Road Trip Activities for Children

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through July. I feel like summer just started. We are preparing for a fun road trip to my inlaw’s at the end of the summer. My husband will be leaving for his second deployment to Afghanistan at the end of the month. I feel like these 7 months always go by so slow and we are just waiting for him to get back. This deployment I decided to make a few changes and travel more to see family. I thought it would be a nice distraction for our children to spend two weeks with their grandparents in August.

It is just over 16 hours from southern California to my husband’s family home in Albany, Oregon. I thought we would make it a fun road trip with stops and sight seeing. We are planning to stop overnight in northern California, however any time you are in the car by yourself with 4 little ones (they are 8, 6, 3, and 1), it can seem much longer than what you expected. So I thought I would start planning early to help pass the time better for them. I made these personalized little activity books. They will love the fact that their names are in the puzzles and that it was made just for them. I included all of their favorite games that we like to play at restaurants on the paper mats and a few more I found online.

I have included the PDF document I used to print out the 14 different activities and here are the free websites that will allow you to create you own puzzles. What great educational tools!

Games for the Car

Discovery Education

Disney Family Fun

Here is a list of other things we will do to help pass the time: purchase a new movie to watch in the car, bring a small toy to keep them each entertained, put fresh batteries in their cameras so that they can document the trip too, bring plenty of snacks (I like to put them in the small snack ziploc bags so that they only have enough for one serving), bring their favorite books, and I am sure we will play lots of fun games, like I spy and alphabet memory games. If you have any suggestions or ideas for road trips, please share. I definitely want to be as prepared as I can be since I am making the drive alone.

Here are the instructions to make the activity books.

1. I bought a 4″ by 6″ drawing pad (they were only $2.99 at Michaels and they had nice thick pages for added durability).

2. I flipped the cover of the pad so that it would be plain white (opened the wire spine to remove the cover and flipped it over and put it back in place).

3. Each of my children picked out their favorite animal for the cover. In this example, Riley picked the hippo on page 44 of the booklet. I cut out the accessory grass (3″ and 1.75″) with green paper. I then cut out the shadow, layer 1, layer 2, and layer 3 (3″) with complimentary blue pattern paper.

4. I adhered them to the cover along with a chipboard letter “r” for Riley.

5. I then printed the 7 pages and cut them to fit the book and adhered them to the pages. Since the book had 24 sheets, they have several plain pages to color on too.

I hope you enjoy the project. Have a great week!


Addison Paige


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dreama BordeaUX
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 09:38:36

    Thanks for this whole post. My g-kids travel a lot to visit and this would be a perfect little book for them. I foresee six books in my future…by Christmas. Bless you for traveling that far with four little ones.


  2. Kris Dietz
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 18:28:26

    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing this project and ideas with us.

    dietzrobles at yahoo dot com


  3. salla
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 20:17:56

    I strongly recommend books on tape/CD. You can do a Harry Potter book or an old favorite from your childhood. Great way to pass a trip.


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