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Help for the Highway: 5 Tips for Traveling with Children

Help for the Highway: 5 Tips for Traveling with Children

School’s out and summer is here. As parents, we sometimes have mixed emotions about the long stretch of time we suddenly have with our children, and we strive to fill it with purposeful activities and memory-making endeavors. Traveling with children, however, can come with challenges! Below you will find five tried-and-true tricks for traveling with children. You have the potential to turn miserable miles into marvelous memories.

  • Artist on the Go – Encourage your children to be artists on the go by giving them traveling art kits. Simply use an old travel baby wipes case, cut paper strips to fit and place them inside with colored pencils. I recommend color pencils (if age appropriate) as opposed to crayons or markers because they have less of a chance to make a mess. The children can use the back of the wipes container as a flat surface for drawing and have the opportunity to free draw or draw to a specific idea. We’ve used travel time to make upcoming birthday cards.


  • Cookie Sheet Craziness – Purchase a dollar store cookie sheet and there are limitless possibilities! There are magnetic numbers and letters available as well as magnetic paper dolls. I like to get magnetic tape and place a small piece on the back of a set of puzzle pieces. This turns a regular table puzzle into a traveling puzzle.


  • Read – This seems so obvious and simple, but we don’t often think to read in the car. From the youngest babies to late elementary, reading in the car is an excellent way to promote literacy and encourage a love for books. If you are the solitary driver, you could find a book on tape or allow one of your older children to read out loud to you. When I’m not driving, I like to choose a chapter book to keep in the car. We’ve had some of our most pleasant road trips with this simple addition.


  • Spot It – There is an actual game called “Spot It,” however, you can adapt the game without spending any money (and we love that!). Before leaving, make a list of things you might see on your road trip. Then, while driving, call out the different items and see who can discover it.


  • Mystery Bags – On longer road trips, I have found mystery bags to be incredibly beneficial. Simply fill brown paper bags with little treats—easy things like a granola bar, coloring book, dollar store toy, etc., and set a rule for delivery. We’ve delivered mystery bags every so many hours or for every new state we entered. The possibilities are endless!

On your next road trip, whether to grandma’s or to Disney, remember there is help for the highway!

By: Angela Jamison is a mother of four who loves traveling with her children, but learned very early that it was necessary to keep them entertained while in the car. When she is not with her own family, she spends her days in a Christian preschool watching little ones learn about the love of our Lord. For more information on Angela, visit her blog at

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One Comment

  1. We are going on a road trip soon. Thanks for the great ideas!!

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