Traveling with your family during the Olympics? 5 Ways to Still Enjoy it…

by Laura on July 30, 2012

I love the Olympics.  The camaraderie you feel with your country is like no other time.  My family and I love rooting for our favorite athletes and watching our favorite sports.  I’m a little bummed that this year we are traveling to a family reunion during parts of the Olympics (but I am really excited about the actual reunion!)  Despite the traveling, we will still be enjoying the games and celebrating the accomplishments of athletes around the world.

If you are traveling with your kids, or just want to add a little extra into your Olympic celebration, here are 4 ideas to seriously consider:


1.  Create an Olympics binder.  Fill the binder with coloring pages, mazes, and educational activities for your kids to go through during the drive or flight.  Make sure you have a pencil pouch inside the binder with colors or coloring pencils.   Check out Olympic Printables for some ideas to get you started.


2.  Add Olympic challenges during a break.  Make your own Olympic records!  If you are driving, stop at rest stop to get out some energy.  Challenge your kids physically to beat their own records in some “Olympic” events.  Try these:

- Long Jump: How far can you jump?

- Hurdles: Jump over 10 sidewalk cracks.  Can you do it faster?

- Balance Beam: Show me your best balancing walk.  Can you do some spins too?

- Shot put:  How far can you throw this rock?  Can you throw It farther?

- Mini Triathlon: Run to the tree, hop to the rock, and walk backwards to the path.  Can you do it faster?


If you are flying, include challenges before you get on the plane, or quieter challenges on the flight.  One example is seeing how many cheerios you can stack on your tray table before they fall over.


3. Have a family medal count.  This idea is designed to help “keep the peace” while traveling and help your kids focus on a specific thing, like playing independently or saying nice things to a sibling.  Here’s one way to make this work:

- Have an established time limit.  (“Until the next gas station” or “until the clock says 1:30”)

- Be very specific about what will earn a gold medal. (“Play with your backpack toys with no whining until we get to the next town.”)  The first few times, make sure it will be easy to accomplish.  You could then sprinkle some harder challenges along the way.

- When the time limit is up, keep comments positive.  (“Way to go!  You had a lot of fun with your toys.  You earned a gold medal!” or “Oh drats…you had a hard time.  Let’s try something else now to see if we can earn a gold medal.”)

- Decide before your trip how you want to reward the good behavior.  Some kids will be perfectly fine with the intrinsic feeling of the reward while others would do better with you physically giving something (like a gold chocolate coin…yum! or a silly band).  If you want to keep your options open, say a surprise will happen when a gold medal is earned.  Surprises could then be a variety of things like a new toy you were waiting to break out, a snack, special drink in the gas station, a movie in the car, etc.

- Decide how to keep track of your total medals.  An easy way is to take a blank sheet in your child’s binder and have her help you make a graph.  Every time a medal is earned, she can add to the graph.  Celebrate your total at the end by displaying the graph proudly at your destination.


4. Have creative snacks.  We know as the mom, sometimes it is all in our presentation of the snacks!  Here’s a few to try:

- Friendship Gorp.  Everyone puts a cup of their favorite snack in the mix.  Divide into individual servings before your trip.  When you pass out the snacks, make sure to mention how the Olympics is a time where all countries come together to compete in the games.

- Baby carrots.  Athletes need energy and vitamins!

- Fruit Loop Necklaces.  Pass out yarn and a bag of fruit loops.  Let kids string away to make their own Olympic medals and then they can eat them!  This could even be one of the surprise rewards we just talked about.


Even after the Olympics are over, it is still fun to include this theme in your travels.

A few questions for you: What creative snack do you think would go well for this theme?  Any other good ideas for this theme?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: