Are we There Yet?-Traveling with Kids

The most common question children will ask when traveling is “ARE WE THERE YET?”

This post will share some of our old fashioned traveling games and some newer ideas from cheap to very nice and neat and more modern… Granny tips for traveling with kids …plus my travel picks from the fun products I just happen to sell in my store.


Traveling with kids is a challenge. Tips to plan ahead when going to grandma’s house for the holidays.

Back in the 1950’s we traveled by car with out seat belts – not horse and buggy- sisters and I knew we had better behave – or else… so we figured out games to play in the car.

I still remember dreading long car trips to go to Grandma’s house for the holidays. Back in the 50’s we did not have VCR’s and cozy car seats to ride in, the heater did work too well from where we kids…opening the windows was the A/C. And there weren’t many if any road side rest rooms.


Must Have’s for the Road

  1. Coffee cans with lids -porta potty for when there is no place to “go”.
  2. 3 ring binders – keeps maps, important papers or kids games organized
  3. Zipper lock bags – endless possibles for keeping thing clean and organized- and in a pinch- a barf bag that will seal in the smell.
  4. Hand wipes- I prefer over hand sanitizer gel – think about it- who wants to smear sticky-icky all over? 
  5. brown paper bags – bio-degradable containers to collect trash after the packages are open or the banana peels have come off.
  6. Re-purpose baby wipe containers – they have a lid that snaps closed and you can stuff little things in and out.
  7. RULES. We all need RULES to help us fee more safe and secure
  8. Water
  9. First aid kit
  10. Plastic bags – many uses including an emergency cover to prevent hypo-thermia.
  11.  Emergency tools for the car like a jack and tire iron- spare tire etc
  12. Flash light and batteries
  • Write down simple 4 to 5 simple rules of the road.
  • What rules you make will depend on the the age of your family and needs

I suggest 3 major rules:

  1. Go potty when you have a chance.
  2. Have an emergency CODE word for when every one must listen and follow your directions to stay safe.
  3. Enjoy each other’s company


Mind you there were tons of billboards along the roads that we don’t have have any more that made alphabet games easily entertaining for awhile in the 50 – 70’s. Those billboards helped many a ‘captive audience” to learn to read.


A. Alphabet Game – shout out the ABC’s in order when you see the next letter then the next…the big challenge are the J’s.

  • Use billboards
  • Traffic signs
  • Licence plates

B. Number game – shout out the 1’s in order from 1 to 10

  •  licence plates.
  • mile markers
  • house #’s
  • or just count objects” “I see 1 dog. I see 2 red cars, I see, 3 people walking”

C. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?

D. I Spy

E. I’m psychic game….I thought about it…I think I won’t reveal the trick today… so let’s just call it the guess what I’m thinking game

F. I’m going on a trip. ..”I’m packing a ____ in my suit case…”. Each person verbally puts something into their suit case. Example: a hair brush. The next persona says, “”I’m packing a ____ in my suit case and in it I am putting a pair of underwear and a hair brush.” The 3rd players add something and repeats everything the other said before…test your memory for so much fun.

G. Cyclops!!! When ever you see a car with only one head light you blurt out, “CYCLOPS!”

H. Tell a Round Robbin Story… each person tells 2 or 3 sentences then passing on the story telling to the next passenger

I. Rhymes with… Pick a word them everyone gets to try to find a word that rhymes with that word… Example: CAR… far, tar, bar, star. jar, mar, scar….

J. Twenty questions

K. How about this novel idea? Talk…just talk.. ask a question then listen. Later on let’s see how many can remember the other people’s answers?

  • What’s your favorite color
  • What’s your favorite book?
  • What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?

L. Trivia Facts: You can pull up misc things out of your memory or you can plan ahead. For example if you are traveling from state to state you may want to gather up facts like: What state has the biggest ball of twine? Name the state capitols. Spell Iowa backwards…awoI …now spell Mississippi backward…ippississiM

M. How many silly Camp Songs do you know? WHAT? You don”t know any?

  • Baby Shark
  • On top of Old Smokey
  • Mary had a Little Lamb
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • ABC’s
  • B-I-N-G-O
  • Home On the Range

Check out these resources or you may hear your 4 year old sing  Miss Poly Had a Dolly 36,987 times before you get to Texas.

Ultimate Camp Resource 

Please go their website where you will see all kinds of clickable links to words and even videos…sure, It’s OK to cheat with some song videos as long as you Mom and Dad sing-a-long, too…Remember to make your trip a fun memory.

Here’s 50 more songs you may know or not…

50 Great Camp Songs for Kids


Keep this in mind when traveling…MOVE right along….

  • Children can’t sit still for too long. Their bodies are growing- they must move.
  • Everybody needs to keep moving to avoid secondary complications form not moving. Not only does a behind “go to sleep” but circulation can cut off to major body parts. Old ladies like my self MUST moved body parts are 20 to 30 minutes to avoid getting a blood clot…yes, even younger people can have blood pool in body parts and form a clot.
  • Stop the car every 2 hours- get out walk around- every one should get some air and move.
  • Every 30 minutes when the kids are not napping make a game of it:

Wiggle your toes- wiggle you nose- squeeze your butt checks – make a fist- make a face…

Let the kids take turns being the Exercise Leader.


Check out No Non-cents Nanna’s pick of Travel Toys

Since I write this old blog and the fact that I do own an E commerce store where I sell fun stuff for kids with an educational twist I want to shamelessly self promote some of the quality items I picked out that meet my persnickety specifications.

These 2 are from Melissa & Doug. The list price you see on my catalog pages are what you pay. Heart Felt Play Store covers the UPS shipping fee on all DROP SHIP orders.

ColorNCarry - Fairy Tale Travel Book

ColorNCarry – Fairy Tale Travel Book


Magnetic Girls Occupation Dress-Up


Magnetic Girls Occupation Dress-Up


These fun mommy bloggers went to a lot of work on the blogs post below. Be sure to thank them and say the No Non-cents Nanna referred you. The posts may contain affiliate links and are not associated with No Non-cents Nanna nor

No Non-cents Nanna’s #1 pick for travel games the old fashioned way is:

Old-school car games to play by Kacie McCoy


Are We There Yet? 10 Travel Activities for Kids

More Travel Gifts for Kids

10 Busy Bags to Make and Keep Kids Busy

EASY Portable Activity Kit for Road Trips

Car Hacks, Tricks and Tips for Families


This is Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna reminding you to Make Good Choices!

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