On the Road
Help kids understand time and distance. Find a concrete way to measure minutes, hours, or days. For example, every hour you could move a crayon or marker from a "Still to Go" container to "We've Come This Far." Children can draw with more and more colors as they ride.
Feed them early and often. When you're at home snacks pour out of the fridge without anyone noticing. But on vacation you have to plan ahead. Don't stray too far from your family's routine (meal times, choice of foods, etc).
As a fun learning activity, have the kids manage the snack inventory. Let them "be in charge." Have the kids draw a simple chart with their favorite snacks. While traveling, the kids mark each snack as it is eaten. This chart is a math skill builder AND a great way for you to keep track of food favorites.
Share the fun with friends. Create your own postcards, "from the road." Use index cards and have kids color a vacation scene on one side. Write messages to friends and relatives on the other side. Stamp and drop these personal postcards at the hotel's front desk each morning on your way out to explore.
Capture the memories. As kids return to the hotel each evening, ask them to draw their favorite part of the vacation day. Keep a folder of the vacation artwork, in a special scrapbook.
Collect the booklets and brochures, ticket stubs, and placemats from your trip. Encourage kids to use these in a vacation collage when you return home.