Are we there yet? Ah, traveling with kids. It’s a brave and bold move–but, necessary. Gotta make those memories, ya’ll! So, how do you pass the “boring” times along the way? Especially, the time it takes to get to/from your destination? Videos/movies are probably on the list (no judgment. I do it, too) but in case those lose their sparkle, and you’d like to hear of some new, educational and fun ideas, then look no further, my friends! I’ve compiled a list that should help keep you and your kids sane together. Do you hear that harmonious song, now?
What’s a 12-hour drive when you have Bingo boards to play on the road? Your kids will enjoy searching for various items on the board instead of ways to fight with each other. Ha! Concepts that you can help teach while playing are “vertical,” “horizontal” and “diagonal.” Have your little one show you what a “vertical Bingo” is. What about a “diagonal Bingo?” Get a little creative and have your kids think of things they saw on the ride, but not on the Bingo boards and add them! These games get you excited about traveling with kids? Maybe?
I especially like these Melissa & Doug Bingo Boards:
Or, keep it real with these OG car bingo cards:
Kindle Fire Kids Edition
Here’s that movie thing, and it’s a quick fix, but can lose its luster after traveling for a while. Kids may become disinterested after seeing “Frozen” for the tenth time. So, if you don’t have a DVD player in your car (or even if you do,) you may want to look into the Kindle Fire Kid’s Edition with Free Time. It comes highly recommended by my friend and is one of the most educational devices you can get, assuming you get Free Time with it. Free Time starts at about $3 a month and has hundreds of books, apps, shows and games for all different ages. It’s got Disney apps, Nick Jr. apps, and shows, PBS Kids apps, books about dinosaurs, cars, princesses. Apps you can draw with, spelling apps, math apps. If you can think it up, they probably have it. My friend swears by this subscription because it’s kept her boys entertained for several road trips, quiet times and it’s still going strong. Of course, wireless headphones (the ones in this picture are the ones linked) are the magic trick here.
So, how can you make watching a movie a teaching moment? Well, have your kid pay attention to the storyline. When it is over, have him tell you in his own words what happened in the story. It’ll be interesting to hear his interpretation, and it gives you the opportunity to answer any questions he may have!
Book nerd right here! You may get tired of me bringing up books, but I really can’t get enough. They are a great way to pass the time. Here’s a neat website where you can search for favorite books based on your kid’s age. If your older kids enjoy reading alone, by all means, leave them be. Ha! But, if you want to get interactive and start a conversation, ask your kid questions about the story he’s reading. Who is the main character? What is the main problem in the story? Where does the story take place? How does the main character solve their problem? It’ll make for a good conversation starter.
Here are some good “traveling with kids” books:
Crayola No-Mess Stow and Go
We have a no-mess travel kit, and it is fabulous. I love doing art projects with Will, but I always worry about him going rogue with crayons. This Crayola set is the best because the markers only work on the special paper provided, so your kids can’t mess up your car. Believe me– I’ve tried.
If you have a layover in the airport or you’re in the backseat, or it’s a rainy day at the beach, add a language activity into coloring! Take a sheet of paper and draw four large boxes. Have your kid draw an item of a particular category in each box. So you could say, “in the top left box draw something that you can wear.” Or “in the bottom right box, draw a type of breakfast food.” See where their imagination takes them.
Tabletopics Family: Questions to Start Great Conversations
Well, this game has “traveling with kids” written all over it. You’re guaranteed an educational and informative time when playing this game. The best part is–Tabletopics can involve everyone. The questions are meant to get you and your family talking and laughing about the good ole’ days! And, once again, it is also one of those games that can be used once you arrive at your destination. Get grandma involved!
Travel Sticker Book
I’ve mentioned this bad boy on our Facebook page before, and I’m saying it again now. Sticker books/pads work wonders for little kids. Most little ones love stickers and sticking them on stuff. And, these do just that. My favorite sticker book is sold out, but this is another version, and these are the stickers I use. There are hundreds, and they have lasted for months! Perfect for flying, driving, riding in a horse and buggy–you name it. By the way, it’s hard to get a post in without Will! He’s a great model! Learning-wise, talk with your kid about what he’s designing or sticking on the book. This sticker book linked has a theme, so you can ask questions about what he thinks is happening.
20 Questions Electronic Game
The electronic version is a twist on the classic game. And, education-wise you get to practice answering questions while traveling with your kids! How great is that? Have your kid think of an object. Then the electronic game will ask a variety of questions for your kid to answer. Most of the time, the game will be able to read their mind, which kids love. You might need to partner up with your little one and help them answer the questions accurately so that the game can guess their thoughts. Fun times!
All of these travel necessities either I have, or my friend has and loves: