Traveling with Kids: Or, How to Avoid “Are We There Yet?”

As anyone with children knows, life is all about distraction.  Whether you are distracting them from something they must. have. now!, or redirecting their attention to the project at-hand, distraction is a time-tested tactic utilized by parents everywhere. So when it comes to traveling with kids, distracting them from how long the plane or car ride is (“Are we there yet?!”), or from how many hours they have spent with siblings or long-lost relatives, is a task made easier when armed with fun games and creative activities everyone can enjoy.


In the Car or the Sky

On-the-Go Game Pad Whether in the car or on the plane, this little game pad packs a punch with five classic activities from hangman to fortune teller that both young and old can enjoy. No batteries required! $12

Travel Bingo Take advantage of what the car gives you: windows. Add this cute and compact Travel Bingo game to search and find common road trip sights, and you’re all set for miles of entertainment. $12.50

Mini Doodle Kit Children can let their inner Picasso shine with this pint-sized doodle kit containing eight colored pencils, eraser, sharpener, and paper. Everything is kept in a passport-sized case, perfect for car, plane, or even train. $12.50


Out to Dinner

Plus Plus Tubes Perfect for kids and adults, these tubes come with 70 double-plus shaped pieces that interconnect and, as the company says, “will give them endless possibilities and hours of fun.” I agree, and I keep a set in in my purse. $9

4 Children’s Card Games Card games at a restaurant are perfect for idle hands. From local favorite ThinkFun comes this set of four classic childhood games, each with fun and whimsical illustrations the whole family will enjoy. $15

Mark Mat: Washington D.C. This placemat featuring Washington D.C. landmarks lets you take a little bit of home with you. Containing four markers to “mark” with, this reusable, plastic-free mat is non-porous and germ-free, preventing wear and tear when on the go. $30


On the Beach

Bubbimals We don’t usually need distractions when at the beach, but sometimes we do need a break from basking in-the-sun.  Bubbles never get old and they definitely get more fun when the container is an animal-shaped frog, cat, or rabbit, with a corresponding wand that is a fly, mouse, or carrot. $6.50

Sailing Ship Kite “Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height!” As Mr. Banks knew, kite flying is a perfect activity for children. Make it a kite in the form of a sailing ship, and even the land lubbers will be wistful for the sea. Handmade and Fair Trade-certified from Haptic Lab (NY), the kites are packaged in a thin-but-sturdy kraft envelope, easily fitting in your luggage or the trunk of your car. $48

Sunprint Kit Unless it is a cloudy day, you have everything you need at the beach for this engaging scientific activity. Using the kit’s light sensitive paper, you just need the sun and the objects you find. By placing the paper in the sun and an item on top of it, the image or “sunprint” of the item will appear. Magic!  $7.50


At the Hotel

Picture Perfect Postcard Book Let friends and family know you miss them by painting your own postcards! This complete postcard book includes a brush, and each page features one postcard and paint palette. Just add water! $12.50

Yoga Spinner Game One way to stretch and relieve sore muscles while also having fun is with the new Yoga Spinner Game, also by ThinkFun. Teamwork, luck, balance, and some flexibility are needed to win this entertaining yoga game. $18

Glow-in-the-Dark playing cards Perfect for polishing-up your family’s Hearts, Rummy, and other game skills, these playing cards bring a little something extra to the (ahem) game as you can use them in the dark.  Another bonus? They’re also waterproof in case of any spills.  $12


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Red Barn Mercantile opened its doors in September 2007 with a single vision in mind: providing old and new to offer our customers signature whole-room designs at great prices.

We’re more than a furniture boutique and provide more personalized service than a big box retailer. We work hard to bring you the highest quality furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall hangings and accent pieces, whether they come from off-the-beaten-track flea markets, or the latest designers.

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Alexandria, VA 22314


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