Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten for Tuesday: Hotel Room Boredom Busters

Wild Thing has energy - all the time, so a hotel room can be a big challenge. We've come up with a few great hotel room boredom busters ourselves and from other bloggers who've put their techniques to the test. 

1. Free Maps-Wild Thing loves maps. The brochure section of most hotels/motels have area maps. These work well. He likes adding stickers to them and driving his cars on them. One map that showed nearby airports and hiking destinations was enjoyed by him so much that I grabbed a couple of extra and we still play with them at home (very helpful when I'm cooking dinner).

2. The Educators' Spin On It used the free hotel brochures to keep her baby busy, and has other great tips for baby-friendly hotel fun!

3. Mama Pea Pod suggests stickers (which works like a charm for Wild Thing at hotels and restaurants) and I loved her tip of saving spoons and ice cream cups for a ice cream shop pretend play!

4. Gina at Famiglia and Seoul has special travel sensory bins for trips. She puts items inside of wiper boxes for ease of travel. For other busy bag/travel bag ideas, I love the ideas I saw on Second Story Window when she had a busy bag exchange with friends. 

5. Mama Smiles' kids came up with their own creative activity in a hotel - washing and drying their toys.

6. Make the hotel pen and paper pad more interesting by having your kids use it to create their own comic books. Here's 10 tips to help you get them going with their own book. Or, bring your own simple art supplies - Red Ted Art shares that she always takes a small case of pens and notebooks for each child when they go on holiday and that these items really come in handy.

7. 52 Brand New likes to pack balloons - they take up virtually no space and can be used for balloon volleyball, hot potato or a game of catch - with no worry of breaking anything.

8. Creative Family Fun's farm animal charades would be a game perfectly suited to a hotel stay. (Of course, you don't have to limit it to farm animals -- or you could just have your little ones pretend to be different animals, which Wild Thing loves to do!)

9.Learn with Play at Home suggests bringing a roll of colored electrical tape to make roads for cars/trains to drive on, or to create a tic-tac-toe board or squares for a fun tossing game. We recently did tape roads at home after some inspiration from Tinkerlab, and it was a big hit. I'm definitely taking tape with us on our next trip. 

10. Carrots Are Orange suggests jumbo craft sticks with velcro on the ends to make letters and shapes.

You also will find other great ideas on Mama Scout's list of 10 things to do in a restaurant. Plus, I love the twist No Time for Flashcards puts on videos -- they bring videos of their kids for the kids to watch.

My other hotel tip? If possible, stay at a hotel near a park. If one parent or child needs some extra rest or gets sick, but the other child(ren) really need to get out their energy, you can just walk to the park. This has been a saving grace for us in the past.  

You might also like:

Planes, Trains, Automobiles Busy Bags
Simple Sock Puppet Storytime


  1. Many wonderful ideas contributed here! ~heather

  2. What a great list of ideas! Thanks for sharing our travel bins! :) Pinning this for ideas during our next stay at a hotel!

  3. This is a fantastic post - so many new ideas for me to remember for our next hotel stay! Thanks!!!

  4. Great post. I think I'll have to remember some of these soon!

  5. I never thought to use maps for play. Great idea!

  6. Thanks for sharing all these fun ideas and for linking to our busy bag posts!

  7. These are great ideas! We might be going on vacation later this month so I've pinned this for some help if we do. Thanks!

  8. Not planning on a hotel holiday for a while but these look fab.

  9. I wish I had this list the last time we stayed in a hotel! Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Showcase.

  10. Staying near a park can be the best! One of the things we look for when booking hotels is either a nearby park or grounds/a garden at the hotel.

    Thanks for some inspiration as we prepare for our next holiday.