It Came in the Mail
Sunday, June 6, 2004; Page P02
An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.
WHAT: Children's backpacks crammed with travel games.
AIMED AT: Parents who seek quiet on the road and the kids who drive them crazy.
HOW MUCH: $19.95 and $21.95.
BUT DO THEY WORK? Some kids can be easily distracted while traveling; give them a piece of yarn and they're good for hours. For all the rest, a little more stimulation is needed. UniversalMap's backpacks are amusing on their own -- clear plastic with bright colors, cartoon cars and, for tots, an auto shape. But the entertainment inside is better than a babysitter. Each pack includes game books, a travel activity map, geography playing cards and crayons or markers. But, shhh, don't tell the kids: These games are also educational. When the kids are tuckered out, their parents can have some fun, too. Just remember, in State Poker, a pair of Colorado and New Mexico beats Oregon and Utah.
-- Andrea Sachs
Available at travel and learning stores. Info: 800- 359-6277, www.universalmap.com.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company