If you follow me on Instagram (and you totally should be!), you know that my family just returned from a super fun family vacation to Disneyland. It had been almost exactly three years since our last trip and I was going through Disney withdrawals; it was time to make it back there! Here’s the thing that was holding me back for so long: the thought of a long car trip with three kids. Ick. I knew that I was going to have to be prepared to keep my kidlets entertained for a minimum of six hours, so after tossing around a few ideas, I came up with this simple Kids’ Travel Binder and it was amazing!
Before I dig in and share exactly what I put together, I have to show my (shameless, proud momma) proof picture:
I showed the travel binders to my kids the day before we were set to leave so they were super pumped to dig in and this picture was taken halfway through our drive. He was still so enthralled and engaged!
While I’ll be sharing the free printables that I used and the others that I created later in this post, you’ll need a few basic pieces to get your binders set up. Each kiddo will need the following materials:
- zippered pencil case that is made to fit inside a three ring binder
- crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers
- pencils with erasers
- a coloring book or other activity book
The zippered pencil case that fits within the binder was key for us. Each kid had their own stuff and there was no fighting over materials. Also, because the pencil case was stuck in the binder, there were no lost art supplies floating all over our truck. Save yourself a lot of headache here and splurge!
There were a few free printables that I used in their binders (you can find the majority of them on my Pinterest travel board), but the one they loved the most was this map of the U.S. we used when playing the license plate game. Not only did they have to cross off or color in the state as they found it, but in order to do that, they had to actually find it on the map first! How’s that for geography?!
I swore up and down when I was teaching that I would never in a million years pull my kids from school for an unnecessary vacation and you know what? I just did that very thing. Because they’d be missing school, I wanted to ensure they were still completing some educational activities without really feeling like they were doing school work.
First up were these daily reflections. I printed enough for each day that we would be gone and they completed them each night before bed.
DOWNLOAD HERE: VACATION TRAVEL LOG
I’ve got children in two very different levels of learning. While my second grader can form multiple complete sentences and is well on his way to writing paragraphs, my kindergartner is still working on completing a single sentence. As a result, I’ve created two separate vacation reflection packs to be completed either on their way home or once you’ve arrived home. While each reflection pack asks the same questions and has spaces for written responses and pictures, there is more drawing space for the younger kiddos and more lines for the older ones.
DOWNLOAD PREK AND KINDERGARTEN HERE: VACATION REFLECTION PACK GRADES PREK AND K
DOWNLOAD 1ST GRADE AND OLDER HERE: VACATION REFLECTION PACK GRADES 1 AND 2
The final piece of the Kids’ Travel Binders are some fun graphic organizers. There are two different organizers: one to organize details about the trip and one to compare and contrast two parts of the trip.
DOWNLOAD HERE: VACATION GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS
So there you have it! I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions on what else you’d add to YOUR kids’ travel binder!