Keeping Kids Entertained When You Travel

If you’ve done any sort of traveling with your children (or someone else’s children) you’ll be well aware that kids often need to be entertained when they are away from their home base. Not always, mind you. I know a lot of kids that can happily entertain themselves for hours – I love those kids!

We’ve been traveling for a long time now, so we’ve learned to make do with what we have on hand. Many families who are in the planning stages of their first big travel adventure plan to lug all kinds of items with them for their children’s entertainment, though. So I thought I’d share my ideas for keeping kids entertained when you travel, without bringing every single thing they own from home:

Stickers, sticky labels and colored pencils 
These items take up no room and are light to carry. If you’re super good at planning, you could get some stickers made up at home for your kids to leave at places you visit. Plenty of boredom can be
alleviated by asking your child to find a red item to put their sticker on, or finding a smooth rock to suffer the same fate. Use your imagination – it’s what your kids like and it can easily pass time while you bond together at the same time.

A beach day is exciting when collecting shells or smooth glass from the sand. Instead of taking a bucket and spade with you, let your kids find things on the beach that they can use to dig a hole. Big broken shells with sharp edges aren’t great for collecting but they can make digging a moat particularly fun. Seaweed and stones make great decorations for sandcastle masterpieces, too.

It doesn't even have to be a beach day to get some collecting going.  We have found all kinds of treasures exploring forests and fields all around the world. Then when you get home you can use these treasures to make a variety of craft projects or simply as decoration!

Games can easily be in your head, requiring no extra space in your luggage. Get a few simple ones off the internet before you leave and store them in your phone notes for that seven-hour layover in an airport, that is bound to happen at some point. Instead of buying books or toys from the over-priced airport store, play an easy game with your children, without even leaving your seat. Variations on the
classics are a good idea too. For example, playing ‘I Spy’ but only being able to choose items of a particular color can be good for older children. Nothing is funnier than a game of ‘I Spy’ with a small child who doesn’t get the concept, either. Try it, you’ll see what I mean!

Tell stories
Introduce your children to making up nice stories about people around them. Maybe the couple sitting near the fire are time travelers and are both reading books to gain knowledge before they head back, one hundred years in the past. Perhaps the waiter is really a spy in disguise, spying on the man with the red shoes who is sitting in the corner looking at his phone.

When the family has survived a particularly long travel day, or if one of your children isn’t feeling so well, you’ll be glad you took a few minutes to make notes of some easy ways to keep your kids entertained while traveling.

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