Road Trip Binder for Kids

So the countdown is on until the day of our big move and we are preparing every day. Today I cleaned out the cupboards and freezer and washed all of my dry foods containers. Also went through and got rid of a ton of plastic food containers that didn’t have lids. Now onto the next item of business….
But one thing that we don’t have to worry about anymore is keeping the kids busy on our trip. It’s crazy how road trips have changed from when I was a kid! Holy cow! My parents never went out of state, we usually just stuck within a 1-2 hour radius from our house and I still remember being BORED to tears!Our kids are spoiled, but they’ve also been across so much more territory than I ever did as a child. We’ve driven from California to Alaska. From Alaska to Ohio and from Ohio to Utah (twice) on top of trips to Niagara Falls, Pennsylvania, etc. So I guess a bit of extra effort is required since we drag our kids all over the country! With a portable DVD player, books on tape, a new DS (ugh…yes, we caved and finally let our children get one to share on the trip), toys, new chapter books, and these new travel binders that I made, I think they will have fun!
The boys’ binders are identical. Kaylee’s is a scaled down version with lots of coloring pages and stickers instead of educational worksheets.
Each binder has a map of the US that they can check out and follow along. The front of each binder has our trip mapped out for them as well. They can follow along with little post-it flags.
The first several pages are road-trip games. Links to any printable I show can be found at the bottom of the post. Yay for free printables! What a time saver! The first is a state licence plate game. Both of our cars have Alaska plates so they can check those off….or should we make them find other cars with Alaska plates? Probably!
Next is an I-Spy game. I put post-it tabs and flags inside the binders to use as markers for games like bingo and to mark what they found.
A slug bug game (although I think we’ll just look for cars in these colors too) and an Alphabet game. Those two are games we always played as kids, while traveling, and I play them with my kids now. I never thought of putting them on a printable to mark off though. Genius!
Another version of the I-Spy game with things to find.
I have a section for them to keep their ticket stubs and brochures from the attractions that we visit.
Also a place for them to keep their bonus travel tickets. The kids can earn tickets by catching Derrick or I saying the “Word of the Day”. For example, if the word of the day is “Car”, anytime we say it, and they catch it, they earn a travel ticket. Tickets are worth money and can be used to buy souvenirs along the way!
There is also an itinerary packet for each day of the trip in its own page protector. It tells them where we will end up each day, has a list of things to look for, tells them what the word of the day is, and includes a joke as well. The jokes are all different so they can share them with each other.
Each packet also includes a journal page for them to write or draw on.
There is also a math worksheet to do daily.
And a fun worksheet, like this hidden picture page. I found these books at Joann’s awhile ago and the kids love them. There are word search, hidden pictures, mazes, educational worksheets that correlate with their grade level, etc.
I know that we could just give them snacks and a ton of movies and they would be happy (we’ve done it before and we will still do that this time too), but we would also like to create memories, and have them and interact with each other. So hopefully these games will help with that!
Since Derrick and I are driving in separate vehicles and I will be the one primarily driving with the children, we can use all of the fun interactive, and boredom buster ideas we can get!
3500 miles and 18 Days on the road, then another 2 months of hotel living before our house is finished……BRING IT. ;)
Links to Printables
Printable Jokes here , here and here.

Comments

  1. i love your binder ideas! though south carolina has changed it’s license plate in the last 2 years. you are so lucky to have good travelers!

  2. Just happened to stumble across your blog and am glad I did. Love this post. I’ve pinned it and know I will come back to create this soon. I’d love to have you link this up to Titus 2 Tuesday tomorrow on Cornerstone Confessions. Hope to see you there.

    Kathy

  3. I love this idea! I may do this for my grandchildren when they travel from Ohio to Florida.

  4. I LOVE that you put all this together! What a thoughtful, caring mom you are! I will definitley do something like this for my kids on our next big road trip. I love your blog and have followed you for a while – thanks for all your great ideas!

  5. I love these ideas! I babysit with our granddaughter five days a week and these will be great to use even when we just drive the 15 miles to town to run errands. Awesome! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  6. What a great, creative and educational idea, thanks!

  7. Such a good idea having them all in one binder! We are planning Disneyland trip so I am totally doing this! Pinning it now! Thanks for stopping by my blog also! So good to hear from you!

  8. Great idea! I love the “flags” on the things they find instead of using dry eraser marker.

  9. Such a great idea. I did quiet bags for our recent trips but I love the binder idea to use as the boys get older! This is an idea I will save for sure!

  10. thanks so much for this, i’ll be needing this soon. now your newest follower

  11. Very well done! We are about to move next week and I had a smaller version but this is great!

  12. Love this idea! We are going from PA to Michigan in July. This will help keep our daughter entertained. Thank you!

  13. I love your post!

  14. we are getting ready to move from north western NV to Jacksonville, FL with a stop in Canton, OH soon! I’ve been trying to plan a binder of sorts for my kids too. thank you for the ideas! good luck!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing these! We are getting ready for a road trip with a 4 and 3 year old, and I know I will be able to use these.
    Erin

  16. Great idea!! You said you wanted a few more ideas, so hopefully this helps:

    Putting a fact sheet (history facts, stupid facts, little known facts, state capitals) along with pictures for each state you’ll cross (the liberty bell for NC, an Elk for MT, Grand Canyon for AZ, Old Faithful for WY, etc). Make it a game that they can’t look until they are in that state. When you do enter, stop at a truck stop and have them pick out a postcard to glue into the state section. Have them write their thoughts about the state.

    Another I saw recently was using Google to print off popular games on large paper and placing them on cookie sheets, then you use magnets (decorated of course!) as the players. If you use a sheet with a lip, you can use die without loosing them.

    Another woman who moved across the ocean to Europe bought used iPods off Craigslist and added kids games, a few episodes of the child’s favorite shows, then decorated each to reflect the child. Buying them second hand, she was able to get three iPod touches for only $150. She bought very cheap headphones at Ross, and put them in the kits she made for each kid.

    The “kits” were plastic shoe boxes and included lunch size snacks, books, the iPod, crayons, a “ticket” they could use only once, and it was their choice of music, movie, or game the WHOLE family had to watch/play for one full hour. Also hand sanitizer, wipes, and tissues. There was a gallon size ziplock for their garbage, and some homemade “find it” tubes. The kids decorated them, and the idea was they would have their own…which reduces the “she’s not sharing!” fights.

    Hope that helps, and thank you for the binder idea! :D

  17. LOVE this!!! I have a travel binder that I keep in the car, along with a homemade card game, but you have some ideas here that I haven’t seen before. I love the idea of adding some of them for specific road trips!! Thank you for the tips!

  18. This is SO FUN! My kids are still babies, so not quite ready for this, but a couple more years and this will be perfect for trips to grandmas or other vacations.

    One tip I saw somewhere else recently that’s similar to your word of the day tickets was to give your kids a ticket for being polite or doing good deeds and that’s how they earn their spending money for the trip!

    Thanks for putting together this fun tutorial!

  19. OMG! you just made my summer.
    My little OCD girl is gonna love how organized this whole thing is. And the Travel tickets – problem solved, no tickets=no money to spend! Budget is happy :)
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. That is a fantastic idea! My daughter is going on a road trip without me this summer. This is something I can put together for her ahead of time so that she can keep busy and record her memories of it. Fantastic! (Plus I LOVE binders)

  21. What a fantastic idea! I must share it with my young mom friends.

  22. When I was 11, my family took a huge road trip from Ottawa, Canada, to Vancouver, down to California, up through Utah and the northern states, and then home again. Three adults, four children, a dog, and a trailer. No air-conditioning, no electronics. However, my parents gave us each a clipboard with similar pages to yours and it made a world of difference. We had route maps and we had the itinerary as well. That really helped because we knew what to expect.

    Also, think about adding plain graph paper – great for games like SOS and boxes!

  23. Cute, cute , CUTE! Love the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Thanks so much for sharing! great ideas! :)

  25. Great idea! I’m collecting travel ideas for our huge Disney road trip next week! Thanks for this.

    ~Steph @ Silver Boxes

  26. I absolutely Love this idea and can’t wait to make binders up for my boys! For just daily car rides even!! I am going to be a new homeschooling mom this fall, and this is GREAT! Thanks so much for the idea!! :o)

  27. This is absolutely fantastic. I found your post by a pin on pinerest.

    I saw the link you have to the printables but the ones I’m really looking for I can’t find. :( Can you tell me where you found the ABC one, the license plate, the I Spy and Slug Bug? They are so cute for my little one that I think she would love them.

    I’m kinda guessing you made them? Thanks for your help!

  28. These are such fabulous ideas!! We are contemplating going on a road trip to California from Vancouver Island, so these ideas will be very handy! I was actually looking for roadtrip bingo for our short overnight trip to Victoria, these will work great! Oh, and many thanks for the free printables!! :)

  29. I love and adore your travel ticket idea! I’m scouring the internet via pinterest to get ideas for our binder, and that one is top notch for me! We’re heading to Yellowstone in a couple weeks, and I don’t want to hear the “Mom, can I have….” this will solve the problem easy! :D In addition to no souvenirs till the last day of the trip {we did that for Disney and it was AWESOME!}

    Thanks again!

  30. Thanks so much for posting this. This binder idea is going to make all the difference in our road trip!

  31. I’ll have to remember these ideas for our next road trip. They’re great!
    Kelly at Little Wonders’ Days

  32. Super cute! You have been Pin’d excessively by me. :) I hope you don’t mind!

  33. So cute!

    I’d love it if you shared this with the Fun Family Crafts audience.
    FFC is similar to Craftgawker but it only features kid friendly tutorials.

    Looking forward to seeing what fun crafts you submit!
    http://funfamilycrafts.com

  34. These are great for the older kids! I did some similar ones such as the ‘I Spy’ worksheet. I used actual pictures so it was realistic, but I can see how the free printable ones you included here are great for kids as well. I brought along dry erase markers so that they can be used to draw as well on the back of the game sheet-the game sheet was placed in a plastic page protector like you used here. I made a couple of additional games for the preschoolers and under that I posted on my page last week. Since I have a toddler and a preschooler I wanted to bring activities that they could both use, but that would not be boring for one or the other. Hooray, though, for children who travel well! The more they do it, the better they get-I too am a milspouse (Marine Corps), so hello from a fellow military family. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  35. Thank you so much ladies for sharing what you’ve done for road trips in the past as well! These ideas are amazing and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to comment and share!

    Brandy
    Gluesticks

  36. I love this!!! What a great idea! I can’t wait to use it on our next trip!

  37. This is fun!Ususally when we travel, I just let my kids watch videos for children using wi-fi and they are good. You gave me more ideas.

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  39. This is great! We have a big road trip coming up and this will be great for our 4-year-old.

  40. Awesome! Thanks, perfect for our move to AK!

    • Wonderful! I hope your kids enjoy it. We’ve done the Alaska move too. We lived in Kodiak for 4 years and my husband is from Alaska. Such a beautiful place. Good luck! :)

  41. Great idea for having a fun with small kids , i just love kids and i can do anything for her smiles……Thoroughly enjoyed the post. Eagerly anticipating what’s coming next.I would never have normally come here to read the blogs but I’m really glad I did. I will definitely be coming back.

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  42. This is an awesome idea!!! I have a 3 1/2 year old and some of these pages would be great for her on our trip to niagra falls. Wish I would have seen this before our trip to Hawaii last november. 10 hours on a plane with a toddler….all she had was a coloring book and the in flight movies. But this will be PERFECT for future trips!

  43. This is an awesome idea!!! I have a 3 1/2 year old and some of these pages would be great for her on our trip to niagra falls. Wish I would have seen this before our trip to Hawaii last november. 10 hours on a plane with a toddler….all she had was a coloring book and the in flight movies. But this will be PERFECT for future trips!

  44. I love this! We have to move from Oregon to the Chicago area in a little over a month, and this will really help with that long trip. Now I just need to figure out what to do for my 2 year old!

  45. what map program did you use? I have been trying to print one off for our upcoming trip from mapquest and google maps and they keep printing off super small! thanks!!

  46. I really enjoyed this post! I am about to travel with a 3.5 and 5 year old and love how you put the kids binders together. Although we are flying for a short duration, the wait and check-in times add double the time to our trip so I will have to add some of these ideas to keep my active and smart kids busy. I hope to use more of your ideas in the fall when we hope to take a road trip.

  47. Where did you get the map of the United States?

  48. Hi, I just stumbled upon this post and I am so glad I did. This is an amazing idea and I have even thought of a way to use it for other activities also – eg: our Holiday Club etc. Thanks for sharing :-) Will look through the rest of the blog now :-) Excited. xx

  49. Luv it. Keeps the kids entertained for hours. Thanks so much.

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