Family travel for children can be fun and exciting, but sometimes the kids get bored on the journey there and back. Packing a backpack full of easy to transport activities can alleviate the “I’m so bored” argument and keep your child occupied (and the driver sane). Not only will this feel like a life-saver to you, but your child will feel important and responsible by keeping up with their own bag. Here are a few tips of what to include in your child’s activity backpack to make that spring break holiday or summer vacation that much easier for everyone:
Healthy Snacks – A small bag of healthy munchies will help satisfy the endless hunger children seem to experience while traveling. They can also be enjoyed while making a stop at an odd roadside attraction.
Crayons – A box of crayons will come in handy. Just be sure to place them in a plastic zip bag. The boxes the crayons come in always seem to fall apart. You’ll have colors everywhere rolling around on your floorboard or the airport floors.
Activity Sheets – Enchanted Learning offers educational color sheets for every occasion. Select the activities by the theme of your trip or your child’s interests.
Journal – If your child can write, encourage journaling so they will always remember their trip, such as a visit to an aquarium or zoo.
Sketch pad – A small sketch pad can provide imaginative entertainment for your child. Don’t forget the pencils! The sketch paper can also be useful for tic-tac-toe, hangman, and other easy games.
Compass – Your child will have fun using a compass to keep up with the direction of travel. Plus, you never know when the driver will need it.
Deck of Cards – The kids and parents can make use of these.
Books – They are never too young to enjoy reading.
Travel Size Games – Retail stores sell miniature travel sizes of popular games. Some of them are magnetic, reducing the chances of losing a piece.
Legos – A small plastic container of Legos can occupy a child for hours. This was a life-saver when mine were smaller. My son would sit in the hotel room and play quietly while I unpacked in our hotel or resort room.
The choices are endless and can vary from child to child. Don’t forget to pack other essentials such as wipes, a toothbrush (for after the snacks), handheld video games and extra batteries for any electronics. Portable DVD players can be a lifesaver after all the other activities have been exhausted. Also, giving your child a map will not only make him/her feel important, but they might even learn a bit of geography!
Children are like sponges, soaking up every experience. You can sneak in a bit of education, but the most important activity is to have fun as a family and create lasting family travel memories.