5 Amazing Activities for Traveling with KIDS!
Activities for Traveling with KIDS
Today I have a few fantastic ideas to share to help pass the time on a long trip – airplane, car, bus, train.You can never, ever have too many ideas for passing the time with kids. But even better if those activities that kids will LOVE are educational!
You CAN have happy kids who are learning and having fun at the same time. What a great parent you are for teaching the kids through travel AND travel activities. (Give yourself a pat on the back!)
Banish the ‘Are we there, YET?” and whining forever! Planning is all it takes to have a smooth and fantastic family vacation with the kids and you’ve come to the right place for all your needs!
Activities for Traveling with Kids – Who is your neighbor really?
Super clever October Jones, illustrator extraordinaire, likes to draw heads on post-it notes on his train ride. He then holds them up to make it look like his silly head is on the real person sitting next to him. (Note to self: Seek out clever people like October Jones to sit near on a long train ride! Doesn’t he sound like a fun person?)
Give the kids a pencil and some paper and let the giggles begin! I love this idea!
See more of his funny drawings. October Jones even leaves motivational sticky notes! These adorable photos are from October Jones.
Activities for Traveling with KIDS – Olliblocks
I love these illustrations. Aren’t they cute? The directions say to cut, paste, and then glue on wooden blocks. I say…forget the wooden blocks for travel. Actually…are my kids the only ones who eventually starting throwing wooden blocks? Those things hurt! If you have to glue them on blocks, seek out the foam blocks. Learn from my mistake. 😉
Instead of using these on blocks, use the cute pieces of illustrations to create a whole host of characters! Let your kids glue them in a book to create their favorites and tell a story about it. Ask them to create two friends or a whole family.
FYI – There are such things as plastic scissors that I found in an art kit at the $ store. (I think you can find them at teacher’s supply, too.) which can be used on an airplane.
Have even more fun with this activity: Click here to print my Olliblock fun of directions for another fun activity with these cute paper characters. Olliblocks have created a whole bunch of characters for you to choose from. Choose characters your kids already love like pirates or superheroes or choose from holiday groups like Valentines and Halloween. Have fun!!
Want this Olliblock activity to be educational, too? Well, of course, you do! Parents are all growing brains in their little ones and doing all they can to improve their child’s educational foundation and this Olliblock game can help.
Have the littles re-tell a story using the characters. This helps your child practice sequencing skills (getting the story in the right order) and elaboration techniques (when they add details to the story). You can help by encouragement, asking questions about the story and above all listening. Children who are listened to feel valued and connected to you!
How is retelling a story educational? Well, I’m so glad you asked! This is a very valuable skill for children. Re-telling a story helps a reader recall what has happened in a story and practice story structure so they can later tell their own stories in writing. If you have older children (if not let me be the one to tell you) you’ll know that the skill of writing is super valuable – in academia, in life, and on the big state tests that sometimes seem to direct all things in the public educational service. (Sad, but true.)
I know a LOT about prepping for the Texas state test, which is currently called the STAAR test, as I taught this writing skill in elementary school for YEARS. Getting your child off to a firm start with retelling stories is valuable. And – they are so cute to listen to!
Activities for Traveling with KIDS – Jokes!
Ah, kids love jokes – the cheesier the better! They love puns and riddles and those types of knock, knock jokes that make you roll your eyes and groan. They love the fun of it and they love getting to sure this laugher with you. Kids thrive on the connection they make with you when you listen.
Locate as many jokes as you can find. Kids love LOTS of jokes. I suggest the library for a start. Do a little xeroxing and put a list in your bag. A mom always has a bag full of stuff!!
This cute photo and a wonderful list of jokes can be found at Childhood Beckons.
Will you listen to jokes that were probably old when you told them as a kid? Yes, of course, but the sound of giggling never gets old AND beats whining any day. Enjoy the giggles!
Are jokes educational, too? Is that possible? Yes, it sure is!! As parents we really want our children to do well in school. We recognize that academic success = success later in life. However; not everything we need in life can be learned in school and a sense of humor is one of those things. Will it help a child in school? Maybe not, but it will serve them well in life.
Laughing together is a way to connect with each other and personal connections are valuable throughout your entire life. You need to connect with others in your personal life and in your business life. Humor can help you with that. A sense of humor can be developed – it isn’t just that some people have it and others don’t.
You can develop a sense of humor and according to Kids’ Health humor is a valuable life skill!
“A good sense of humor is a tool that kids can rely on throughout life to help them:
*see things from many perspectives other than the most obvious
*grasp unconventional ideas or ways of thinking
*see beyond the surface of things
*enjoy and participate in the playful aspects of life
*not take themselves too seriously”
Not only does helping your children practice humor and develop a sense of humor lead to all the wonderful aspects of life listed above, but people who laugh are happier and healthier and have higher self esteem. Humor even helps your heart!
“Research suggests laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation and increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol…”
Sharing laughter together – what a great family experience!
Activities for Traveling with KIDS – Traveling Barbie or Lego people house
If your child loves Barbie you’ll want to take her along. But sadly, Barbie’s hotel, hotel, abode, mansions, etc. are way too big for the road. Consider this new and custom made traveling house for Barbie. You’ll enjoy creating it AND kiddo will enjoy it when you travel. It uses 3 ring binders from the drug store as rooms. Check this out!
Kendra at Southern Disposition, photo from Kendra, has some fabulous decorating ideas about making your very own travel-friendly Barbie house. For travel, I would make only 1 room – less to carry! Use a three ring binder and create your own clever space for Barbie using paper from the craft store and your own imagination.
Kendra’s blog is by invitation only but you can see Joy’s fabulous example of a 3 ring binder house for Barbie’s at Copper’s Fox and Friends.
Do you have a boy traveler at your house? Create a house or secret lair for his lego people or superhero figures. The sky is the limit with this clever idea! Use a Dollar Store binder and make a ‘Super Secret Hideout’ instead of a Barbie house. Use pictures from the internet of bunk beds, computers, and assorted ‘spy’ stuff for your little guy.
This type of activity is a great way for kids to learn. Well, of course, it is an educational activity, right? Role play helps children learn. Pretending when kids play allows them to ‘try on’ things for size. They can work through things that have seen and wonder about or are curious about. Listening in to them when they play will give you a great vantage point to understand what is going on in their world.
According to Dr. Kaufman, who wrote about the value of pretend play in Psychology Today, pretend play is a crucial part of child development. The benefits of pretend play include: increased language development, improving the awareness of self – that your thoughts differ from those of others, divergent thinking and the ability to express feelings and the ability to combine your emotion and thoughts.
Give your child the benefit of practicing lifelong skills AND have peace and quiet in the hotel room. Talk about a parenting win-win!! Yeah, YOU!!
Activities for Traveling with KIDS – Cutest Lego container
Thank you Talia Komatz on Pinterest for this great idea and photo. There are no directions attached to this photo, but it looks like a green lego base was glued onto an empty wet wipe container. Easy Squeezy!
If you still have Legos in your house – no matter the age of your kiddo – this is a great game. Let them have free play and when they get bored with that, pull out the FREE Educational Tourist Lego fun sheet to extend the fun.
Legos are a GREAT toy for boys and girls. A toy like legos have lots of options for play – so many ways to pretend and different things to build. This type of toy is called ‘open-ended’.
According to director of early learning at The Early Years Institute, C. Multari, has this to say about the importance of open-ended play,
“Open-ended toys result in open-ended play. This type of play can evolve over time while also encouraging children to create and problem-solve as they explore the world around them. Open-ended play with peers encourages social development and social interaction while also developing cognitive skills. Children have to discuss and negotiate how to use the multipurpose toy. The social and developmental gains made by open-ended play far exceed those made by directed play.”
Not all travel toys are created equally! Read more about choosing the right travel toys ones for your trip!
Nothing beats reading for getting the kids ready for a new adventure. Reading gives you time to share, talk, and cuddle together. Create wonderful memories while getting ready for a vacation – or for remembering a vacation you’ve shared in the past. Reading aloud to children is valuable for their academic success, too, and helps them become even stronger readers in the future. ALL academic learning builds upon a foundation of strong reading skills.
What should you read? Anything! I’ve created destination specific lists on vacation destinations around the globe. Click below on your family vacation destination – past, present, or future, to get a list of kids’ books already put together for you. These lists are the result of MANY hours of research. Don’t recreate the wheel when you can click and see the entire comprehensive list right here!
CLICK BELOW on your destination for the reading list for kids:
Happy Educational Travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist