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Top 7 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained While Traveling

If you’re like most parents, you want to give your kids a great summer. And that often includes a family vacation somewhere fun. The trouble is that most kids hate traveling, which leads to a tedious trip that starts parents off on the wrong foot. How can you keep keep kids entertained? All you want is for your kids to have a good time while traveling, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

The good news is that you have ways to prevent the dreaded, “Are we there yet?” and keep your kiddos entertained while you travel.

Here are our tips on traveling with kids…

Surprise them with a new toy

This tip comes from the Mom Trotter, Karen Akpan, who regularly travels with her four kiddos. She says that letting them pick a few favorites to take along is a great idea to keep kids entertained, but to also save room in your bag or theirs for a surprise toy they aren’t expecting.

Then, you reveal the toy during the trip. Because the item is new, the kids are likely to stay engaged with it for a longer amount of time than a toy they are used to.

The new toy doesn’t have to be something expensive either. A small doll can start up a long stretch of imaginative play.

Travel with school supplies

School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean the school supplies should be packed away. Not only are they perfect for crafts and journaling activities, all those crayons, pencils, and notebooks are also a great way to keep kids learning over the summer.

You don’t have to give them a full-day lesson, but you can certainly work in a learning opportunity here and there. Coloured pencils are usually a hit with kids
because they can both write with them and make colourful art. And they’re less messy than other options like crayons and markers.

And workbooks designed for summer learning can keep kids occupied without the pressure of getting graded.

Break out the art books

Activity books with stickers, mazes, and art give kids plenty to do during travel without too many pieces to keep track of. You can also find activity book sets that are designed for travel and already include a carrying case and drawing implements.

Download audio books

Reading in the car can make a lot of people feel nauseated. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego stories all together. Help your child download audio books before vacation time, and they can listen to books all the way to your destination.

Headphones allow for each child to enjoy their own story without the whole family having to listen to the same thing. It also means your kid can listen to songs from their favourite cartoons without you hearing the same song a dozen times.

Pack card games

Board games are usually off the table for vacation traveling. There’s just no where to play them, and the pieces are likely to get lost. Card games, however, are another story. Vehicle seating typically doesn’t pose a problem for many card games. And they are a way you can interact with the kids for part of the trip, as well.

Bring snacks and water

Hungry, thirsty kids are more likely to get cranky and make your trip unpleasant. Planning ahead allows you to make a pit stop when it’s convenient for you, and you’ll be ready before they start getting whiney.

So that you don’t have to dig through bags for travel snacks, pack them up in individual food containers and drink bottles. You may want to keep them with you until it’s time to distribute them for snacks, though.

Try family karaoke

If you’re okay with a bit of noise, give every family member an instrument and have fun making music together. Take turns making up lyrics and have fun together.

You could always go with a mobile device to keep your kids occupied, but remember that you have a lot of other options for keeping kids entertained. And it’s better for their minds to engage with activities rather than staring mindlessly at a screen the whole trip. Have fun planning your summer family vacation!