Michelle here! We are so excited to introduce a new guest blogger to the TSP community! We have literally known this gal since we were 6 years old. Beth and I reconnected on Facebook and yes, she is a TSPEEP. FOREVA! As a mom, I am always looking for great kid tips and creative things to do. I found myself constantly pinning and liking her ideas! I decided to ask her if she would be interested in sharing her great stuff on our platform. She accepted! Beth is an elementary reading specialist here in Illinois and when she isn’t teaching our country’s future generation, Beth enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, exploring local events, helping out in her community and now she can add blogger to the list! She is kicking off her inaugural blog and summer with a ton of cool ass shit!
Happy Traveling! xo
School’s out! The start of summer got me thinking about all the summers I spent in the back seat on many family road trips we took through the Midwest and South East. Occasionally, an East Coast was thrown in when we went to visit family. All that travel meant hours of hurrying up and waiting for the “real” vacation to begin. My mom always had a few tricks up her sleeve and we made some stops along the way that were memorable and fun. Looking back, our flights, which were pre-9/11, were a piece of cake compared to air travel today.
Before you get in the car or head to the airport, check out a few ideas to help keep everyone busy and sane:
- No Prep Family Games: One game that I think my mom came up with on the fly was Count the Cows. My sister and I each had a “side” of the car. Along the way, we counted the cows on our side. If we passed a graveyard and it was on your side, your cows were killed. Whoever had the most cows when we got to the next rest stop was the winner. I vividly remember my sister shedding a few tears when her 64 cows met an untimely graveyard death. Maybe dead cows aren’t your thing. Some of these tried and true family games might do.
- Free Printables: Our moms might be a tad jealous of all the free printable games that are available today. Depending on your child’s age, there’s Truckspotting, Road Trip Scavenger Hunt, Road Trip Find It, DRIVE, Road Trip Bingo, Airplane Bingo, The License Plate Game, Car Bingo, Slug Bug, Things That Go and Construction Equipment Graphs, Airplane Scavenger Hunt, and many more! To reuse these games, slip them in page protectors and give the kids dry erase makers and erasers.
- Travel Board Games: Have you been meaning to share the games you loved to play as a kid? Many of them are available in travel size.
- Cookie Sheet: A cookie sheet makes a good lapboard for drawing and playing games. Plus, your kids can play with magnetic letters and numbers, play paper dolls, and put together small puzzles on a board that has a lip around the edge.
- Arts and Crafts: Crayons, coloring books and stickers are all great go to items. Many coloring sheets, dot to dots, and word searches are available to print online. Knot bracelets and friendship bracelets are portable and don’t create the mess involved with art projects.
- Library Resources: I recently learned that my local library offers parents the option to fill in a travel survey with their child’s age, interests, and their trip destination which is used to put together a travel bag for the family. Even if your library doesn’t offer this service, you can search your library’s catalog online with your library card 24/7. As quickly as you can shop on Amazon, you can place holds on books and videos to be picked up at the circulation desk. If you want to travel lighter, many libraries offer ebooks for both kids and adults. When the due date rolls around, your selections are automatically checked back in. Some libraries also offer access to a site called Tumblebooks via the Kids page on your library’s website. Tumblebooks offers National Geographic videos and literally hundreds of picture books, chapter books and graphic novels geared to Preschool-2nd grade that kids can listen to and read along.
- Surprise: Some well-timed surprises can help break up the trip. Pop a few dollar store finds in little bags to be doled out when the backseat gets restless. Some of the Mom Bloggers also use Car Bucks that the kids earn for “caught being good” or “caught getting along” that kids can cash in for souvenirs. If you’re handling these out on the way back, kids can use these for a future family outing or incentive.
Love it. Live it. Share it.