Traveling is rarely easy for parents. Giving the children something to do during the trip is absolutely key, but it's not always an easy task. For example, my daughter can't read or color during car trips because she gets car sick. My son can't read (because he's 3) and we don't want the kids vegetating on television for eight hours (which would also induce car sickness). So what's a parent to do? I won't be able to solve all of your travel travails, but here are the top five travel games for our family.

1. Travel Bingo

Photo courtesy of Jon King

These bingo cards earned the top spot on the list for numerous reasons: they force children to look out the window (helping prevent car sickness), they are less than $3 each, they are small and easy to pack, and they don't require any reading. In the past I have tried printing out my own bingo sheets, which always got waded up, but these get played with. They also make an excellent stocking stuffer if you happen to be hosting traveling children during the holidays. (These bingo cards still have some problems, which I will detail in the next category.)

2. Travel Bingo: Melissa and Doug Edition

Photo courtesy of Jon King

Melissa & Doug is a great American toy manufacturer, who've managed to take both second and third place on my list with their products. First of all, unlike the cardboard bingo cards, these bingo boards are made of wood and won't fall apart when someone spills his or her drink. Secondly, the wooden pictures are held to the board by elastic, so they won't fall out or get lost when the children accidentally step on them or bend them. These are very sturdy, and have four different bingo games to boot. The only problem is that they are much more expensive (in the $20 plus range). Get the Melissa & Doug boards if you know your children like to play the game, or if you have multiple children... these guys are built to last.

3. License Plate Game

Photo courtesy of Jon King

The license plate game is very fun, even though you are highly unlikely to win. It's a simple concept: look out the window and try to find the license plate of every state. If you are headed out for a multiple state adventure, I highly recommend picking up at least one of these boards. Two boards will allow kids to try to find more than their siblings, but we like to play as a family. I can still remember when my sister and I saw a Hawaii license plate while visiting Mount Rushmore and completed the board: the joy of finding all of the state plates kind of overshadowed the stone presidents. As with the other Melissa & Doug item, the boards are sturdy. They also have great pictures of what the license plates actually look like. The only downsides are bulk and price (around $20).

4. Find it

Photo courtesy of Jon King

Find It won't work for the car sick kids, but it's great for everyone else. Essentially, it's a tube filled with items and confetti. You twist and turn the tube to try to find all of the hidden items and check them off a list. It sounds easy, but some of the items, like feathers and needles, can be extremely difficult to locate. I personally spent over two hours on this toy before I was able to complete the checklist. Find It won't spill and is hard to lose between the seats of a car. Be aware that there are simpler versions (Kids Version shown in picture) and more difficult versions. Cost is around $20.

5. Perplexus Twist

Photo courtesy of Jon King

Perplexus Twist is a maze: an evolution on the old wood and marble mazes I played with when I was a kid. The maze is contained inside an orb, which must be twisted to guide the ball over cliffs, into buckets, and around traps to the end. This is not a good toy for car sick kids, but I found myself playing with it outside of the car anyway. These can be very challenging. For example, the Perplexus Twist Epic edition will be tough for most adults to beat. Price range is between $20 and $30 depending on which version you pick.

Sometimes these types of games can be hard to find, especially the cardboard bingo games and the Melissa & Doug games. If, like me, you happen to live in Missoula, Montana, you can find all of the items in this list at FUN-damentals of Learning.

This blog is sponsored by FUN-damentals of Learning, located at 1806 South Ave. W, Missoula, MT. For more information, call 406-542-2227.