What I discovered shortly after having my son is that road trips and
travel soon became much more complex. Between the boredom and the
frequent potty breaks, what once used to be a relaxing opportunity to chat
with my significant other, read or listen to music, became a sometimes
stressful and exhausting experience! And, with parents and in-laws in two
different states from us, not traveling was not an option!
The solution to my travel woes… I created a fun travel kit for my son
which he looks forward to using on every trip. I won’t guarantee
that this will keep your child completely occupied the entire trip, but it
sure does help.
First, if your child is old enough, he/she can help in creating the
container for the kit itself. We had fun at my house using puffy paint to
decorate a canvas tote bag to store the contents of the travel kit. You
could also use paint markers to decorate an acrylic storage case! Get
creative…the only requirements for the container is that it be
durable, big enough to hold the contents but not too big for limited car
In terms of the contents of the case, use your best judgment in
determining age-appropriateness. Here are the contents I suggest:
• Crayons and pencils. Here is a tip – you can save the small packs
of crayons you receive when going to restaurants. Pencils are
obviously not a good option for small children!
• Small activity books. Again, save the activity books you receive
from restaurants. You can also create a customized activity book by
printing off free printables from the Internet. See kidprintables.com.
• A printable map of the United States. You can use this to talk to
your child about where you are traveling. Have your child color in the
states they have visited.
• A postcard kit. Encourage your child to send postcards to family
members and friends about their travels. You can either include blank
postcards, collect postcards from the various places you visit, or
purchase a postcard kit. Make sure to bring addresses and stamps! Fun
idea…as a child, I collected post cards from all of the places I visited and
store them in a binder. It was a great way to remember all of our fun
• Create your own license plate game. Print out a chart with all of
the states in the U.S. Have your child check off each state as they find
cars with the appropriate license plate.
• Notepads & stickers. Children love to write on notepads and
decorate them with stickers.
• Crafts. Bring along a small non-messy craft that your child can do
in the car. Do an internet search for craft ideas or visit
orientaltrading.com for some inexpensive craft kits.
• Dry snacks…think goldfish, fruit chews, granola bars, etc.
Final tip…use your creativity when creating your child’s travel kit
and get their input on activities they would enjoy!
Reprinted with permission.