Planning a vacation with small children can be exhausting, and let’s face it, the last thing we want to think about is the travel to and from our destinations. While planning our recent road trip to a few national parks, I came across some great ideas to keep kids entertained in the car (or plane!) I put them all together in a travel bag next to my daughter’s car seat, and she was thoroughly occupied for the 9+ hour car trip (and that was just one way!!)
This was by far my little girl’s favorite activity in the car (for those who don’t have a set of these cubes, check out Education Cube’s website)
I made 4 different dice- one with colors, one with numbers, one with modes of transportation, and one with different objects you would see while traveling. The game play is simple- choose a dice (cube), gently throw it up in the air and catch it (without hitting anyone in the head!), whatever the cube lands on is the object you try and locate. For example, my daughter LOVED the color cube. When she rolled the color blue, we would work together as a family to try and spot blue objects inside and outside the car.
LICENSE PLATE GAME
So this activity was more for my husband and myself…. we searched for license plates from different states and whenever we spotted one (I use that term loosely- it was more my hubby than me!) we’d color in that state on our map. By the end of our vacation, we had colored in about 40 states!
FLASHCARD FUN: A NEW TWIST ON THE ALPHABET GAME
I am sure most (if not all) of us have played the “alphabet” game while traveling in the car. You know- the game where you start with the letter “A” and search billboards, license plates, and signs until someone in the car spots an “A” then you move on to “B” and progress through the rest of the alphabet. We decided to change it up a bit by bringing a set of well-shuffled alphabet cards. My daughter would choose the top card from her stack, and then we would search inside and outside the car for that letter. I loved that the letters were in random order- we never knew when one of those hard to find letters would pop up!
MAGNETIC PATTERN BLOCKS AND BINGO
Magnetic activities are quickly becoming one of my must-haves during church when it is important for my kiddo to sit still. So of course it made sense to bring them in the car!
I had a set of magnetic pattern blocks, cookie sheets from the dollar store, and pattern block printouts (found at PreKinders for free! Gotta love that!) I found some cute travel bingo cards awhile ago that worked well using the cookie sheet magnet board and circle magnets.
In our travel bag, I packed several portable games that I knew would occupy my daughter’s attention for a little while. We love the Leap Frog Scribble and Write learning toy- as well as our Tag reader and a stack of books.
I thought it a brilliant idea to bring my daughter’s binoculars to get a better view of all our national park stops, but of course I left them in the car most of the time!
And last, but not least- bring (or make) a toy microphone so your kids can sing along to those road trip tunes! It’s adorable and provided me with some entertainment!
This post is dedicated to all those skeptics who think the only way to travel with kids is via technology! 🙂
Happy teaching and travel safely this summer!!!