We are traveling a LOT this summer. I actually counted the days my kids are out of school and the days we will be traveling and we are gone 45% of the time. Normally we're pretty lucky if we have a couple weekend getaways the whole summer!
Our trips include a LOT of travel time. Last week we spent 14+ hours on planes getting to and from the Bahamas and in July we are taking a 3 week road trip which includes daily drives of 1-6 hours. Figuring out how to entertain my kids while traveling has been on my mind a bit (understatement).
There will be pleeeenty of screen time involved (more on that in another post) but we also really try to get our kids engaged in technology-free entertainment as much as possible. Here are some of the fun things we've packed along so far-
1. Story drawing pads, fresh colored pencils and a pencil sharpener | Stinky got one of these a while back from the grandparents and it has been SO fantastic for writing practice that I bought two more for our trips this summer. There's a space at the top for drawing a picture then lines below for writing about the picture. Stinky (who is going into 2nd grade) can write his own creative sentences about his pictures. Baby 2 (going into kindergarten this year) asks for help spelling a lot of words but he's getting pretty good at sounding things out and I've been impressed at his sentences as well.
|Stinky's picture from one of our rainy days in the Bahamas|
2. Rubik's Cube | This was THE hot toy on Stinky's bus toward the end of the year and he finally saved enough money to buy one. Both my boys loooove this thing and it keeps them happy for hours. We've watched a few YouTube videos to give them some basic skills and now they can each solve single sides (we're working up to the full cube).
3. Library books | Where's Waldo? is great for both boys (our library also had a Lego version the last time we went and that was a hit at our house for over a week). Stinky is really into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Magic Tree House books.
4. Math books | I'm really trying to help them keep their skills sharp over the summer so we brought along two math books. Ours were ones that Stinky got in K and 1st grades (Baby 2 can do most of the kindergarten one, which sort of surprised me) but we've also got Bedtime Math and some Brain Quest stuff, both of which are awesome.
5. Toy cars | For my boys toy cars are a recipe for at least an hour of entertainment. Especially if they've got books they can make ramps out of.
6. Uno | This is such a fantastic game- it's easy enough for my kids to play on their own but it's still fun for adults so Aaron and I don't usually mind joining in for a couple rounds if we're not otherwise engaged.
I'd like to give an honorable mention to the Rainbow Loom. Stinky freaking loves his Rainbow Loom that he got for Christmas a couple years ago and he keeps wanting to bring it along but we don't have a good organizational system (all his bands are just in an open bin right now and I had visions of them scattering EVERYWHERE on the plane or in the car). If you're willing to shell out for one of those fancy storage containers then I think this could also be a good one!
What are you fav tech-free ways to keep your kids entertained on long trips? I'm especially interested in car-friendly ideas!
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