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5 Things to do on Vacation to Engage with Your Kids

Let’s say you’ve planned the perfect vacation. You booked the best options for your vacation budget, nothing was forgotten at home, and you’re looking forward to the experiences lying ahead. But, there’s a good chance you’ll have some sort of downtime where your kids might start crying, “I’m bored”. It could be while waiting in a line, during a transportation change, in your hotel room, or even at a less than thrilling attraction. That might leave you trying to figure out what to do on vacation to occupy your kids.

We already know that one of the 5 reasons why travel is good for your family is because of the opportunity to connect with each other, so here are 5 things to do on vacation to engage with your kids.

5 Things to do on Vacation to Engage with Your Kids during downtimes and connect as a family family travel tip


This is a great discussion game that can be adapted for almost any situation. The basic is asking your kids about what their high (favorite) and low (bummer) was for the day. I like to just ask one at a time. High then follow with the low or vice versa. You can also ask what the high/low was for the day so far, or for the attraction you’re at or were at. You can really adapt it to fit whatever situation you want. Our girls are pretty excited to “play” and come up with theirs quickly. The conversation can go on when you discuss your own highs and lows or discuss their high/low in further detail.


This is a game idea I got from “Whose Line is it Anyway”. Anyone seen that show/game? What you do is grab something (a napkin, a straw, a hairbrush, a spoon, whatever you have with you/around you and make it a prop to represent something. Kids can be very imaginative and come up with some amazing ideas. Fun for the whole family, trust me.


Someone starts a story idea, and then it gets passed along to each family member to add their own part. My girls can start getting a little silly with this one. Sometimes mommy and daddy have to “The End” the story so we can get off whatever crazy storyland we end up in. You can also have fun with the “Imagine if…” prompt. So, imagine if we walked on our hands instead of our feet…


This is just what it sounds. Discuss what’s up next. That could mean the next few minutes, hours, or days. Whatever you want. It’s a great way to help your kids know what’s coming up, and for you to identify what your kids are looking forward to or worried about. If you see a spark lit when your son or daughter discuss a certain aspect that’s upcoming, you’re more likely to tune into them during the activity and engage with them further. Or if they mention a worry or concern, you can discuss it and perhaps calm them.


…song, movie, character, book, etc. This can be fun for the person thinking up quotes, lines, and characters and those guessing what the other person is describing. Simple oldie, but goodie.

I’m hoping these ideas can help you when you’re wondering what things to do on vacation to engage or occupy your kids. Traveling as a family is a great time to reconnect as a family and share new ideas and memories together. Do you have any favorite ways to engage as a family or occupy your kids during downtime?

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Kim {Stuffed Suitcase}

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  1. These are great tips, Kim! I’m pinning this to my travel board. I would love it if you’d link this up to Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop–I think our readers would like to see this! Thanks and have a wonderful evening!

  2. Thanks for the ideas. I especially like the “High/Low” conversation starter. Now that I have a Pre-teen, it is very difficult to get an answer to, “How was your day?” This posts has made me take a moment and think of new ways to engage in conversation with my child. I really appreciate the “reminder.”

    • Glad you liked it Rhonda. I know when kids get older it gets even harder to talk with them, so hopefully something here will work with your pre-teen (and as he/she grows!). I appreciate you stopping by!

  3. Thanks for sharing these creative and fun tips…my little boy {only 16 month old} is too young for this now, however, my 11 yr old stepdaughter is constantly using the “I’m BORED” phrase. This will be a new twist to the answer we always give her…”Bored? I know a bed that has an entire VILLAGE underneath it that can be cleaned up!”. That answer doesn’t necessarily win the popularity contest, but this will be fun for the entire family:) Yay!

    • Hi Marisa, thanks so much for stopping by! I’m glad it gave you some ideas for responding to the dreaded, “I’m bored”. Best wishes on conquering the under the bed intruders!

  4. These are so great! our kids are so far apart in age though.We have a toddler, a preteen boy who’d rather play video games and a teenaged girl who couldn’t care less about what we are doing!!

    I love that show..Who’s line is it anyways? That’s a great game. Actually, to be totally embarrassing, my husband and I play that for no reason..especially when we are decluttering..:)

    Visiting from #SITSSHAREFEST

    Keep it Touched,

    • It’s a bit tougher to keep all the family members entertained when they’re so far apart in age! That show is so great and always has me laughing out loud. Thanks for visiting, KG!

    • So glad they’re helpful Alice! Hope you have a safe drive at Christmas. I’m from the KC suburb area originally, now in Seattle.

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