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ON the GO Backseat Learning

2013-06-13 by Zina Harrington

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Get ready for some really engaging On the Go Backseat Learning!

Road Trip!

You’ve got your vacation planned; now you’ve got to get to your destination. You can hear it in the back of your mind already, can’t you . . .

Are we there yet?

As a parent, you have a choice to make your long commute an adventure or a drag. Stop by the Melissa & Doug Traveling with Kids Pinterest board for a variety of ways to keep your kids entertained while on the road.

Below are 5 classic ways to keep your child entertained and learning while traveling:

1. License Plate Game: If you’re crossing state lines this summer, the license plate game is a car-trip must. Simply provide your child a notepad to write down all the different state license plates they spot. Keep “I saw it first” squabbling at bay by making this a collaborative family game.

If you’re looking for a more playful and educational take on this classic game, the Melissa & Doug U.S.A. License Plate Travel Game is a great alternative. As they flip each state’s tile over, your kids can learn the capitals of all 50 states, too.

The best part? There are no loose pieces (plus, you can keep playing the game even after your trip). My girls decided the “prize” for anyone finishing the game would be a trip to the last state flipped. Aloha, friends!

girl in car

2. Map It: Are we there yet? Avoid this nagging question with this simple 3-step solution: (a) Photocopy your trip map, write out the names of the states on it, and outline their borders. (b) Put the map into a protective cover, punch two holes at the top, and tie it with ribbon to the back of the car headrest in front of your child. (c) Give your kids dry eraser markers to follow along the travel route as you progress and discuss where you are now. No need to ask, “Are we there yet?” since they can see for themselves if you’ve reached your destination. Click here to see an example of this project in action.

3. Alphabet Search: This classic game is a great way to keep young children entertained. Each family member attempts to find the letters of the alphabet, in order, on building or road signs. When your child spots the next letter, they must call it out and say a word that beings with it, such as “D is for Dad!”

Consider integrating the Water WOW! Alphabet – ON the GO Travel Activity into the game. Each time your child finds a letter, have them color in the corresponding page. We love this product for two reasons: (a) the pen is water-based and (b) when the page dries, the color disappears.  You can use it again and again! Click here to see more ON the GO travel activity books.

water wow craft

4. Conversation Starters: After a few hours on the road, family conversations can start to run dry. Be prepared! Create your own set of humorous or educational conversation starters.

5. Classic Hangman: This traditional game is a great way to practice spelling and vocabulary with your child. Play on paper, on a Chalkboard/Dry-Erase Board, or check out this creative Flip-to-Win Hangman Travel Game version.

hangman game

Armed with these classic road-trip ideas, you’re sure to turn your traveling time into a fun family adventure.

If your family is taking a more techie approach to your seat time, stop by Let’s Lasso the Moon for creative ways to keep your screen-time educational and hassle-free.

Happy travels,


Zina Harrington

Zina is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments. Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Blog | Instagram

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