack.)

I discovered the game as part of a Travel Kit put together by Kidville and Portico (who, in the interest of full disclosure, sent me a sample to review). Dubbed “Portico Travel Pals,” the kits are retailing at Kidville’s Upper West Side boutique in New York City (466 Columbus Ave.) for $100 apiece. They’re also provided to Portico members traveling with children throughout the month of March—the travel company’s “Family Month.”

For the record, there are other cool items in these kits: the SkipHop travel pillow is pretty rad, and the decorate-your-own-travel-mug was a bit hit with the burgeoning artist who doubles as our Big Girl. Still, IMHO, this Flip to Win board takes the cake; I wish they made these things when I was a kid.

If you don’t want to buy the whole kit, look for the Flip to Win board on Amazon (where it’s listed for $17.95), or buy it direct from Melissa & Doug (where it’s about $5 cheaper). Sure, the license plate game is still cheaper. But this one is more fun.

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