My kids absolutely love hotel rooms. They get all excited to be in a new environment. However, if you are going to be spending much time in that hotel room, the novelty may begin to wear off! That is why I am glad to have Natalie Tanner, The Educational Tourist, share with us her best tips to keep kids busy in a hotel room. She has hundreds of thousands of miles under her belt – business trips with her geologist husband to places like Scottsdale, Jackson Hole, New York and Denver – and family adventures to far flung destinations like Rome, Paris, Tangier, and Istanbul. When she isn’t traveling, The Educational Tourist stays busy planning the next adventure while being mom to two toddlers, three dogs, and a hamster. You can follow her adventures at www.theeducationaltourist.com and I hope you enjoy her expertise on keeping kids busy in hotel rooms!
5 Tips to Keep Kids Busy in a Hotel Room
1) Allow a little chaos.
Imagination can be messy, but as long as they kids are happy and you can easily clean up later – who cares? Throw tidiness to the wind and enjoy the hotel stay even more!
- Empty the closet floor and send kids in there with your phone set on flashlight. Have them tell ghost stories or make finger shadow animals on the wall.
- Pull the chairs into the middle of the room and make a fort using the extra blanket in the closet and the bedspread. Toss in a few bed pillows and you have the perfect hideout!
2) Offer quiet activities.
When you travel, it is worth the time and effort to pack a few extra things for the kids. Quiet, open ended toys that can be used in a variety of ways are the best choices.
Good toddler travel toy choices:
- play dough
- flannel board
- scissors and a magazine to cut
3) Bring painter’s tape.
Though I don’t own stock in painter’s tape, I’m always thinking perhaps I should. It is the one thing I never, ever travel without – no matter how old the kids get. Besides being good for hems that won’t stay up or curtains that won’t stay closed and keeping little fingers out of the electrical sockets, the fun activities for toddlers in a hotel room are endless.
- tape the floor to create a racetrack for little cars and worlds for their plastic toys
- tape across a doorway like a spider web and then throw a rolled up ball of paper at it for ‘points’
- tape a line across the hall way and play LIMBO
4) Extra bath time.
Bring pudding (the type that does not require refrigeration) for finger painting. Put kiddo in the bathtub and let them go to town. Color your own with a few drops of food coloring or stay with chocolate and vanilla. My toddlers LOVED this activity. When it got boring I just stood them up and filled the bathtub with water – gave them a few small plastic toys or cups and let them go to town. Bubbles are good, too!
5) Extra snacks.
- Plan on extra snacks and bring the good stuff. Old favorites and special treats are good thoughts.
- Use fun treats that kids can put together. Bring cupcakes and squirt icing and let them create. Indoor s’mores are fun, too. Lots of hotels have microwaves for mac and cheese, and popcorn.
Use hotel time to recoup after a long day of site seeing and recharge for more family travel destinations the next day! Do you have funny stories or tips to share for keeping the kids busy in a hotel room? Which of these activities for toddlers in a hotel room are your favorites?