The long weekend is upon us, and families around the country are packing up – with a lot of excitement and just a little, well, fear. After all, traveling with kids can be as exhausting as it is exhilarating. “Are we there yet? I need to go potty!!! When can we eat?”
For long car rides, stocking up on games and activities to bide the time can become a parent’s survival kit. We all feel way better when we’re armed with distractions for our kids that are also learning resources. So Homer’s experts have prepared a cheat sheet to help make traveling with kids enjoyable and educational!
1. Create a portable magnetic play station for coloring
Grab a cookie sheet, some magnets, crayons, and paper for your child to have a working space for drawing and creating. Bonus points for also snagging magnetic letters (extra learning reinforcement).
2. Listen to Homer’s audio-stories as a family
Read some of the Funny Stories in the StoryTime section of the Homer app. Laughable stories such as “The Elf and the Dormouse” can spark conversation with young children about telling their own tales. Encourage them to create a silly story using the portable magnetic play station you’ve supplied. Share pics of your drawings and creative play stations with us at #TravelWithHomer and we’ll enter your child to win a special prize.
3. Use Speakaboos audio-stories to shore up social and emotional skills
Any mom will tell you: if you want to talk about the hard stuff with your child, wait until you get in the car. A long drive allows for uninterrupted time with your children to talk about what’s on their minds and to impart some of the lessons and values important to your family. Carrying on the theme of travel, Speakaboos story “On the Bus” offers a great lesson on patience. The main character Hudson finds ways to pass the time and patiently wait for the bus to arrive. When you’re fighting your road rage and biting your lip when the light won’t turn green for the third time in ten minutes, this story might even help you curb your temper.
4. Play the Animal Memory Game
One person names an animal. Then each person in order has to name that animal plus add on another animal name that starts with the last letter of the previous name. Everyone has to keep going until it gets to someone who can’t remember all of the animal names that were mentioned.
5. Laugh Out Loud Using Alliteration
Make up a story using as many words that start with the same letter. Go around the room and see who can come up with the funniest story that includes (mostly) the letter chosen.
We also asked a few of our Homer Ambassadors what they’d recommend to get us all through a long journey. Whether it be plane or car, Natalie S. finds that by packing snacks that take longer to eat (think carrots, celery, or apples) makes the time go by faster for kids. Deb S. and Stephanie E. are all about having iPads on hand. Allison F. also recommends keeping a stash of pull ups, especially for younger kids who might have a hard time understanding the potty break isn’t always immediate.
We hope this helps you as you forge forward on your next adventure. What other games have kept your kids entertained while traveling?