Our family loves to travel! But the getting to & from part, like driving or flying to our destination is what we could do without.
As an adult it’s not so bad, but with kids it can honestly be so hard sometimes!
To make the time go by faster, you have to have something prepared to keep kids busy & occupied. A DIY Travel Activity Binder for kids is an awesome way to keep kids busy when traveling!
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Making a DIY Travel Binder for Kids
First, decide if you want to let the kids use dry erase markers on the pages of your travel binder, or just regular pencil & crayons/markers. (Depending on the age & maturity of your kids.)
If you want to reuse the travel binder for several trips, it’s super easy to make a fun travel binder/road trip binder for each child to use on family vacations.
Here’s What You Need:
- A 3 ring binder with clear cover like this one (1/2 inch or 1 inch is big enough, but not too big). Get different colors for each child if you have more than one.
- 3 hole punch and/or sheet protectors – if you want some pages to be reusable, or a place to store some pages.
- Crayons or colored pencils – we normally stick with the colored pencils, and/or dry erase markers (or regular markers or gel pens for older kids).
- Pencil pouch with 3 rings for all pens, pencils, etc.
- Printable activity sheets
Optional Items to Include:
- A clever pencil/pen holder like this one if you want to put one of these just on the inside of the notebook to keep it handy.
- 3 hole notebook for them to write in (use it as a travel journal too) or draw in.
- Graph paper would be fun to draw on if you have a Minecraft fan!
- A print out of the route to your destination off of Google Maps. This way the kids can follow along on the map as you drive/fly.
- Additional items in the front & back half-pockets of the notebook, like drawing stencils, these auto bingo cards that we love, coloring bookmarks, or other crafts,
- Extra empty pencil pouches to hold things like:
- other drawing/craft supplies,
- ear buds that might get lost,
- little play figures or small toys that are easily lost (dinos, toy cars, etc.),
- small travel games like a deck of cards or magnetic travel games (we have a few like these that we love),
- an eye spy activity bag like this,
- small snacks,
- flash cards on a binder ring,
- modeling dough (like Play Dough or Silly Putty).
Related Post: On the Go Travel Snacks for Kids [Nut-Free!]
Put Your Binder Together
- Make a cover sheet. Each child can create and decorate their own sheet to go in the front of the folder. Together you can also design a really fun one on Canva for free! Use my link & get a free 30 day trial to Canva Pro to try out all the awesome extra features in the Canva Pro version!
- Print out your activity sheets. My FREE printable Travel Activity Pack for kids is perfect for this! Just sign up below & I’ll email it to you!
- Depending on the age of your child & what they’re interested in, you might want to print a few extra pages of the activity pack. The drawing prompts, word game, Mad Libs story, tic-tac-toe game sheet, & others are fun to use multiple times!
- Punch holes in any sheets that you want to and add them in. Then put whatever pages you want to in the page protectors, so that the kids can write on them with the dry erase markers.
- Fill up the pencil pouches as you see fit, add the cover sheet in the cover, and you’re ready to go! Take this with you to your hotel room or restaurant too, if your kids want to continue the fun!
What’s Inside the Travel Activity Planner & How to Use It
There are over 15 black & white pages (which gives your printer & your wallet a break!) in this travel activity binder.
This printable activity pack is for kids ages elementary & older, but many pages will work for younger kids too.
I love this pack because you can get several uses out of it!
● “My Travel Binder” Cover Sheet
Kids can color it before you leave & slide it in the outside, clear pocket of their notebook. It’s a fun activity to help them get ready for the trip!
● An Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
Have the kids (or the whole family) find something that starts with A, B, then C, & so on, until they’ve spotted items for each letter of the alphabet.
This would be fun to do alone, or as a competition & see who can find items for each letter the fastest.
If you want to play together as a group, you could pick a theme like restaurants, or transportation. Or play without a theme & try to convince each other as to why your item should be the one to pick for that letter of the alphabet!
● Colorful States United States Map Printable
If you’re on a road trip or flying, kids can keep track of the states you’re driving through or flying over with this map.
If you’re on a road trip & not leaving the state you’re in, then the kids can make up a new coloring system & still use this to have some fun.
For example, they can assign different colors to the states they’ve been to, states they want to visit, states their parents have been to, etc.
They could even color the states alphabetically (could use different colors for each set of letters- like all states starting with A are blue), or use them like a Zentangle & do a different set of doodles in each state!
Besides reinforcing alphabetizing skills, this also helps kids learn geography & state abbreviations.
● Word Games
Our family loves word games! This would be a fun one to do on your own, together as a family, or as a competition. To win, see who can come up with the most words from the phrases listed.
If you leave the back blank when you print, the kids can also write more travel related phrases on the back & continue the fun!
Related Post: Top Tips to Reduce Car Sickness in Kids
● The License Plate Game
This game is fun on your own or against others, but might be better suited for older kids. Younger kids could play it in teams with an older kid or an adult.
Color in the states that you see license plates from & whoever has the most at the end of the whole trip is the winner!
● Road Trip “Mad Libs” Type Silly Story
Our family LOVES Mad Libs! We like then so much that we sometimes do them at home during dinner time! We’ll also read over old Mad Libs we did before & laugh our heads off!
This Road Trip Mad Libs story is one I made up myself, with help from my son. We had a good time testing it out, haha!
● Games, Drawing Prompts & Travel Coloring Sheets
The rest of the travel activity pack has 4 different mazes, a tic-tac-toe sheet with 11 game boards drawn out & a place to keep score (they can always draw more boards on the back too), 4 travel-related coloring sheets, & 6 drawing prompts.
The drawing prompts are actually my favorite out of the rest of the pack, because they’re perfect for all ages to use & be creative! You could print out several of the full-page prompts & have kids draw/color something different each time!
At the end of the trip, it would be really fun to see all the different pictures. You could even take pictures of them to add to your vacation photo album!
More Printables to Keep Kids Busy
Need more kids’ printables to add in? Try these sites:
- Reinventing Robin’s Coloring Printables
- Education.com Printable Travel Games
- Krazydad Mazes
- All Kids Network Color By Number
- Crayola Free Places Coloring Pages (states, countries & landmarks)
Get Your FREE Vacation Printables Pack Today!