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A Heart For Home: Traveling With Kids

Friday, July 9, 2010

Traveling With Kids


So far this summer, we've traveled over 35 car hours with our three small children. While we may take a short car trip in August, for the most part we've finished our summer trips. However, if you still have a trip coming up here are a few ways to add some fun to those long hours in the car, or on the plane, etc.

1. Make your children personalized I Spy Books.

Simply take photos of collections from around your house. Pile those Matchbox cars and take a picture. Dump the bin of doll accessories and snap another photo. Arrange all of your letter magnets on the fridge and take another shot.


Then print your pictures and slide them into the clear sleeves of a dollar store photo album. This works well even for younger children. Jonathan (22 months) was able to identify most of the items since he is familiar with seeing them at home. One thing I would change next time is to fold clear packaging tape over the openings of the photo sleeves so Jonathan wouldn't be able to pull the pictures out. With older children this probably wouldn't be a problem (Emahry, age 3, did fine).

2. Make an I Spy Travel Book

This works well for car rides and for school-aged children. Find images of objects you might see while traveling by car (tractor trailer, road signs, McDonalds' golden arches, a bridge, a blue van , school bus, police car, etc.) Print them from clip art or online image searches, cut them out from magazines, or draw your own. Glue these pictures onto 3 1/2" x 5" index cards and place in a photo album from the dollar store. For older children, make individual checklists and see who can find the most or have everyone work together to find a certain number of objects.

3. Take a few "new" toys, books, or games

Look for new to you items at yard sales or thrift stores throughout the year and store them away as trip boredom busters. Pass out one at a time as boredom sets in.

4. Magnetic games and activities

These are a great way to keep all the pieces of a game from being scattered all over your vehicle.

These magnetic pom-poms are a great open-ended activity and can be made very easily. When combined with a metal cookie sheet or pie plate they are sure to provide a lot of fun making letters, shapes, pictures, etc.


If you're looking to purchase an activity, this doll set would be great fun for a little girl.

These magnetic words would be a lot of fun for writing poems or silly stories.



I just discovered a wonderful site for all types of kids travel gear, toys, etc. Kids Travel Happy is all about entertaining children for real and imaginary journeys. Be sure to check them out before your next trip. Click the link above or their button at the top of our sidebar

Do you have any tips for traveling with small (or not so small) children? We'd love to hear your ideas!
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5 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

I have to agree with the magnetic toys and games - those are a hit with my 3 year old - whether we are traveling across the state or just across town!

July 9, 2010 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Our Family said...

Reading about your 35 hours of traveling makes me tired just thinking about it:) What great ideas you have!! I'll be sure to use those next time we travel.
Jessica

July 10, 2010 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Trying to remember our trip to Niagara Falls when Kati was three...
I had collected some new small toys over the weeks leading up to our trip, but didn't let Kati see any of these ahead of time. Then I would pull out one thing (either a toy or activity...or a snack) approximately every hour. I remember Silly Putty being a hit. Also some card games from the Dollar Store (she didn't play the games...just looked at the pictures. I had also found a little pinball type of game in which you flipped a metal lever to get plastic bones in a dog's mouth. :-) Pretzels were good (relatively neat) snacks.
That's all my memory is dredging up...

July 11, 2010 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger SisterTipster said...

I'm giving you an award! Versatile Blogger! Love your blog and this post. I just put toys in a small or however much room that would fit container for them to play with as we rode. In fact I let them pick them...when they were little and as they got older they packed their own book bags for trip entertainment with what they wanted!

July 12, 2010 at 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Erin @ Letter Soup said...

I love these ideas, especially the I Spy games and the pom poms! I'm off to get busy making them for our trip! Thanks so much for sharing these on my blog!

August 3, 2010 at 10:37 PM  

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