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On the Road with Kids: Top Travel Activities

Home > Everywhere > Family | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | School Holidays
by Anne Johnson (subscribe)
With a focus on family ministry, I am always looking to encourage, inspire and support families. Check out my website:
Published November 11th 2012
You'll have the kids demanding more travel time
School holidays are looming and you've been planning it for months- a wonderful travelling holiday for the whole family. It's going to be great: exciting destinations along the way, stop-offs to visit extended family on-route, special tourist attractions and 'must visit' scenic rainforests, bush walks and mountaintop panoramas.

But, are you ready for those long hours in the car with bored children? Here are a few suggestions that might help quell those painful 'Are we there yet?' questions.

Travel Journals. Provide each child with a notebook to create their own Travel Journal that they can fill with drawings, pressed flowers/leaves, lists of places you visit and more. Even better, check out the Smiggle's 'Are we there yet, Journal.' These idea-packed spiral bound notebooks contain pages and pages of stickers and fun activities to keep kids occupied.

'Are we there yet' journal

If you're thinking of creating a travel journal yourself, why not consider My Vacation app. You can take photos and videos and add a caption to each. View a map of where the photo was taken. Keep a list of important travel information and things to pack. Enter travel destinations and see useful travel links including weather and timezone information. Generate an email postcard to send to friends and upload journals to your social media.

Travel Blogging If you're wanting to blog on your trip, check out Travel iBlog HD, a writing blog that helps you create beautiful travel entries.

find-it books
Find-it puzzle books fill in many hours

Find-it books. Check out your local bookstore or Amazon's for Find-it Books with pages and pages of pictures with small items to locate hidden in each.

Find It Adventure. Australian Geographic have a similar idea created as brightly coloured, solid, sealed tube with hidden items to find.Twist, shake, spin or roll the tube to try an bring new objects to the surface! It is a great travel game, terrific learning centre activity, or is fun played as a timed game with others. There are no pieces to lose and the list of objects to find is conveniently printed on top of the tube so you'll never have to worry about losing part of the game.

Puzzles. Download some activity sheets from Momsminivan and keep the kids occupied for hours with Travel Bingo cards, as they look for animals, road signs and more to complete their sheet. Or, hand them each a sheet of Lines & Dots to play together.

Apps. If you're running out of time, just download the iPhone 'Scavenger Traveler' app that puts a new twist on the classic scavenger hunt. This is a multi-player, multi-level game that challenges adults and kids to locate different objects within their surroundings from the very general for younger ages (something round, something green) to the very specific (a napkin, a pine cone), checking them off as they go.
Download a kid's drawing app like Kid Van Gogh.

drawing, app
Download a simple drawing app

Scribble art Give all passengers a washable marker, paper, and a hard surface to write on (use a book or lap tray). Have everyone draw one squiggly line on the paper, then trade with someone else. Now try to make a picture out of what's there. Can each of you guess what the other's drawing shows?

Handmates Take finger puppets or, with a marker, draw funny faces on your child's fingertips. Then let him put on a puppet show for you or his seatmates (a good way to keep a younger sibling entertained).

Homemade puzzles On your child's tray, break a large biscuit into several pieces and see whether she can put it back together. She can make new puzzles by nibbling at the pieces!

Twisty creations. Pack a bag of pipe cleaners. What contraptions can your child invent?

Hue hunt. Give all passengers paper and a pencil, then have each person pick a different color and print it at the top of his page. When you yell "Go!" everyone should look for passing cars and trucks in the color they chose. The first one to get ten wins. Pick new colors to start again.

Snacks. Provide plenty of snacks to help while away those hours. Check out this list of healthy snack options for travelling.

Where to Eat or FastFood Premium app might be useful to help you find a cafe or restaurant wherever you stop and to check ratings.

I hope these suggestions help, and that you have a wonderful holiday together filled with heart-warming memories.
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Why? Ideas to occupy the kids while travelling
Where: On the road
Cost: Varies from free to around $29
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