Preschool Roadtrippers – Traveling Tips and Advice

Preschool Roadtrippers – Traveling Tips and Advice

Traveling with preschoolers can be challenging but oh, so fun. The preschool age is full of wonder and excitement as little ones leave ‘baby’ behind and head towards ‘kid’. This is the time for exploration and creative sparks! Kids are full of questions and love anything and everything!

Keeping the little ones actively engaged is THE way to travel with happy preschoolers. Plan ahead as much as you can so you can enjoy the unexpected parts of the adventure!



The preschool mind has two speeds – 1) ON and full steam ahead and 2) Asleep. Any downtime at all can be full of curious exploration when you bring your own fun from home!

Preschool Roadtrippers – Traveling Tips – Clothespins!

I LOVE clothes pins – besides being just plain fun, they are also great for working those little fingers and muscles for fine motor control needed for neat handwriting later on. Clip the letters to match.

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Thank you Polka Dots and Recipes for this colorful idea and photo.

You can make many games out of this same idea. Use clothespins to connect matching letters like above or these ideas:

*Match the upper case letter to the lower case letter.

*Match the mother animal with the baby animal.

*Match letters for your name.

*Match color words with the actual color.

*Match dots with the number. One dot on the clothes pin matches the number 1 on the card.

Preschool Roadtrippers – Traveling Tips – Scissors

Cutting practice is awesome for road trips. NO scissors on planes so ONLY for road trips or hotel stays.

Kids LOVE using scissors. It makes them feel so grown up to get to use them as they recognize they are a special tool for grown ups. Using a pair of scissors properly is a life long skill they’ll use and appreciate so get them off to a great start with practice!

FREE cutting papers here from Kids Learning Station.


Make your own! Just draw lines and be ready for the mess. 😉  Playful Learning has several ideas for cutting fun.


I love these books on cutting practice and used them with my own kids. There are many designs and my kiddos just loved them. We would use them at restaurants, too, while we waited on the food to arrive.

Preschool Roadtrippers – Traveling Tips – Puzzles

Love this idea from Teachers Pay Teachers. You can buy these ready made here.


Or, make your own. Write a word at the bottom of a coloring page (Extra credit for a picture that has to do with your trip!)  and cut it into pieces. Visit Crayola for free coloring pages. (Is it just me, or did they make lady Liberty very unattractive here?)

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These puzzles where you match the number of items are brilliant and were in my diaper bag for years as both kids loved them. They are great for counting as you might imagine but your child also practices other important skills like: one to one correspondence, and inference. You can talk about why the puzzle piece with bears connects to a puzzle piece with honey pots, for example.

Puzzles that spell words when you connect them properly are another brilliant, fun, and educational item to have when traveling with the preschool kids! We LOVE these!

Preschool Roadtrippers – Traveling Tips – Pom-poms


I love this clever and fun idea to practice sight words and keep up the skills while on the road. What are ‘sight words’ that you hear about so much in school? Well, it turns out that ALL printed language is made up primarily of a very small number of words used over and over again. Word like: the, and, are…and so on. If a child can read these FAST, without having to stop and think about it, their overall reading time is improved. When they know these top words easily and rapidly, they only have to pause for new words like: tractor and elephant. Knowing the sight words cuts down on the ‘I hate to read’ sluggishness that early readers get into. ONLY good comes from practicing these sight words!!

What are the most common sight words? There are two lists: the Fry list and the Dolch list. They are listed in order so the first one is the most common word in our language. Can you guess what it might be before you look?


I think this might roll around too much in the car but would make a perfect hotel activity or ‘waiting on the food at a restaurant’ activity. This would work for older kiddos, too! Just change the words.

Thank you, Kristen at Kindergarten is Crazy for this and other fun ideas.

Enjoy the preschool age and have fun! They are only little once.


Happy and educational travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist


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