If travel is part of your holiday game plan and you have young children, you know the challenges that abound. Since we have always lived a significant distance from our family, long road trips have been part of the seasonal festivities for years for us. Our travel distances have ranged from 6 hours to 10 hours, with 3 kids under the age of 5 (once upon a time). Now, those under five's are all teens...two of whom can drive themselves!
Really Young Kids
If your kids are really young, entertain them with finger plays. Early childhood teachers know how to capture and keep kids' attention. Finger and Foot Plays are one easy way to do it on a long road trip, too! Kids love these, and will probably ask for more, more, more!
Finger and Foot Plays
There's nothing better than a lovely sing-a-long while on a long car ride. For inspiration, start here:
A long-time favorite of traveling children is bubbles! Big, glorious, popable bubbles! You blow them, and let your child pop away! If she is old enough, challenge her to pop them with her foot, her hand, her nose, etc. The bubbles featured below are no-spill, so a good bet for the car or family van.
These little guys are portable, take up little space and offer tons of options to entertain your little ones on long trips! You can play any number of games with kids as they grow with these, too. Choose five to show your child. Then remove one and have your child guess which one is missing. Add a completely different one from another set and have him guess which one was added. Mix them around on different fingers and see if he can guess which ones you switched. Play which one doesn't belong and add a person puppet to an animal set and vice versa. Have fun!
Find the whole set HERE! Very reasonably priced!
Make Plenty of Stops
Since it's not developmentally appropriate for kids to sit for hours on end (nor is it recommended for adults), be sure to make plenty of stops or break your trip into segments.
Keep some of these travel games on hand for long road trips with your young'uns. Heighten their appeal by keeping them for use solely on long road trips.
1. Travel Bingo
4. Surprize Ink
36 MORE (many for older kids)!
Don't miss this list of more than 36 printables and a collection of sites to visit for more travel ideas from TLC's Parentables. Many of these activities are suitable for older children, too!
Don't miss out on teaching your child some new social skills while on the road, too! It's an awesome opportunity to talk about your family's values and morals. How about helping them learn to TELL THE TRUTH, DEAL with SAD FEELINGS, DEAL with DISAPPOINTMENT, DEVELOP SELF-CONTROL or COOL DOWN their ANGER. (Hint: The best time to teach these strategies is when your child is calm and relaxed. They are more apt to process and remember it!)
Above all, safe travels! Getting there is half the fun!
You'll Also Want to See...