Monday, July 18, 2011

Traveling with kids

We are going on a long drive soon and I mentioned this to a friend and she gave me a great little booklet with awesome ideas to keep kids happy for the drive.  I go bonkers when the kids are fighting in the car!  I really hope some of these ideas will help.  We did get a DVD player for the van which will help.
Some of the things in our bag of goodies is a:
1.Travel Tray
Magnetic because it's made from a cookie sheet.  Contact paper is on one side so it can be written on with dry erase markers.  Other side has a file folder I taped together with a few games in it like, travel bingo, and tic tac toe and dot game.  I also printed off a blank US map I found on-line for the license plate game.  These travel trays can also double as snack trays as well.  This cost me three dollars because I used what I had at home and bought the trays and markers from All a dollar.
2-Boredom Buster can--Inside there are little games you can do with the family.  Here is a few examples:

Your Monkey’s Mustache-  One person is “It”  The others select a phrase that it must answer to every question.  The answer can be “your monkey’s mustache” or “six smelly sneakers.”  Then each person in the group gets to ask a question such as, “Who is your best friend? Or "What are you going to eat for dinner tonight?  The person who is it has to keep from laughing.  The winner is the biggest grouch.

Alphabet words- Starting with A find words on signs that begins with each alphabet letter.  The first person might spot the word “all” on a road sign and the second might spot the word “brake.”  After you get through the alphabet, find all the numbers from 1 to 100.

Gummy bear contest:  See who can suck on a Gummy Bear and make it last the longest-you can do this with life savers or other candy.

Counting Cows-Play as individuals or teams.  First decide on a destination where you will stop counting.  Then, count the cows on your side of the road.  The goal is to have the highest number when the destination is reached.  Pass a cemetery on your side and you have to start over again.  If there aren’t any cows on your route, you can count yellow cars, mailboxes, etc.

Twenty Questions—one player thins of a famous person, place or thing.  Everyone else gets to ask the player 20 questions, which must be answered “yes” or “no”  Whoever guesses correctly gets a turn to think up something.

Geography-Start with any place in the world—Kansas, for example,  The next person has to think of a place that begins with the last letter of Kansas such as South Africa.  The next person needs a place that starts with A.  You can not use the same place twice in the game and it has to be a real place.

Rock Paper Scissors- Two players each put one hand behind their backs.  Each person turns that hand into scissors, using the index and middle fingers; or paper, by holding the hand flat with the fingers straight; or a rock, by making a fist.  Both players say One two three, and show their hands.  The scissors beats paper because it cuts paper.  Paper winds over rock because it can wrap up the rock.  And rock beats scissors because it makes them blunt.

License plate ID—See how many different states you can identify on license plates.  Use a copy of a US map and color each state as you see the license plate.

License plate lingo-The goal of this game is to come up with a phrase using the letters on another car’s plate.  So if you see the plate LMT 823 the first person to call out a somewhat logical phrase such as Love me Tender or Lost my tooth earns a point.

Thumb wrestling-This is a little more active game but still can be done in the car with non drivers. 
One minute of words—everybody gets a pencil and paper.  Choose someone to be the time keeper.  The timekeeper picks out a letter and tells it to everyone and shouts “Go!”  Players write as many words as possible that start with that letter.  When the minute is up the player who has written the most legitimate words wins

3.  A few activity books we already had like:  Mad Libs, hangman, dot to dot with numbers
4.  A book to read to the whole family (we are reading the Chronicles of Narnia
5.  Three new coloring book/activity book we got at Dollar Tree
6.  Baggies of Crayons
7.  A few pencils
8.  Pipe cleaner for one of the games in the Boredom Buster bottle
Contents spilled out

Filled bag with all our stuff!

This is our bag full of our travel goodies.
Other Items to Bring:
Book on tape to listen to.
I pod with our favorite tunes.
Individual Reading book for each child
Thermos with ice and water to refill kids water bottles
Snacks that don't make a big mess (licorice, carrot sticks and bell peppers, beef jerky, granola bars, trail mix in individual snack packs, grapes, animal crackers)

Got any other ideas for our long hours in the car?  I'd love to hear them!


  1. Jennifer says "When our kids were younger I would wrap up the various activities in wrapping or tissue paper. They got to open "presents' along the way. It made it more fun. Same activities as you already have planned, just a jazzed up presentaion.You can even wrap up the snacks to add to the mix. They won't know if they are getting food or a game. Wrap the movies too."--on facebook

  2. I hope it's not too late for these to be useful, these are the things I did for a big road trip a couple of years ago. The snack packs and the dry erase books are my favorites

  3. Andrea-I love your post on road trip. Way cute ideas! I'm sure they would work great. I really like your snack packs! Awesome!


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