|Play Time:||20-30 Minutes with roughly 5 minutes to learn|
|Contents:||50 State Tiles, 16 Transportation Tiles, 4 sets of wooden Tile Holders, two holders per set, Map Game Board, Quick Play Rules|
Out of the Box games has so many wonderful games and one we recently discovered is 10 Days in the USA. The board for this game is the United States and the goal is to take a 10 day trip around them! Brilliant! My 5 year old loved figuring out his path around the USA and I loved that he was learning to identify states.
10 Days in the USA is a fantastic game that is fun, educational and great for kids of all ages. We’ve had several people move away in the last year and I was trying to figure out a way to show my son how far away his friends moved. This game is fantastic for that and learning where each state is on a map. Plus it helps him learn about traveling, planning and putting things in order. My daughter is even learning about the states in an adjusted version of the game.
The box is a decent cardboard so its more stiff than some boxes and doesn’t bend or tear easily. Inside the box are a playing board that is equally sturdy and a map of the USA, playing cards with planes, cars, and states on them which are also made out of the sturdy not so bendy cardboard, and there are 4 sets of card holders for 10 days. The card holders are made out of wood and hold the cards snug but not so snug you have trouble getting them out. My only complaint is that days 1-5 are separate from days 6-10 but I do understand they did it that way so you can shorten the game to 5 Days in the USA if you want to.
Right now we play with our cards facing so we can both see each other’s. This is so I can help him learn how to make routes and adjust his cards although he is picking it up surprisingly fast. My daughter likes the way we play too but that is sort of a matching version to teach her to identify the states. I will explain how I adjusted for her but first I will explain how to play and the slight adjustments I made for my son.
Be the first Player to complete a 10 day trip across the USA. It has to connect either by states being next to each other or using cars and planes.
First you have to open the game board out and put it in the middle of everyone. If you are playing with younger kids make sure the states face them. My son sits next to me a lot of the time so we can see each other’s boards and I can help him out. Spread the cards out and shuffle them really well and then pass out the holders. If you are just playing a 5 Days game only use the one with 1-5 on there otherwise use that one and the one with 6-10 for each player.
Each Player starts picking tiles one at a time and places it in the card holders. Be careful where you place them because once placed you cannot move them unless its your turn. Players don’t take turns picking their cards but everyone stops once they reach 10. Then take the rest of the cards and put them in a pile where every player can reach them. Take the top 3 cards and lay them next to each other and the pile to create 3 Draw Piles. Now you are ready to play!
Decide who goes first however you want and get ready for the fun! On your turn you can either Draw a Tile from the main Draw Pile or one of the 3 Discard Piles. Once you have your tile you can either discard it into one of the discard piles or replace any 1 tile in your line up with and discard the replaced tile. If you Draw the last card in a discard pile you have to discard a card into the empty space. This way everyone can choose from 1 of 3 Discard Piles. If you draw the last card from the Main Pile then you take all cards from the 3 Discard Piles except the bottom 3 and shuffle to create a new Draw Pile.
Now a few things to know about some of the cards and how to play. In order to connect from one state to another you can either walk, drive or fly. There are restrictions though and I’ll do my best to explain.
- Walk – To walk from one state to another the states have to be touching. You can ONLY travel by foot horizontally or vertically NOT diagonally.
- Drive – The Car cards will let you basically skip 1 state in your journey on foot. If you wanted to go to Arizona from Texas you could only do so using a Car card between them.
- Fly – The Plane cards allow you to fly from 1 state to another but you can ONLY do that if the Plane card is the same color as BOTH states you are flying from and to. Except if one of those states is Alaska or Hawaii.
- Alaska & Hawaii – If you are trying to get either of these states you can ONLY fly there but the same flying rules don’t apply. The plane has to match the color of the state you are traveling FROM on your way to either one but it has to match the color of the state you are going TO.
It is also important to note that you have to start with a state card and end with a state card. You cannot have two Transportation Cards next to each other and you don’t actually have to have any Transportation Cards included to complete your trip. You win once you complete a trip with each state connecting to another state in one of the ways listed.
My instructions might be different from your box. I noticed in my box the instruction say you can swap any two tiles in your trip but the online instructions don’t have that part. Follow the instructions in your box since they might have adjusted the rules. I have explained how to play the way the instructions online show but if you are playing with younger kids you might want to let them adjust cards in their holders. My son and I were allowed to switch spots of two cards in our line ups instead of drawing cards.
In games with my son I go first to show as sort of a refresher of how to play. We also place our card holders facing out so we can see them but we can see each others too. There is one other way that we play differently besides showing cards and allowing for swapping card spots. I use a Lego guy (you can use anything really) to help the Gentleman visualize his road trip. He puts his guy on his starting card (farthest left) and follows his cards with his guy on the board. In this way he is matching the cards to the board with me telling him the names.
You can use anything you want to help keep your child’s trip in order for him but we chose a Lego guy because we love Legos…and it was a little guy. My daughter and I play a lot differently though. For her we lay out the board and I show her 1 card at a time but no Transportation Cards. I tell her what state it is and then have her find the match on the board. I found some old bingo clear circle pieces that we use to put on the ones she matches. Sometimes we play til we find 5 matches and sometimes longer depending on her ability to focus that day. We haven’t made it to all 50 yet but some day.
No matter how you are playing the game is a lot of fun for any age. 10 Days in the USA is a great game to teach young ones the states, as a refresher for older kids (or adults) and is a fantastic family game night game! We love playing it and seeing our state and where our family lives and how many states away they are from us. Now if we could just teach them distance with time I wouldn’t get told “Texas isn’t THAT far away, let’s go there” when we play.