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Keeping Kids Happy and Engaged on Your Next Trip

Summertime is right around the corner, and that means many families will be taking vacations and trips, giving them a chance to bond with each other, explore new places and create lasting memories.

No matter your plans this summer, you may be searching for ways to keep kids engaged during long travel days or downtime. To make the most of your family’s adventures, consider packing the following travel essentials to help keep kids occupied, happy and even engaged in learning. At the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, we believe that educational opportunities are all around and can be mixed with tons of family fun. Keep reading to discover the items you won’t want to leave home without!


Tasty Treats in “Snackle” Box

Inspired by fishing tackle boxes, “snackle” boxes are a fun way to pack a variety of snacks in one convenient container. All you need is a simple plastic storage box and any small snacks you’d like to bring on your travels. If you’re packing for the whole family, you could consider a larger serving tray with a lid. These organizers are ideal for nuts, crackers, chips, sweet treats, and even fruit or cheese if you’re able to keep the box cold. Snackle boxes are a great way to satisfy hunger on the go, and keep kids fueled for endless creative adventures!


Screen-Free Entertainment on the Go

While tablets, headphones and other gadgets may be a travel must for some, other parents may look for screen-free alternatives to keep their kids’ attention during lengthy trips. The following products provide creativity-sparking enjoyment to keep kids entertained:

  • This reusable wipe-off activity pad is full of word, number and picture games for fun and learning in one easy-to-use, spiral-bound book. Plus, it has built-in storage for the included dry erase markers.
  • These LCD writing tablets are perfect for kids of all ages to draw and doodle colorful designs – and the writing utensil is attached, so you never have to worry about losing it!
  • This compact wooden travel memory game is an enjoyable way to practice memory skills, object and shape recognition, and collaborative play with fun themes like colors, animals, fruits, shapes and more.
  • This Ultimate Puzzle Challenge! book from Highlights is packed with fun! From the iconic kids magazine, this jumbo activity book boasts over 125 brain puzzles like hidden pictures, mazes, word searches and more.

If you’re looking for more interactive travel-time entertainment, check out the following hands-on activities. All you need is a pen or pencil, a journal or paper, and your imagination!

Early morning travel can be a great opportunity to spark new ideas! With this simple activity, you can get the whole family involved by brainstorming new inventions for your morning routines. The possibilities are endless!

The weather during your travel days also can inspire some awesome new inventions. Use this activity to think of ways to navigate extreme weather, jotting down your ideas and sketching prototypes. While you may be limited to pencil and paper on the go, you can transform your big ideas into inventions using recyclables once you get home!

If your child loves animals, this X-ray activity is perfect for exploring the skeletons of different creatures – with a bonus salty snack option! All you need to do ahead of your trip is to print out the animals and their X-rays, and grab some pretzels for kids to build their own skeletons.

Just as many adults enjoy chronicling their adventures, kids old enough to write can find fulfillment in documenting their family travels, recording their experiences, thoughts and feelings. You can use any notebook or journal you may already have, or you can purchase one made for kids, packed with prompts and activities to encourage their writing and exploration. Their journal also can become a great keepsake of their journeys.


More Ways to Inspire Your Child

Looking for ways to keep your kids engaged when you aren’t traveling? Visit our blog for even more STEM activities for your travels!

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