Week 10: Learning While Traveling with Airport Bingo
Traveling with kids can be a huge hassle. There’s no denying it. The packing, the schedule disruptions, getting them through security at the airport, keeping them entertained. It’s all a lot of work, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like a vacation, it’s just taking care of the kids without all the helpful things we have at home.
But traveling with kids can be wonderful too. And one of the things I’ve always loved about traveling is how much my kids grow and learn when they’re exposed to all those new experiences.
Every time we go to the airport, the first thing my kids do is pull out their Trip Clip clipboards, and they know I will have put an Airport Bingo Board on the top of their stack of activities for the trip. I make a new one for each trip. The one below I created especially for its educational focus, but you can create any kind of Bingo board you want.
Although it can be tempting at the airport to hand them a device of some sort (and our family definitely does that too), it’s also great to help them engage with their surroundings and experience as much of it as possible. A custom bingo board is a great way to encourage them to explore their environment and learn some things along the way.
My kids usually like to try to find everything on their bingo board before we get on the airplane. There are hundreds of images to choose from on The Trip Clip website so you can create as many bingo boards as you like. I chose these images to show how kids can learn with an Airport Bingo Board.
Airport Navigation & Safety
You can check the airport ahead of time to find your Gate #, or write it in when you get to the airport. Then have your child watch the signs to figure out how to get to your gate. It’s a great life skill, and understanding how to read the signs and navigate an airport really can keep them safer if they get separated from you.
You can also show your kid how to read the arrival and departures board – point out to them all the city names just to give them a sense of how big the country is. Then show them how to search alphabetically to find the one you’re traveling to, and use the board to find the gate information and departure time.
One of the very worrying things about being in a busy airport with young kids is the possibility that you will get separated from them. Teach your kid about how to find a trustworthy adult. Point out the uniforms that indicate an airport employee so that your child will know how to find someone who can help them if the need it.
Have your kids find these letters on a sign for letter recognition practice, or challenge them to find words that start with these letters to practice first letter sounds. You can even have them write the word they found in the square for some handwriting and spelling practice.
About the Airport
Finding an airplane certainly won’t be hard at the airport, but it’s always fun to spend some time just watching the airplanes move to and from their gates, take off, and land. When you’re done with that, watch the airplanes get serviced – find a luggage train and watch the luggage move on the conveyor belt. See if you can also spot a food or fuel service truck.
Another thing my family loves to do is look for words in a foreign language, or better yet, a foreign script! It’s fun to think about all of the travelers who come through our airport.
Escalators and Restroom are certainly not specific to an airport, but you can go on a hunt to find (and ride!) an escalator to soak up a little time while you wait for your flight. You can also watch the signs and follow them to a restroom. Use it as a reminder to visit the restroom one last time before boarding!
Ok, so “people watching” may not be the most educational of activities, but it sure can be fun! And it’s an important rite of passage for kids to learn about.
This particular set of images I chose because, well, they amuse me. Especially when it’s no longer MY baby who is crying! I’m not horrible, I always give the poor parents of the crying baby a sympathetic smile. We all remember being there. My kids think finding a crying baby is funny, but they especially like looking for someone who is sleeping.
Numbers and Symbols
You can use any numbers on your Bingo Board. Single digits will be a lot easier to find. My kids are old enough now that I like to make it hard for them with double digit #’s. Occasionally this has inspired us to walk a terminal to get to a gate that will have the number we need. I love that it gets them moving before we have to sit on the plane for hours.
There are lots of other symbols to choose from on The Trip Clip Bingo page. You can pick any that you think your kids will enjoy searching for. One of my kids is very money oriented, so we had fun one trip counting how many dollar signs he saw as we walked through the airport. It was interesting to see how quickly it got to be more than we could count!
Make It Your Own
The Trip Clip Bingo Boards are all completely editable, so you can make it be whatever you want it to be.
Try any one of these bingo boards!
There are hundreds of images to choose from to make a Personalized Bingo Board for any occasion!