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*Expired* 7 Travel Freebies to Entertain Your Kids

by Freebies4Mom on August 19, 2009 7:46 am

This is a guest post by Debbie who blogs about traveling with kids at Delicious Baby. She is the expert when it comes to travel, so I highly recommend visiting her for tips for your travels.

I travel frequently when my kids, and I’m always on the lookout for easy ways to keep them entertained that don’t cost a lot of money or require me to carry a lot of heavy gear. We all know to take the free crayons with us when we leave a restaurant, but I have some other clever ideas about items you can pick up on the road and use as on-the-spot entertainment

  1. Use restaurant sugar packets and coffee mugs to play a quick game of three-card-monte (or mark a single sugar packet with a dot and mix it up with two unmarked sugar packets)
  2. Free magazines can be a lot of fun – go on scavenger hunts, find the strangest looking home in a local “for sale” magazine, or check out all the crazy products in the Sky Mall catalog.
  3. Empty shampoo containers are great for filling an pouring in the bathtub (just be sure to wash them well first)
  4. Use an empty matchbox to make a “bed” for a handmade paper doll. Have more than one? Stack them up and blow them down, or line them up like dominoes.
  5. Save that used kids menu to make a paper airplane during a park visit. Better yet, bring along a piece of paper from the hotel room pad and compare which airplane flies further, faster, and straighter.
  6. Pick up a free map from the rental car agency and let a younger child trace the roads, put stickers on the lakes, and otherwise decorate the map. For an older child, ask them to find the attractions you will be visiting or even help you navigate.
  7. Three words: “Barf Bag Puppets”

Want more ideas? Check out my post on keeping a child busy on a plane.

Reader Question: What are your favorite (Free) ways to keep your kids busy when you travel? Please leave a comment.


Debbie Dubrow is a mother of three (ages 4, 2 1/2 and 3mo) living in Seattle, WA. Her blog, is about traveling with babies, toddlers and kids, and is filled with personal travel stories, family-friendly city guides, and lots of tips and advice for traveling with kids.


And don’t miss 10 Tips for Finding Travel Freebies, another guest post by Delicious Baby, my favorite expert on traveling with kids.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie October 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

Great tips. Thanks for putting together this list.


Creekermom August 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

When we travel as we actually will be in about 25 days… I start a small collection of things as we will be driving for 13 hours. I get a tote, my is plastic but you can use a shoe box as well and start filling it with things, coloring book, a word search, small toys maybe a new DVD/CD I think I have some new Mc'D's American Girl Doll books as they have paper dolls in them, a Ratatouille DVD that I picked up at a yard sale for honestly $3 NEW, some Disney things as that is where we are headed… my rule is that my daughter can only bring out 1 thing for 30-60 minutes then she may chose something else, this way she hasn't done everything in the first hour we are on the road. I also have a few road trip books I am getting from Amazon. May I note that if some reason she chooses that she doesn't want to do the 'item' that she chose for the time period then she can always read/sleep/entertain herself till the time is up.


JessieV August 20, 2009 at 11:38 pm

HA! hilarious – and brilliant – tips. thank you!! glad i followed your link. love the sugar pack card game. we usually play ancient egypt with them, trying to make pyramids…


{Courtney} August 19, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Adorable ideas!


bunnybites August 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Great tips. Thanks! I am still learning, can't say I have any tricks of my own yet.


Lady Magick August 19, 2009 at 1:48 pm

These kinds of ideas are always helpful! Also, I get the best travel deals on Just wanted to share that.


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