The Wayside Game

It’s the time of year when families begin planning their summer vacations. If you’ve ever taken a driving trip with children, you know the first rule is to keep children occupied.

Isabella most certainly had experience in taking children on long trips, by automobile and by train. Her son Raymond and daughter Frances frequently accompanied her when she traveled to speaking engagements all over the country.

In 1883 Isabella published a brief article in The Pansy magazine about a new game for traveling with children.

The next time any of you Pansies go travelling, try the new funny little “Wayside Game” that has just been invented for children on a journey. They are to look out for four-footed animals, each of which counts 1. A white quadruped counts 5, a squirrel 25, and a cat sitting in the window of a house, 50.
Two little girls were thus relieving the tedium of a long trip the other day, and the elder was getting ahead, when the younger happened to spy fifteen little pigs, as white as snow, which gave her 75 at once. And soon after, she was lucky enough to see a cat in the window, which gave her 50, so that the little one made a score of 365 against 189 for her sister. Try it, all who want a gay little travelling time.

Does this game sound familiar to you?

When you take driving trips, do you play a similar game?

2 thoughts on “The Wayside Game

  1. We loved taking car trips! We played car bingo which is very similar to the game that’s described here. But I also would pack up simple brown paper lunch bags, marked every other hour, and stapled closed. In each individual bag was a little toy to play with (a new toy), a little book to read (sometimes a comic book), something to do (for instance a coloring book or a little puzzle), and something to eat. That would often be a little box of raisins, or some cheese or peanut butter crackers, or lollipop, or a little piece of candy. So every other hour there would be a fresh exciting little package to open and the children absolutely loved this! It kept those long trips fun and exciting for them.

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