We’ve come a long way since the infamous Clark W. Griswold took his beloved brood traveling on the cross-country trek-of-all-treks that helped make both his character and the notion of the American Summer Vacation somehow iconic. “Look kids: Big Ben!” he’d say, as they drove in circles through central London, his way of making sure his kids were never bored and always stimulated.
But we can learn a lot from Sparky’s volition—the desire to make sure our kids are engaged and learning while on the road.
With that in mind, here are 10 tips on how to keep your kids entertained and stimulated as you get to where you need to go—be it on sweaty road trips, long flights, train rides and even walks.
1. Imagination Station
Many people would likely agree that travel is one of the most inspiring activities. So why not add even more fodder to the imagination machine? Finding shapes in clouds is an all-time favorite for Miami-based mom, Sandra Levy, and her two kids (ages 7 and 9), who like to play this cloud-shape-hunting game every time they travel, be it by plane, train or automobile. “It really gets their imagination going and connects them more deeply with the natural environment,” Levy says.
Read Related: A Mom’s Tips to Travel With Kids
2. Sing Along
“We also really love to sing,” says Levy, who claims that her kids seldom get bored because they easily and happily default to song when there is nothing else to do. Singing is great for road trips, pumping the collective family mojo and inevitably putting a smile on everyone’s face.
3. Travel Scrabble
Word to your mother! And to everyone else in your family, too, because Travel Scrabble can be fun for everyone alike. “My kids love challenging one another with big words and high scores, and when we play I’m always amazed at the extent of their vocabularies,” says Levy. Scrabble is especially great for long train rides where you can spread out on a table.