Keeping your children busy in the car, train or plane

10 tips to keep your children busy while traveling

The vacations are approaching. And whatever mode of transportation you choose, the fateful question “when do we get there?” is likely to be heard more than once.

busy kids

Photo Gustavo Fring in Pexels

By car, train or plane, it is not always easy to ask children to stay calm.

Beyond books, shelves and other portable consoles, here are 10 ideas to keep young people busy so that the vacation path doesn’t become a living hell.

Drawing in the windows

For spending time in the car, coloring books are a great classic. But to make it a little more original, buy erasable window markers – kids will love being able to draw on their windows!

Be careful, the works of art should not disturb the driver, so it will be necessary to define before the exit which windows and which zones are authorized.

Didn’t find any erasable markers? Prepare a quick guessing game. One child makes a fog by blowing on the glass, he must quickly draw a picture (of an animal, an object… it is better to determine a theme) and the other child must guess what it is.

Take a blind test

The music softens the morale and also allows to multiply the games in the car.

Turn on the radio, tune in to a station that plays songs that are probably familiar to everyone, and take a blind test: the fastest to recognize a song wins. You can give the title of the song or the performer.

Tired of radio? Take turns humming a familiar tune. Once again, the first one to find it won – a more homely and necessarily more fun variant!

Telling a story to many

Do your children have the talk? A vivid imagination? These games should appeal to them. Imagine a family story: the first player begins to tell a story.

He then points out to the family member that he should continue before pointing to someone else in turn. The story ends when each person has “written” two or three chapters of this family history.

Remember to give everyone the same amount of time to talk. Two minutes per person can be a good start.

A variation:

Do the same but with only one word allowed per person.

Read the license plates. If children are old enough and can read, ask them to imagine phrases or slogans with the letters on the license plates. Example: 235 AVT 14, becomes “Attention Voiture Terrible” .

Exchanging small words without speaking

And yes, sometimes after singing, swapping, drawing, you need a little silence. If you can’t set up a nap that you don’t earn beforehand, turn the car into a post office.

Instead of talking, ask the children to change the tickets. The whole tribe has a pen and paper in their hands.

A letter carrier is designated, and when a family member has something to say, he writes it down and gives it to the letter carrier, who delivers it.

Of course, for safety reasons the driver cannot participate. Therefore, he is the only one who can speak. To encourage the game, a promise can be given to the first to speak.

Observing and memorizing everything around us in the plane

A game you can play with the kids. One of the players looks carefully around the cabin to try to remember all the possible details.

When he is ready, he closes his eyes and the other player asks him questions such as: “How is the sweater of the lady in the back, who is sitting in the next row? After a few questions, reverse the roles.

Making watercolors with ice cubes

Most airlines provide small bags for children, usually containing markers or pencils, coloring pictures, stickers, etc.

This can keep them busy for a while. But why not take advantage of the flight to teach them watercolor (in a simplified version, of course)? How can I do that? By teaching them to paint on ice.

Have him make a nice drawing with marker on a sheet of paper. Then have her make a small ice cube that she will slide over the drawing, which will then become a watercolor!

Remember to clean the water with a paper towel that can drip from this masterpiece!

Playing mime games on the plane

Just because there isn’t much room on a plane doesn’t mean you have to stand still. Two fun games that should amuse children.

The game of mime, everyone knows it. But it should make the little passengers lose their heads.

In the duo, the first one makes a movement while declaring that he is doing something else (he scratches his nose and says he is scratching his neck).

The other child must do what the first player said while announcing what the other player is going to do. And so on until they become total goats!

Another game that does not require much: the puppets.

Using the markers that airlines give children in their small bags, ask them to draw different faces on the inside of their fingers. They can then use the board as a stage for their puppet play.

Finding pre-identified objects

The day before the game, ask each child to draw a grid of about thirty squares (6 wide, 5 high) on which they will write something they are likely to see during the train ride (a red car, a police car, a cow, a baby, a station…).

Once on board, as soon as they see one of the things on the list, they cross it off. The first one to finish a line or a column wins!

Guess with your eyes closed

The guessing game works well as long as you have lots of small objects at hand (cards, CB, earrings, coins, key rings…).

One child closes his eyes, the other puts an object in the palm of his hand and the one with his eyes closed has to guess what it is.

Make a small tray

A great classic of the vacations: the high school (or “petit bac”)! It still appeals to all ages and always works very well, although it is true that in the long run the same words tend to come back.

Don’t you know this essential family game? It is a word game that consists of finding a series of words (defined in advance) starting with a letter given by one of the participants.

The word series often includes: girl’s name, boy’s name, city or country, occupation, thing/object, animal, fruit/flower/vegetable. It is up to each family to determine its own list of words.

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