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3 Creative Travel Activities 

By Stephanie Porcello

Kitty Rex Studio


Summer is officially here! Whether you are traveling or just relaxing at home, these creative activities are sure to keep your family engaged and thinking like artists.


As a mom of two who loves vacationing with her family, I know there is a lot of in-between time during the summer. An endless line here. A long car ride there. I’m always thinking on my toes. “What can we do in this moment to not be bored?” I hope these ideas provide your families with laughter, entertainment, and peace during those moments.

1.  The Clipboard. A dollar store clipboard is magic. Why? It’s a great small,

practical hard surface for on-the-go drawings. Pack it in an airplane bag or bring it into a restaurant. I’ve found that sometimes the one thing that has stopped my kiddos from doing art is not having a smooth, firm surface to create on. 


But wait, there’s more magic! The clipboard itself is a fantastic drawing surface. I’ve seen kids and teenagers fully immersed in physically drawing on the board. Almost any drawing tool shows up well on a clipboard, but my favorites are: Posca Pens, Sharpies, felt tip markers (Papermate has lots of pretty colors and the tip is a good all-ages size for writing or drawing), Glitter pens, and color changing rainbow pens. 


I also love drawing on clipboards because it’s a small size and doesn’t feel as precious as a blank piece of paper. It seems easier to jump right in. If your artist needs an idea, writing and decorating their name is a good place to start. Placing stickers on the board, then adding a drawing around them is fun too.

​2. Spin on the classic "I Spy" game. Challenge participants to find items around the room within a certain category. Take turns coming up with wild categories. Here’s some to get you started:

  • Find items in rainbow order. For example, if someone spots a red shirt, look for something orange next…then yellow and so on.

  • Find five (green, round, delicious) items.

  • Look for items you would see at Grandma’s house.

  • Look for things out of place. Ex. bag of chips in the stuffed animal section of a store.

  • Look up everywhere you go. You’d be surprised at how many cool ceilings there are! Ask, “would you want this ceiling in our house?”

  • Look down. Spot the shapes in the floor tiles.

  • Keep an eye out for pocket-sized treasures and collect them. At the end of the day, have a show-and-tell where everyone empties out their pockets. This one requires a few more parameters and rules to be set beforehand, but it’s a neat way to slow down and find beauty in the little things.



-Draw any of the items you find above

-Make it a competition. Race around your space collecting items.


3.  Ask for art help. Next time you are waiting, find a napkin, paper plate, or any sort of writing surface and a pen. The more unexpected the writing surface, the better. Ask your artist for step-by-step instructions on how to draw their favorite things. Yoshi, the dog, a koala. Watch their inner artist light up as they show you. 



        -Change the tone of the activity. Serious: plain piece of paper and a more complex drawing request. Silly: Ask them to teach you how to draw a made-up situation. Ex. A racoon eating a pizza.

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