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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Learning on the Go - Roads Trip with Kids

funny t shirts

While on a road trip with kids, it can be hard to keep everyone occupied. Kids get bored easily and while coloring books and crayons are fun, they run out of interest with them pretty quickly. Try out a couple of the ideas below on your next road trip and see what works for your family!!

When you stop at a gas station or rest stop, grab a map.
  • Hopefully you keep a couple pens or markers laying around the car /in your purse, or you can use a crayon.
  • Draw a line through the road or area that you've driven through and keep track of where your going and where you've been.
  • If you stop at a store, look for small stickers, even yard-sale dots, you can add them to the map as well.

You can also collect tiny rocks or pebbles and use them for Math Problems.
  • For Example - Pick up a few pebbles at a rest stop or use pennies, etc. - Mom hands the child 4 pebbles, Dad hands the child 3 pebbles. How many pebbles does the child have now?
  • If you have paper or a notebook, have the kid(s) write down the math problem as it's happening to help them figure it out.
  • The written problem for the above Math Problem is 4+3=7

If your driving through a state that's different than your home state, Play the Tag Game!
  • To Play the Tag Game you'll need a piece of paper and something to write with. Then simply keep an eye on the tags of passing cars. If you find a car from your home town then you can put a tally mark on your paper. You can play it many other ways as well.
  • For Example - Write the Current State that your driving through at the top of the paper.
  • Keep an eye on the passing car tags and when you see one from a different state than the current one, write it down and add a tally. 
  • See how many different State car tags pass through each state that you pass through!
  • Don't forget that your car has a tag that may be different than the current state that your driving through so that counts as a tally too!!
  • If you have crayons or markers - Try using a matching marker to the color of the cars. Doing this will let you see what color cars are popular in the states that the tags/cars are from.
Picture It -- Your driving through Tennessee and see a Blue Car/Truck with a tag from North Carolina and a red car/truck from Georgia and a Black car from New York and another Car/truck from NC, a Red one. -- Your paper could look something like this:

North Carolina
I I 


New York

You can also use the Road Signs as learning boards!
  • Ask the kids to read the road signs out loud.
  • See how many of them they sound out correctly!

Playing I-Spy is always a fun way to incorporate colors into a road trip trivia game!
  • While sitting in traffic or in the store parking lot while your waiting on dad to get directions to your next stop: Start the game like:
  • "I spy with my little eye... Something Blue" The answer could be: The sky, a car, paint on the store, a road sign, or anything else you may be able to see from your car.
  • Once the kid(s) figure out what you spy, the one who is right - Gets to spy next.
  • I Spy is also a great game to play in a plane, a train or even a bus!

Make a Field Journal before you start your trip.
  • Have on for each child that will need occupied. (0-4 will need other ways to keep occupied like small toys)
  • Use a pre-made Notebook and come up with questions that you would like answered while on your trip. Do you know what states or cities that you will be traveling to or through?
  • You can also Make-Your-Own Notebook -  Use lined paper as the center and 2 solid colored pieces for the front and back. Staple it together or punching 3 holes and tie the sheets together with string.
  • Use Questions Like -- What is the State Bird, State Flower, State Capitol, etc.
  • Mark off a few pages for Post Cards, Maps, Photos and other small State Finds.
  • You can even collect food labels from products that are only sold in that city or state.

Always collect the information while on your trip and collect little items and such. Including Post Cards, Take photos, Food Labels, Maps and such

Your Field Journal may look a bit like:

North Carolina

State Bird
State Tree - Dogwood
State Capitol - Raleigh
State Song

Tape or Glue Collected Maps and Postcards as well as pictures that you take throughout your trip, on the extra pages!

I hope your next family road trip is 10x more fun when you start including some of these awesome little car games!!

Safe Travels!!

Little Passports


  1. These sound like some fun ways to pass the time and learn during a trip. I've done a couple of these, but my favorite was always the alphabet game with road signs. The first person to see something on a road sign or business that started with the letter A would shout out the word and point it out, then they would be searching for a B while everyone else was still looking for their A and so on until someone finished the alphabet. This is best for children 7 + if there is only one parent in the car. Younger children 4+ can play if there is a second parent willing to help out :)

    1. How fun!!! I'll have to try out the Alphabet game with my girls! They're 6 and , I'm sure they would have a blast! Thanks for the idea!

  2. These are some great ideas for road trips and learning! We are going on a trip soon, so I will definitely be using some of these!

    1. I'm sure your girls will have lots of fun! Learning Giggles are the best kind :) Have a safe trip!!

  3. Great tips! I love the tag game! I love learning on the go!

    1. Thanks! The tag game is great! When I was little, I took it to a whole different level - I had a little notepad where I wrote the full tag numbers along with state names of every tag I saw!! Not really sure what got me into collecting tag numbers but I had lots of little notebooks that were full! :) I enjoyed it.


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