Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for KIDS

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities For KIDS

Need something fun and Thanksgiving themed for that trip to Grandma’s for the holiday? You have come to the right spot!

pumpkins, thanksgiving travel tips, activities for kids = flights and road trips,

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Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Busy Travel Day Tips

The Thanksgiving holidays are some of the busiest travel days during the entire year! Things can go wrong at any stage because of the sheer volume of travelers. Plan carefully to make the journey as smooth as possible.

Choose the airline based on the ‘on time stats’ to see if your airline choice has a good record of getting people there on time! See the 2017 stats for on time airline flights here.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids – Color!

Coloring is not just for the littles! People of all ages are getting on the coloring bandwagon. Coloring books are among the top book sellers now! Coloring can be relaxing and is the newest form of meditation for many. Get the crayons and coloring pencils out and join the kids!

Teach the kids to deal with stress early! Sadly, we know stress is a part of life and that it increases with age. You are off to a great start by traveling! Traveling improves stress for the whole family! Giving the kids methods for dealing with stress is a valuable life lesson.

According to psychologist G. Martinez Ayala coloring can combat stress:

“The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

Coloring books for littles: 


Keep everyone happy at the dinner table, too, with this fun tablecloth just for coloring! What a fun idea!

These free coloring pages are so cute. Use them during the journey or while the little ones are waiting on dinner.

free-printable-thanksgiving-coloring-pages, Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities,

Coloring pages for tweens and adults:

This book is for adults and tweens who have great fine motor control as the lines are quite fine. No crayons here – the lines are too fine. Instead try colored pencils or give your tween gel pens!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids -MAD LIBS – This always makes for the giggles. How many time will the word ‘butt’ end up in your mad lib?? Here, that is a word that breaks everyone into hysterics. Thank you, My Sister’s Suitcase for these fun Thanksgiving Mad Libs.

Thanksgiving Mad Libs for Kids, Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities,

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids – Use Scissors

Traveling with kids old enough to handle scissors? You’ll love these! Remember no scissors on planes unless they are the plastic kind.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids – Word Scramble

These are great fun! AND they are great practice. Have you ever wondered why teachers love these so much?

Word puzzles hone observational abilities and spelling skills. They also develop skills like pattern recognition and word recognition.

Go ahead and sneak in some academic practice on the way to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. But smile and let the kids think it is all just fun!

Thank you, Moms & Munchkins for the clever printable.


Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids -Thanksgiving journals! 

I love journal writing! Journal writing increases confidence skills and lets kids speak their mind. As a society, we really edit the thoughts of kids. Sometimes we tell them they ‘shouldn’t think something’ and we certainly do a lot of telling them they ‘shouldn’t say something. Journals are a place where you think, write, say anything. Journals let kids explore their thoughts and emotions. They can practice their writing skills and fine motor skills along the way!

Journals can be a fun souvenir, too! Write about your trip. Add photos and ticket stubbs or maps from your journey. Going back to look at your earlier thoughts is so much fun.

One for your kiddos: This activity is so cute from 8 inspired Mama.


Consider a family Thanksgiving journal: I would love to keep it year to year and watch the responses and handwriting change. When my little one was 4, he was thankful for cheerios. (How cute is that??) You can put the book together before you go or have an older child do it during the flight/road trip. Ask family members to ‘autograph’ and create a special memory.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids -Party favors

Fun ‘party favors’ aren’t just for parties! And…..well, why can’t family Thanksgiving dinners be parties, too?


How cute are these?? Even the littlest of travelers could help with this one.

If you are short on time, buy these precut tulle circles at hobby store like Micheals or Hobby Lobby.

Worried about candies all over the place? Go ahead and close the bags before you go. Then, on the road, just have kids fashion the chenille stem turkey neck/head. (Send photos, I bet these will be a scream!) Tell everyone that if they are ‘really good’ they can have a few candies. We all know they will eat some anyway, but….you might be able to squeeze some extra good behavior in, too.

Arrive at Grandma’s house with all the table decorations you made!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids – Map Fun

There are two groups of people in the geography. Those who thinks maps are loads of fun and those who think maps are the most boring things ever. LOL! Which camp do you fall into?

Where are you going? Have the kids draw a US map with the help of this incredibly gifted educator, Solagratiamom‘s, interesting tip. With her great idea, I think I could draw a US map, too!

US Drawing

Next, use crayons to plot your home, Grandma’s home and anything else you want to put on the map. Who knew geography could be so fun?

How about dots for these places:

Where mom and dad met

Where mom and dad went to school

Places you’ve visited

Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids – Make jewelry

Tweens love things like this. Kids can create LOVE this Morse Code bracelet for themselves or their friends. Use a message like BFF or use everyone’s initials.


The beads are fashioned into a word, thanks to one color that serves as dashes and another color that serves as dot.  Details here.

Enjoy the graphic…you know…just in case your Morse Code is rusty. 😉


Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Activities for Kids – Read about Thanksgiving

Reading is a GREAT way to pass the time while on a road trip. Use audio books to give everyone a break, especially if anyone gets car sick while reading. Turn up the volume or turn the page and enjoy!

The Memory Cupboard: A Thanksgiving Story by C. Herman What a lovely book. As soon as I read it, I set up a section in my china cabinet as a memory cupboard. Katie, on Thanksgiving holiday at Grandma’s, accidentally breaks a special item. Her grandmother makes her feel better by taking the broken item and placing it in the memory cabinet. Each broken item has a story and each is still valuable. What a wonderful idea for our ‘thing centered’ society. LOVE!! Written for ages 6-9 but lovely for ALL ages. Length: 32 pages Lexile Measure: N/A

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing I love books based on the classic T’was the Night Before Christmas and so do the kids! Written for elementary school aged kids. Length: 32 pages. Lexile Measure: 580.

The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings by Mike Berenstain Remember this family of bears? I love the lessons and love in their books. This one about the Thanksgiving journey to Gramp’s and Gran’s in a classic. Written for elementary school aged kids. Length: 24 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A.

The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell This is a really different take on the American tradition of Thanksgiving. When Ann burns Thanksgiving dinner, she and her husband Ed head out to a cafe. Then enter, thinking they are open for business but have instead stumbled upon a Russian celebration. They are welcomed and learn from their new friends even more to be thankful for. Interesting book written for older elementary school aged kids. Length: 32 pages. Lexile Measure: N/A

Llama llama Gives Thanks by Anna Dewdney I love the llama llama books and your little one will, too. These sweet books have great rhyme and if you love llama llama you’ll want to read them all! This one is a BOARD book. Written for the younger set – preschool – early elementary school. Length: 14 pages. Lexile Measure: 220.

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet by Jane O’Connor Miss Fancy Nancy celebrates Thanksgiving with her family in the most fancy way! This book has stickers, too! Written for kids preschool – 3rd grade. Length: 24 pages. Lexile Measure: AD 501L.

If you are traveling for the Thanksgiving Holidays you’ll be interested in these related posts!

Preschool Activities for Keeping Kids Busy During Travel

Airplane Activities for Kids

Keep Kids Happy on a Long Flight with These Activities

Happy and Thankful Travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist


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