Reisetagebuch – Daily Journal for Kids

Last year for our long stay in the Netherlands, I created a travel journal for Froggy. I had maps to show where we’d be traveling, a place to collect post cards or other memories, a sheet for addresses, etc. Most of that, I have to admit, we did not use!

But I am happy to say that we were pretty good about filling in our daily travel journal. Okay, oftentimes, it took a lot of prompting by me. And I ended up doing a lot of the writing. But he was only 7, and he was pretty tired by the end of the day!

I asked Froggy if he wanted to do it again this year, and he said yes! So I printed out just the daily journal part – one copy for each day we’ll be away. He loves to check out the weather, so I imagine he will at least be diligent about recording that! Hopefully, now that he is more comfortable with writing, he will fill in the whole thing by himself. Time will tell….

Tagebuch 2017 GitA

The page includes a place to record the general weather plus high and low temperatures. Then there is a kind of heading to record the main destination for the day. He can record how he felt and what he saw, and then describe the best part of the day. Of course, he has to record what he ate! And then a little extra space for something else – what surprised him, what was funny, what he liked or didn’t like? Oh, and of course, it’s all in German!

You can download the PDF for FREE here: Tagebuch GitA

Gute Reise!

Wir fahren mit dem Zug!

I can’t believe the summer is almost upon us! We’ll be heading back to the Netherlands and Germany for a few weeks. I will certainly be posting about our travels!

This year, we’re doing something completely new! Well, at least new to the kids! We will be taking the train from the Netherlands to Germany! I am SO excited! I just love the train 🙂  We’ll leave from Amsterdam, change in Utrecht, and arrive in Frankfurt. I just can’t wait for the boys to experience train travel in Europe!

Of course, I have to come up with some activities to keep them occupied on the long train ride. As much as I love to look out the window, I don’t think they will be doing that for the entire trip!

I started looking around for some train ride scavenger hunts. There are tons of them out there for car rides, so I figured it should be easy, right? Wrong. I could only find one so far! And it was for a trip in the US going up to Maine (click here to check it out). So while it was inspiring, it won’t exactly work for us.

So I went back to my travel scavenger hunt that I made for the car and updated it with new images for the train ride!

 

As you can see, there are two sets of things to search for. And for each set, there are three versions:

  • one with words and images
  • one with just images
  • one with just words

Some of the new vocabulary include:

  • die Baustelle
  • die Kirche
  • die Fabrik
  • der Bahnhof
  • der Fluss
  • der Wolkenkratzer
  • der Kran
  • das Schloss
  • der Tunnel

Obviously, a lot of these things can also be seen from a car! So feel free to refresh your old version of this travel game, even if you are going on a road trip!

I am going to print out the copy with words and images, one for each of the boys, and put them in their travel binders to play a game of I Spy. They can mark off what they see with a square sticky note or a pencil or crayon. I’m trying to travel extra light this year! So I won’t bother to laminate them. If I want to use them again next year, I can either print out a fresh copy or laminate it then 🙂

I actually will print out a whole set to laminate, so we can start practicing vocabulary now. I’ll cut up the squares, so we can play games like Go Fish and Memory.

Download the PDF for FREE here: Travel Games on the Train GitA

Gute Reise!

Travel Busy Bags

Four years ago, we took our first family road trip. We drove 6 hours to New England. I grew up on the water and it was important to me to take my boys to see the ocean.

But a drive that long, with kids ages 4 and 1? I knew I needed some strategy.

So I started collecting ideas for travel busy bags.

Thanks to all the fabulous mommy blogs out there, I had no shortage of inspiration. I started collecting them all on a Pinterest board. Over 50 sites with great ideas can be found here:

Busy Bags Pinterest Board

I bought a set of pencil cases to hold them. Sometimes the simplest things work the best: a set of dinosaurs, some Duplo Legos, lacing blocks, or craft sticks to practice making shapes. The first three were things we already had in the house. And the last activity was a simple one to make.

For more of my favorite ideas, check out my page on Travel Activities for Little Kids!

Let me know in the comments which ones you try out and what works for you!

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt auf Deutsch

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Today was the day! We drove 5.5 hours south, from the Netherlands into Germany. So what did we do to keep the kiddos occupied? Well, they actually slept quite a lot! A month abroad has taken it out of them! They did a busy bag or two. (There were some new little puzzles I’d found at the Hema in the NL – it’s kind of like Target, only smaller.) And we also did a road trip scavenger hunt 🙂

Last year, I posted a set of travel games for road trips in Germany and the Netherlands. It looks, in part, like this:

There are also sets with just pictures and just words (so you can play games such as memory or go fish), plus a search for just vehicles (3rd image here).

Froggy had a great time with the scavenger hunt last year and managed to cover all of his boxes!

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This year we were driving from the Netherlands to Germany again, so I packed them up once more. But I also found a new scavenger hunt. This one has 52 things to find. And it’s all in German!! It also is only words with no pictures. That meant the boys needed help with the hunt. Heck, I had to look up a few words for myself before we left!

As we drove down the highway toward Baden-Württemberg, we found a whole bunch of things, right off the bat. And then Froggy got tired and lost interest. I think PER and I ended up having the most fun with it 🙂  I still have 9 items that I never found. But as we got closer and closer to our destination, I was SO excited to check off just one or two more things: ein rotes Cabrio!!! ein Mini-Cooper!! I still say I saw a green Jeep, but as it wasn’t an actual Jeep brand, I wasn’t allowed to cross it off my list 🙂  You can see all my scribblings on the scavenger hunt:

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You can download your own copy over on Isi-im-Glück. Herzlichen Dank, Isi!

UPDATE (29 May 2018): I have made a new version of my Road Trip Scavenger Hunt! This one is adjusted more to traveling by train, but it could work well from the car, too! Check out THIS POST to get the new FREE download!

Travel Games for Germany and the Netherlands

We’ll be heading back to the Netherlands and Germany this summer. We fly in and out of Frankfurt and then have about a 5-hour drive to and from the Netherlands. So in addition to packing things to keep the kiddos busy on the airplane, I have a separate stash of things to keep them busy in the car.

I just finished creating a set of cards that can be used in a variety of ways. You can play Memory, I Spy, Go Fish. Or laminate an entire sheet and mark off the things you see with a dry erase marker (did you know they make washable ones?!) or a small post-it. There are two pages of various items – one for each of the boys (that way there is no competition over who sees what first!). And there is also a one-page set of just vehicles. At the end, there is an additional sheet to help count up a few of the things you might see on a long drive.

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Items included are:

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The vehicles page includes: das Flugzeug, der Bus, der LKW, das Fahrrad, ein gelbes Auto, der Bagger, der Traktor, der Kipper, das Motorrad, der Hubschrauber, das Feuerwehrauto, & der Zug.

I’d love to hear how you use the cards!!

UPDATE- August 2016:

Froggy really enjoyed the game of looking for items on his page. Hippo lost interest after finding just a few. We went with the option of covering the found items with post-its (the 1 7/8″squares worked perfectly):

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UPDATE – July 2017:

We will be taking the scavenger hunt with us again this year! But I also found another, longer hunt – with only German words! – at another blogger’s site. Check out THIS POST for more info!

UPDATE – May 2018: 

I have made a new version of my Road Trip Scavenger Hunt! This one is adjusted more to traveling by train, but it could work well from the car, too! Check out THIS POST to get the new FREE download!