With the holidays right around the corner, you may be gearing up for your next winter vacation or a road trip to visit friends and family. Whether you’re expecting to be on the road for a while or hit that awful holiday traffic, keeping the kiddos entertained with fun holiday activities is a must if you want to stay cheery and festive — cue those Christmas printables!
To keep your kids away away from their screens and happily occupied, we put together a list of unique road trip activities with 10 holiday printables to play during the car ride. From games that will unleash their inner artist to engaging head-scratchers, these are sure to provide a wholesome time this wintery season.
Our printables and activities include various celebrations from Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to Kwanzaa and Christmas. Take them with you on your trip to the city or while you’re out camping for a jolly ol’ time playing and learning. Keep reading for tips on how to put together an easy kid’s travel kit to have in your car at all times for hours of entertainment.
My New Year’s Bucket List
Writing down some healthy goals and aspirations is always a great way to keep anyone motivated, especially kids. For a twist, we included an item for every letter in the alphabet –– can you think of something you’re thankful for that starts with a “Y”? Well, time to get your thinking caps on! Anything goes, like visiting a national park, taking an art class or learning how to ride a bike! Use this list to plan trips, excursions and other activities throughout the year and check them off as you go.
Frosty’s Having a Meltdown
Help Frosty the snowman find his things with this hidden pictures printable. With both easy and very well hidden items, your little one is sure to spend quite some time finding each one. Once they’re done, they can go ahead and color the rest of the illustration to add to their fridge art collection.
Feast Mode Scramble
Get egg-cited with your family about all the delicious food you’re sure to enjoy this season with this Feast Mode scramble. Help your little one decipher some popular desserts, foods and treats — and who knows, you may even get inspired to add a recipe or two to your holiday feast.
Kwanzaa Word Search
Teach your little one about Kwanzaa with this fun word search. Hidden in this search, you’ll find the holiday’s seven core principles and items used during the celebrations. If your family doesn’t observe Kwanzaa, this printable is a great way to teach your little one about holidays celebrated all over the world.
Gnome Man’s Land Scavenger Hunt
If you’ll be on the road in winter weather, this scavenger hunt will keep the kids occupied for hours! To make things interesting, stir up some competition. Assign prizes for certain amounts of items found or have siblings compete on who finds the most items!
Menorah Color By Numbers
Have your kids create a masterpiece with this customizable color by numbers Menorah to kick off the Festival of Lights. We include suggestions for each color and a preview to inspire kids. For a project that’s uniquely their own, they can also assign any colors of their choosing for each number.
Sliding Down the Chimney with More Holiday Road Trip Activities
I Am Thankful For
Time to remember the things that truly matter! Use your time on the road to reminisce with your child on the things they’re most thankful for. Ask them to write or draw each thing. For a fun twist, you can also take turns going down the alphabet listing each thing you’re thankful for.
Holidays Around the World
Learn about the nearly 29 holidays celebrated around the world during this season! Bring flashcards with popular items used in each celebration and see who can guess each holiday correctly. From Christmas to Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice to Festivus, this game provides endless learning opportunities.
Cards For Santa
As you head to your destination, have your little one write up their card for Santa. To make it a little more interesting than simply writing what they wish for, have them include any of their good deeds or accomplishments from this year. From getting good grades to completing their chores, this letter will get them excited about the holidays and even motivate them to be at their best next year!
Jingle Bell Rock Guessing Game
Get in the holiday spirit with a good old fashioned Christmas carol guessing game. Play bits of popular songs and find out who’s the caroling expert in the family. To make things a bit more competitive, set a prize or treat for the winner. If you know you’ll need some quiet time during your trip, we suggest printing out verses of a few of your favorite Christmas carols for your little one to fill in the blanks.
A classic road trip game with a holiday flair. Choose a holiday category like Christmas treats, carols or decorations. Someone in the car goes first naming an item, the next person has to name another item starting with letter of the item’s second word. For example, if someone says hot chocolate, the next person would have to find a treat that starts with the letter C. If it’s a single-word item, the last letter of the word is next!
Put Together a Kid’s Travel Kit For Endless Holiday Activities and Cheer
If you’re expecting long commutes with the kids this winter, packing a travel kit filled with various Christmas or holiday activities is a great way to make the ride enjoyable for everyone. Use the checklist below to build your own and customize to your kids’ interests. You can also use your kit to pack snacks and other essentials like tissues and bandages.
1. Sturdy Bag
Look for a sturdy, spill-proof bag or pouch you can hang or place behind the front seat. One with a zipper or multiple pockets will probably work best to hold all of your kid’s belongings.
2. Crafting Supplies
Depending on what your kid enjoys, feel free to pack items like popsicle sticks, stickers, markers, colored pencils, cardstock and paper. The possibilities are endless!
3. Window Markers
If you have older kids and you’re okay with them playing with markers, washable window markers are a great way to keep them busy and encourage creativity. Remember to keep some baby wipes to clean your windows when they’re done.
4. Printable Games
Printables are easy to carry, budget-friendly and a ton of fun. Before you take off, print a few of your kid’s favorite games and pack any necessary materials to complete the printables, like pencils or crayons.
5. Window Clings
It’ll be easy to keep your kids enthralled with just a few window stickers and gel clings. Encourage them to tell a story, write a sentence or simply decorate the window with colorful stickers and clings.
6. Chalk and Chalkboard
A word of caution: this can get messy! For older children, chalk and a chalkboard is an easy way to captivate their minds. They can draw, practice their spelling or play a simple game of hangman on the board.
7. Journal or Book
If your kiddo loves to read or write, bring along a journal or their favorite book. Help them start a travel journal to inspire wanderlust and have a place to keep their mementos. If they’re prone to motion sickness, audiobooks are a great alternative.
8. Card Games
Card games are perfect for families with more than one kid. Keep a deck of your favorite games like “Would You Rather” or “What Am I?” to help pass the time.
As much as we love to keep our kids away from their screens, phones, tablets, and video games can come in handy. Create a playlist with their favorite music or download a few games for them to enjoy.
10. A Few Basics
If you don’t have a mini emergency kit in your car, you can also pack a few essentials in your kid’s travel kit. Things like tissues, baby wipes, snacks, a comb and some bandages can be huge life savers.
With these printable activities and your kid’s travel kit packed, you’re ready for some holiday fun on the road. If you’re heading out for a long ride, rent a car that’s comfortable for the whole family and stay informed on winter road conditions. Happy holidays!