When I was growing up, my favorite game was Left Right Left Right.
What? You’ve never played?
Here’s the deal. The parents drive. But the kids take turns telling the driver whether to turn left or right at every intersection. If you want to go straight, your turn continues until you actually tell the driver to turn. Then, it’s the next kid’s turn.
If the kids work together, it’s fun to try to get the grownups to end up at your favorite ice cream shop (we used to aim for Windy Valley). Or just to try to get lost. Or find new places. Or explore.
And not to sound entirely geeky (not that I can really help it), but the best part (aside from the ice cream) is looking at the map and figuring out where we ended up and how to get home from there.
Oh boy, oh boy!
We started playing LRLR with our boys when they were young – 3, 4, & 6. Sure, the 6 year old knew what was going on but the younger boys didn’t get it. But, we figured it wouldn’t hurt. And it didn’t. They caught on as the years went on.
We don’t play as often anymore (sniff, sniff) because it no longer excites them. That isn’t to say that we don’t take road trips or that they don’t help with the navigation, planning, etc. In fact, I believe that one of the reasons they’re so good with maps – so great at navigation and trip planning – is because we started introducing these concepts when they were really little.
I could be wrong.
But either way, I’ll never be sorry that they have the skill set and the spirit of adventure. I know I’m grateful that I enjoy it so much. I hope that the boys continue to love exploration and the hidden treasures and finds off the beaten track. And I hope that they pass on the game.
And the love of the road.