Best travel games and activities for Older Elementary school kids
We are taking a road trip in one week. And if you have read my previous post, you will know I have to do some special planning. Now, that I am done with all my special preparations for my chronic disease, I can turn my attention to more fun matters. 🙂 GAMES!
I wanted to prepare some games for my daughter to do in the car. I want to avoid her having her head stuck in her Kindle the whole time. And she is at that age (almost 9) that she needs more challenging games than the run-of-the-mill bingos and scavenger hunts.
I scoured Pinterest for hours. This my go-to place for inspiration and ideas. Pinterest is awesome for that! I found some great ideas and I will list them here (with original sources).
However, I also couldn’t resist creating some games myself. I just love creating things. It gives me a great amount of pleasure :). All the games are in PDF and print on regular size paper ( 11×8.5). I plan on laminating them so they hold up longer.
I SPY Travel game
I put this together using Power point and a lot of images I downloaded from Pixabay.com. This is an awesome resource for bloggers because the images are completely royalty free and are good for commercial use too. I did a search for travel and 9 pages of images popped up. It took me a decent amount of time to choose the ones I liked. And also, the ones that would work best for I Spy.
Hopefully, it won’t be too easy for my daughter to find all the pictures!
Travel Word Search
The second game I made was Word Search. I had never made such a game before but it didn’t seem like it would be very hard. Well, it was time consuming. And required brain power lol! But I did it (hopefully, I didn’t mess up by misspelling a word!) Some of the words are loosely connected to travel. or example “mistake”- it’s possible to make a mistake by taking the wrong road. 🙂
I Spy Alphabet
I whipped this up real quick. And I like this game because it makes her look around and think about what she is seeing. Believe me, that is a big feat during drives as she is usually so absorbed in her Kindle. SO anything that makes her engage in things around her is a big plus! 🙂
Basically, the rules for this game are that you have to find an object that starts with each letter of the alphabet and write the name on the sheet. And a big bonus for this game- it also lets her practice her spelling and writing.
Kids Travel Binder
I got the idea of the travel binder from this blog – Sweet Rose Studio. In fact all the games I created I will be putting in the binder. I am going to use my daughter’s old 2nd grade binder (free and readily available 🙂 ) The post has some great ideas for kids activities and some of my favorites are :
- Zippered pencil pouch that fits in the 3 ring binder (we already had this so another plus)- Help with making sure my daughter doesn’t lose her pens and pencils.
- The license plate game, where the kids have to color in the state on a printed US map (get it here ). Great for learning geography!
Another blog that I found on Pinterest for older kids is from Carla Schauer Designs. Her post is titled “12 Tween Travel Tips to Ban Bad Attitudes”. Although my daughter is not a tween yet, she is getting pretty close. My favorite ideas from this blog were:
- Scavenger hunt without pictures- you have to read the word and then look for it. I love this because it allows my daughter to practice her sleeping and writing.
- Adding coloring pages to the binder – you can print individual coloring pages. I found a lot of free printables here.
- Adding blank pages so she can draw anything she wants- she will love that because she loves being creative.
Would you rather game
My daughter LOVES playing this game and I always struggle to come up with questions! Well, I found a few people who have crated cards with questions on them.
The lady from Bounce Back Parenting has a free printable of 20 questions and all I would need to do is print them on cardstock.
If I wanted to make more question cards, I found this blog by Anna Geiger at The Measured Mom, where she has a list of 100 “would you rather questions.”
Our own (made up) games 🙂
We have a couple of games that we came up with and play regularly while driving. One is called “Boo-boo chicken” (I impulsively called it that one time and the name stuck, lol). Its a very simple game- one person says a words and the next person has to say a rhyming word or a word that is similar or related to that word (example- cat, rhyming “bat” or animal).
The other game is a little similar to “Hedbanz” but we have one person come up with a word in their mind. The other people ask her questions about it. Whoever guesses the word she has in mind correctly wins.
I hope all these activities keep my daughter entertained and the dreaded “I am bored” phrase won’t make its appearance.
I also plan to make multiplication cards (problem on one side of index card and the answer on the other side) so se can practice in preparation for 3rd grade.
The complete travel binder
This morning I woke up early and put together the Travel binder.
Here is the finished product:
I used my Cricut to cut the Road trip journal ( it’s in the projects projects area of Design space). And I cut outthe word “Travel” out of my Tutti Fruity cardstock stack.
I have the “would you rather” question cards ( from links above) printed on cardstock, whole punched and placed on a ring. The coloring page I printed from Lil Luna
I found great a source of free coloring pages at Hello Kids
They have a HUGE selection of categories to choose from.
I made the addition of these travel journal pages which will keep my daughter engaged AND help with writing practice! 🙂 They are from we3travel.com – here is the link.
What do you do on long road trips? How do you entertain the kids?