NOTE: For a list of over 200 free and inexpensive things to do with kids, see my Summer Bucket List here.
We are about to go to Austin for a few days and from there we have decided to head to the beach. With 4 kids. Under that age of 7. You know what that means. Fighting. Lots of fighting.
When we drove to my aunt and uncle's house last month, I started making up my own Road Trip Bingo. I brainstormed things the kids would see along the way. I tried not to have too many restaurants. I added water towers and oil derricks. I came home and created my own bingo boards using a simple spreadsheet and pictures I copied from the internet. Since my kids ARE so young, the method of play will be simple. Anytime the kids see one of the items on their sheet, they will mark it off of their board. I'm not sure there will be a prize for the 1st one to finish, but we're thinking of having "good behavior tickets" and we may give them some extra tickets upon completion.
Another idea I'm excited about is one I found on I Can Teach My Child blog. Make your won Paint With Water pages....pack them in a gallon-sized ziplock bag...add a paintbrush....don't forget your cup with a lid and a strawhole for the paintbrush and you're ready to go.
Also going in the baggies are these printable hidden pictures from Highlights magazine. There are 2 pages so be sure you click to see the next page. The 2nd page has about 138 more pages.
I have printed wordsearches for my older kids and here are some "What is Different" pages. Here is another one by Family Fun.
Here are 400 travel game ideas on Family Fun's website.
I am trying to find some "Crack the Code" pages. If I had more time, I'd make my own using my rubber stamp collection. I suppose you could use the symbols on your computer as well.
You could play The Alphabet Game. Start with the letter "A" and find one on a sign, truck, building or license plate, say the word and then move on to the next letter. You can do this as a competition or together as a family for the younger beginning readers. The first one to get to the letter "Z" is the winner!
Another version of this game:
Someone picks a theme (foods, animals, places, girl names, boy names, bands, songs etc) and you pick an item that corresponds with each letter of the alphabet. You can do this several ways... We usually go Person 1: A, Person 2: B, Person 3: C, etc,. But you can do it where each person does A and then each person does B. If you want to get competitive about it, you can do one letter until someone can't think of an item, and that person loses that round!
How about The License Plate Game:Print a U.S. map off the computer and color in the states as you see license plates from each one. For smaller kids, you could copy and paste pictures of each states' license plate.
Pass around a "Treasure Bottle": Use a large soda bottle or a large clean peanut butter jar. Fill it no more than 2/3 full with uncooked rice or birdseed. Then put in about 20-25 small objects (safety pin, plastic bugs, button, M&M, nut, bolt, paper clip, penny, bead, piece of macaroni, tiny lego, and other misc. toy pieces or stuff that is probably rolling around in your kitchen junk drawer.) Keep a count of the items and write down the number of items on the outside of the bottle. Put the lid on tight. Let the kids take turns rolling the bottle around in their hands until they find them all. Kids of all ages love this game. You can make more than one treasure bottle so kids don't have to take turns - put different items in different bottles
Play "Find 100": Choose a color or an object and then count them until you find 100 of that item. Popular Find 100 items are American flags, statues, rivers, water falls, churches, red cars, etc. A competitive variation has each person choose a different item or color of car that passes you, and have a race to 100
There are many more ideas out there. Check out Momsminivan.com for more ideas with printables.
A & M is filled with traditions, many of which most outsiders do not understand. We have a saying, "From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. From the inside looking out, you can't explain it." For more info on our wonderful traditions, go to http://aggietraditions.tamu.edu/
I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Yee-Haw. I am a proud member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of '94. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and 4 beautiful children plus 4 angel babies. We are members of the local Catholic church. Besides being with my family, I love cooking, baking, decorating cakes, and saving money!