Creating The Ultimate Travel Activity Kit for Kids

Are we there yet? Oh the joys of traveling with kids! Guess what? It doesn’t have to be painful. A little planning and prep can go a long way in making the journey as enjoyable for your little one as the destination. Here are some ideas for packing the ultimate travel activity kit for your kids.

Obviously, what you bring as travel activities for your child depends a lot on their age. Take our ideas and let the wheels in your head spin to come up with the ultimate solution for your trip!

Art Supplies

Some crayons and a coloring book can go a long ways when it comes to keeping your child busy on the go. Not only are these staples easy to pack and relatively mess-free, but coloring is good for your child’s mind, too! Here are some other art products that are great for on-the-go fun:

A small amount of play dough or modeling clay is also a great option for on-the-go fun. Give our DIY Play Dough recipe a try!


Make sure you bring along a few of your child’s favorite books, but throw in a couple of new ones, too! If buying books isn’t in your budget, make a trip to the library in advance. Even if they don’t spend the whole journey reading, there really is no better way to pass up the travel time.

If your child is old enough, consider starting a chapter book with them on your travels! Reading out loud is a great way to engage with them and pass the time. Classics like Charlotte’s Web and The Wizard of Oz are good ones to start with.

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Cut yourself some slack and consider loosening technology time limits when you’re on the go. If anything, do it for your sanity! A portable DVD player and your child’s favorite cartoon or movie can go a long way when it comes to making your trip whine-free. Or, hand over your smartphone or tablet and let them play educational games. Consider investing in a good pair of child-sized headphones so that you can enjoy some quiet time, too!


Not only are there hundreds of ideas for awesome travel games online, but nowadays you can even buy family classic board games in portable, easy to manage travel versions. For older kiddos, check out this travel Scrabble game or a travel version of Trouble. For young ones (babies & toddlers), bring a blanket for naps that can also make for some peekaboo fun!

Check out our DIY Kids Art Lacing Cards for another easy and fun travel activity.

Some Special Surprises

Do you want to know a trick to some extra fun travel time? Bring along a handful of wrapped gifts for your kiddo! Hit up discount bins or dollar sections at your local store to find knick-knacks that would excite them. You can also consider wrapping up things that you already own and make it “surprise activity time.” Pull out a wrapped gift at various points along your journey to keep the excitement going. The mystery alone will be enough to keep a smile on your child’s face.

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Putting It All Together

What you choose to pack in your child’s travel activity kit depends a lot on your mode of transportation and the amount of space you have to work with. Here are some ideas for flying and car travel.

By Air

If you’re taking a plane to get to your final destination, you’ll probably be focused on packing as light as possible. We recommend dedicating one backpack or a child size rolling suitcase to kid activities and snacks – something you can easily fit under the seat in front of you. Check out these options:

By Car

If it’s a road trip you are planning for, consider something that is easily accessible – something that can be put on the floor in front of your child or between two car seats. Here are a few options we love:

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One final tip: When putting together your travel activity kit, think outside the box! Throw in a few items or activities that are new to your child (like pipe cleaners that can be sorted by color or bent into animal shapes). Even a sandwich bag full of cotton balls can turn in to a fun game with a little bit of imagination. have a great guide for visiting Malta with the kids. For more travel tips, tricks, and ideas check out our WANDER category.

Photo Credit: Dreams To Do



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Ariel is a working mom of two (expecting baby #3 next July!) who is married to her high school sweetheart. When she isn’t at the office or playing with her young kiddos, you can find her writing on her personal blog, Dreams To Do. Ariel is a lover of inspirational words, photography, coffee, reality TV, and of course, her family. You can connect with Ariel on Twitter and Facebook.


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