Welcome to road trip season! This is the time of year when school is beginning to wind down and lots of people are planning a summer vacation. About ½ of the 68% of families in the US who are expected to travel this summer will pack up a vehicle to do so. Whether your road trip takes you across the state or across the country, you might need a few tricks up your sleeve to keep kids occupied. They won’t even have time to utter the words, “Are we there yet?”
- If you love stickers like we do, make sure you get some scented stickers and hand one out for every-so-many-miles or minutes in the car. Take along a blank passport to stick them in, as well as other mementos, and at the end of the trip, your child will have a collection of his memories, scented like pizza, chocolate, bacon, or donuts! Yum!
- On the flip side of that, there may be nothing worse than giving stickers to a preschooler to stay busy in the back seat, who then happily sticks them all over the car windows, with you left to clean the sticky residue off later. You know what’s better for younger children? Window Clings by Eureka! Just pack up a few inexpensive window cling designs and hand them out one set at a time. Butterflies, planets, character sets, and more are easy to remove and reusable!
- Magna Tablet by Guidecraft redefines tablets. It is made up of metal balls which are encased in the tablet and requires the accompanying pen to draw designs, then easily “erases” them. The tablet comes with patterns to copy for hours of fun!
- The mess-free Crayola Stow and Go Studio comes in a carrying case and the markers won’t stain skin or clothing. Or car upholstery! Make sure you get an extra doodle pad or activity book to take along!
- Flash cards are a must and are no longer simply letters and numbers! Learn about artists, presidents, community helpers, or even sign language! Learn some new trivia and quiz each other on the road.
- Wipe-off lap boards, a marker, and eraser are great tools for drawing or to create games of tic tac toe or hangman! It’s also a great surface for the window clings. Wipe-off magnetic lap boards can be made into games and are a great surface for building with magnetic stones or other magnetic building toys on the go!
- Wipe-off books are another big hit for on the road learning. These cover everything from colors and shapes, to letters, numbers, math, and handwriting.
- Have you heard of busy bags? Take several zippered pencil pouches and put items for individual play inside. Add chenille stems and pony beads to one, pom poms and jumbo tweezers to another, and jumbo buttons and colorful laces to the last. Make as many of these as you like, keep in a 3-ring binder for convenience, and hand out one at a time to use.
- File folder games are fun to make and a super way to keep kids occupied with endless activities.
When It’s Time for a Break…
- A few stops along the way are inevitable, so why not pack a “rest stop only” bag. Take sidewalk chalk, a jump rope, bubbles, a jumbo parachute, or other outdoor items to get out some of that pent-up energy! Check out our small toy catalog for dozens of other take-along items, including NeeDoh, Thinking Putty and squish toys!
Learning Keeps Going, Too!
- Learning never stops, even when you’re on the go, so keep brains active with a fun workbook of mazes or dot to dots, and if you want to make sure your kids don’t lose important school skills, grab a Summer Bridge workbook and some scented pencils! Don’t worry! We’ve got your summer road trip help covered! Safe travels, everyone!