Here are some fun and easy games to play with children while traveling, no batteries required.
A is for…
Starting at the beginning of the alphabet, each player tries to spot and name three things beginning with each letter, in order. For example, the first person to see grass, a garbage can, and a gas station wins for the letter G.
Pick a location all the players are familiar with such as the backyard or favorite playground. Each person thinks of a place they would hide. The players take turns guessing where they are hiding such as, behind the bathroom closet? Kids must use the honor system and admit when they have been found.
Travel Scavenger Hunt
Give each child a list of items to watch for. You can draw little pictures for kids that cannot read yet. In the city it might include a bus, neon sign, and policeman. On a plane it might be a pillow, blanket, or cloud.
Make up word problems based on something you see on the trip. An example for a five-year-old might be: If we had three suitcases and lost two of them how many suitcases would be left?
Name That Tune
One player thinks of a song that everyone else knows and hums the first few notes. The other players try to guess the name of the song. The first player keeps humming more notes until someone guesses the right answer. No winner or losers in this game.
Take turns picking a color. Have everyone try to find as many things as they can that are that color. For example, if you pick the color green the children can find leaves, grass, and traffic lights. Purple is the most difficult color to find when traveling.
More fun traveling games can be found in the July 2009 Be the Best Nanny Newsletter.
Do you have any traveling tips for nannies and au pairs?