Kids Airplane Activities: Airplane BINGO

Kids Airplane Activities: Airplane BINGO

Are you a list-maker and planner or a throw everything together at the last minute spontaneously and hope it works out type of person? Personally, I love my lists and planning, but hey sometimes with kids, life, work, etc. it just doesn’t get done. I have my go-tos for kids airplane activities, but sometimes you need to mix it up and do something new not involving a screen. This free printable is meant to do exactly that, offer something new and fun to do on the airplane that’s super easy for mom. All you have to do is print it out and throw it in a surprise folder for the trip.

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Kids airplane activities airplane BINGO printout on desk

What do you need?

Thanks to all of you out there who’ve reached out to me lately and responded to our newsletter and emails! If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up to get updates, tips, and news from www.explorermomma.com. I’ve heard from several of you that you’re loving the travel journal printable and are looking for other activities to keep the kids engaged and busy on trips, but don’t involve a tablet or other screen.

I totally get it. Currently, at our house, we’re having some major struggles with tablets, tv, and screen time. Everyone has their different ideas on the subject, but I’m struggling with the 5-year-old at setting limits and transitioning to our next activity. Let’s just say there’s been a lot of screaming and fits involved for a usually laid-back kid. Sound familiar? Work in progress.

How to prepare for a plane ride with kids

First of all, there is planning for the quick hour and a half airplane trip, and then there is planning for the long-haul, multiple flight trip. Although generally, we pack similar stuff to prepare, it’s just the amount of items that change for me. I consider all flights and airports as a potential for melt-down, although my kids are getting older and past some of those stages. Still, the question is, how to avoid the child, then you, losing it?

There are so many things that help if you allow yourself time to plan correctly. We start off with a well-stocked carry-on bag for each kid, and they’re responsible for it the entire way. If you’re interested, take a look at my posts on The Complete Kids’ Carry-On Packing List, 30 Nut-Free Snacks for a Long-Haul Flight, or 8 Ways to Survive a Long Layover With Kids.

The Complete Kids’ Carry-On Packing List

The Complete Kids' Carry-On with pictures of carry-on items

Travel entertainment

As a kid, I always loved the car trip scavenger hunt type games that made me look for things as we drove. For a while I even made books of Iowa Signs, Kansas Signs, Texas Signs, etc. and drew all the signs I saw because there was not a lot else to look at on some of those drives. No offense of course to example states! Also, I especially loved when we played a game as a family. I Spy, the ABC game (you know: A – My name is Andrew, I’m going to Alabama, and I’m taking Apples), and so on.

Naturally, when thinking about non-screen activities my thoughts went to okay, what can a family do together on an airplane? Well, we can’t make a lot of noise, but it should be entertaining and possibly even include prizes for the winners. Small erasers or toys work well for this, or a Dum-dum style sucker to help kids’ ears pop and adjust to the altitude.

Sunset view out airplane window

Airplane BINGO how-to

That train of thought gave me the idea for Airplane BINGO. What kid doesn’t like BINGO?! In this version, it’s a bit of a scavenger hunt as well. Hand out the free printable cards, and you’re ready to begin.

Tear up pieces of paper for markers. Actually, I always travel with Post-its and ripping the little ones in half with the sticky on them works amazingly well for airplanes because they don’t fall off and into the abyss of the airplane floor. In Kids Airplane Activities: Airplane BINGO, I’ve included 4 different BINGO cards. Although they do list many of the same items, they are not in the same locations on the cards.

Once you hear or see one of the items on the card, for example, you hear the woman in the next row discussing the weather, you place your sticky note or marker on that square. The center space with the airplane is the “FREE” space so it can help out when trying for a BINGO. We always play allowing a BINGO when you get five spaces in a row or all four corners.

Airplane BINGO, kids airplane activities printable close-up

You won!

When you win you say, “BINGO!” and go through your five squares and explain where you saw each. If indeed a winner, that person will receive a fabulous prize such as a pencil, exciting highlighter, or new dinosaur figure (depends on your kids). At that point, you can then start a new game.

This printable is made for kids who can already read, but an adult could easily pair up with a younger child. Or similarly, you could have everyone color their BINGO cards and draw pictures of what they’re searching for in the rectangles. Really, you can make it work for just about anyone.

Sign up for Explorer Momma’s newsletter and download Kids Airplane Activities: Airplane BINGO as a bonus!

Airplane BINGO, kids airplane activities preview

What are your kids airplane activities?

So what do you do to keep kids happy and occupied on an airplane? Especially on those long and multiple-flight trips, once the novelty has worn off it can be difficult to keep up the positivity. As I said, we have our tried and true kids’ airplane activities, but what do you do to mix things up?

Also, if you download the Kids Airplane Activities: BINGO Cards let me know in the comments how it worked for you. This is an activity that could last a long time or a relatively short time depending on the family. Do you have any other ideas to make it better?

Thanks so much and have an amazing trip!

View out airplane window at sunset, airplane BINGO

Georgian Language Phrases For Travelers

Georgian Language Phrases For Travelers

This post will give you useful Georgian language phrases for travelers. Download the Georgian phrases PDF, your own Georgian travel dictionary! In one place find basic Georgian phrases and useful Georgian phrases to get a richer picture of the people as you travel.

When you travel to other countries do you try to learn the basics in the native language? Even if it’s just a few words as an introduction, I’ve found it paves the way for a richer, fuller visit. In addition, it helps to ingratiate you with the local people and gives you a whole other view of the place and culture.

I’ve had many people ask me how in the world I learned Georgian, even after living there for several years. How? I studied. I interacted with people all over the country (and that done with me being an introvert). Was it always comfortable? No, of course not, and language learning is never perfect, but little by little you begin to understand and feel a part. Georgian language phrases

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Useful Georgian language phrases for travelers, free printable, Trinity Cathedral Tbilisi. Travel with confidence and learn some culture! If Tbilisi, Georgia is your destination, you need these basic language phrases. #georgianlanguage #georgiantravelphrases

Luckily for you, if you’re traveling to Tbilisi or any other part of Georgia soon, I’ve put together a handy printable list of useful Georgian language phrases for travelers.

Speaking foreign languages while traveling

I vividly remember the reaction of a woman I met in Baku, Azerbaijan when I attempted to speak to her in Azeri. This was a while ago now, but she was taking money for tickets or a tour at the Maiden Tower, an old Zoroastrian tower in Baku that’s now a local history museum. At first glance, she bore the no-nonsense, expressionless face I associate with former Soviet countries. They all feel Americans smile too much at strangers, as do many other countries. To me, she looked put out at having to be bothered with doing her job and giving out tickets.

Slowly, I stepped up and asked for the tickets in what I thought was correct Azeri. She did a little double-take and really looked at my face, and I was able to respond to whatever she asked me in return. Her face lit up, smiled, and she yelled over to her friend that these girls were actually trying to speak Azeri and NOT Russian. At least I think she said something to that effect. We ended up getting more attention, and a bit of a special tour.

Metekhi Church entrance

Why learn basic Georgian phrases?

Indeed, it’s all about being polite and respectful when you go to someone else’s country, to speak their language. Even if you don’t get very far, or they speak English and cater to tourists, they will generally appreciate your attempt. Don’t be afraid of not getting everything perfect either! I do pretty well in Latin languages and Georgian; however, my German, Russian, Azeri, etc. are pretty horrendous. But don’t fear! Most of the time they don’t expect you to have perfect grammar and pronunciation. The point is to communicate and learn from your hosts.

Georgians are some of the most hospitable and welcoming people I’ve ever met. They take great pride in their hospitality and love to have guests. They, like the Azeri woman I mentioned, are super-excited when foreigners speak Georgian to them and not Russian or another language.

     

I first fell in love with the Georgian language through traditional Georgian music before I could speak a single word. Music so often communicates the history and passions of a place so I like to listen to what I can before and during my visit. Also, I encourage my kids to do the same thing and so makes travel a huge living lesson for us.

You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.

Geoffrey Willans

English Author and Journalist

Need some ideas about things to do in Tbilisi, Georgia?

Narikala Fortress, Tbilisi

In my recent blog post, you can read all about awesome activities to do with kids in Tbilisi, Georgia. It’s an amazing city and so much fun to explore!

Georgian language phrases

The Georgian language is a beautiful language rich in history. What’s it related to? This is generally one of the first questions I get asked when speaking to someone about how I know it. Georgian is in its own family and branch, and therefore it’s not Slavic, Latin, Germanic or others. In addition, it has its own alphabet with 33 letters always pronounced the same way when read, similar to Spanish. Right now I’m not going to go into the alphabet but for our purposes use Latin letters to make it easier for travelers to get some words out!

When you speak in Georgian, do not stress syllables as in English, but read through them with the same level of stress throughout, if that makes sense.

A few phrases in Georgian:

gamarjoba (gah-mar-joh-bah) This means hello!

me lareni var (may lahren-ee var) My name is Lauren.

Tip here: You’ll want to insert your name instead of mine. In Georgian, you add an ee (long e) sound to the end of your name if it ends in a consonant sound, in this case. I’ll not trouble you with a bunch of grammar right now.

sasiamovnoa (sah-see-ah-mohv-noh-ah) It’s nice to meet you. (I love saying this word so had to add it in.)

didi madloba (dee-dee mahd-loh-bah) Thank you very much.

kargat (kar-gaht) Good-bye! (informal)

nakhvamdis (nahkh-vahm-dees) Good-bye!

Do you want some more? Get the free Georgian language PDF printable, and practice to your heart’s content. Most Georgians are thrilled to help you with pronunciation and language so if you know someone who’s Georgian enlist their help.

 

Sign up for Explorer Momma’s newsletter and download your free Georgian language phrases for travelers printable below!

Georgian language phrases PDF

Georgian language phrases preview

Free Printable

A different language is a different vision of life.

Federico Fellini

Italian Film Director and Screenwriter

Travel and Georgian basic phrases

Do you tremble with excitement when you learn a new word or piece of language? Well, maybe we won’t go that far, but it’s exciting! Just imagine how much you can learn about a culture with a few simple words, some good food and company, and a lot of observation.

I said it before, but let me stress again, don’t worry about getting it perfect! We are communicating, and a couple of words are better than none to get a point across. Language is such an amazing part of a culture and helps form the identity of the people.

Good luck on your travels. I hope you enjoy learning a bit of Georgian today and have the opportunity to travel there someday!

Narikala Fortress and the Mother of Georgia overlooking Tbilisi

How do you say good-bye in Georgian?

nakh-vahm-dees!

Free Printable French Valentine Cards

Free Printable French Valentine Cards

This page contains affiliate links. Printable French Valentine Cards

Hearts, flowers, red, and pink! Valentine time of year is just around the corner once again. The question is, will you be prepared? Are you like me and in search of a set of fun, different, and cheap (yes, I said it!) Valentines? Do you need something to pass around to kid school friends, family, your Zumba group, and make them smile? If that’s the case, you’re in luck because you can download your own FREE printable French Valentine cards below. French, because, why not? Does one need a reason to speak in French? Pas du tout! It’s different, fun, and the language of love!

Scroll down to download your own free printable French Valentine Cards.

or Pin it for later!

Printable French Valentine Cards pin

My favorite history of Valentine’s Day story

As far as I know, there are at least 3 different Valentines or Valentiniuses the holiday could be named after. My favorite legend of the holiday centers around a certain priest way back during the height of Roman power. At this point in history, Christians were being persecuted, thrown into prisons, beaten, tortured, and generally treated badly.

According to legend, Valentine helped many Christians escape the horrible prisons and was himself captured for his aid. As a result, our hero Valentine was thrown into one of these same prisons. Under the circumstances, a bit of luck, or the grace of God, favored our Valentine. In amongst the usual torture and abuse, the jailer’s daughter visited the good Valentine. Her visits brought Valentine a ray of light, and he soon fell in love with her.

Printable French Valentine cards book

Tragically, Valentine was sentenced to death, the pleas of the jailer’s daughter going unattended. Before his execution, our hero penned a love poem and letter to his love and signed it, “From Your Valentine”. This became the basis for Valentine’s Day letters and greetings throughout the Middle Ages and until this very day.

Printable French Valentine Cards, macarons

Printable French Valentine cards without candy

A little pet peeve I have about Valentine’s Day when it comes to kids’ Valentines, is that it’s EXPECTED to put candy with every single one! Kids are bribed with candy at school, at offices, at my own house, and just have way more sugar than is healthy. Therefore, I like to do something fun for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Halloween that does not contain sugar.

Individual Valentine card

First, get some simple cellophane bags from Target or another store (or order them on Amazon here). Then, print out your printable French Valentine cards on card stock. Place one card in each bag along with a small gift for Valentine’s Day. Last but not least, tie the top of the bag with a cute red ribbon, and you’re done!

 

Printable Valentine cards preview pin

Small charms or gifts to go in your Valentine bag:

Do you need some gift bags, Eiffel Tower charms, or maybe Eiffel Tower magnets?

Or who wouldn’t like to receive a squeezable heart stress ball, vintage style Paris bookmark, or heart erasers?

Challenge yourself to think outside the candy box and have fun with it! Do your kids’ friends like a certain game, toy, or love France? What would be fun for your family members and friends?

What do you get with your printable French Valentine cards?

Just in case you are not a native French speaker, I’ve included a vocabulary list with English translation. These are great for kids in French classes or anyone who has a love for all things French. Take a look below, and imagine yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower. Ah, Paris…

Printable French Valentine cards preview vocabulary

Printable French Valentine cards

In today’s culture, walk into a grocery store or really almost anywhere after Christmas. What will you see? You’ll be bombarded with red hearts, Hallmark cards, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and more to buy the perfect gift for your special someone…and all your closest acquaintances. If you love it or not, why not make it fun for kids and friends alike? Give them a Valentine and a little lesson in that flowing language of love…French! C’est magnifique!

Do you have any other fun traditions for Valentine’s Day you do with your kids? Share them in the comments below!

Printable French Valentine Cards, Eiffel Tower

Do you need a simple Valentine craft?

Kids' Valentine craft feature

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal: How To Make Kids Thankful

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal: How To Make Kids Thankful

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We’ve all been there, or have seen it, or heard about it. You break down and buy the really expensive toy the toddler saw at the store, and they love it! That is, they love it for a week, then it sits in the toy box or the closet. What happens then? Yes, you got it! The child begs for more every time you go to ANY store with them and throws a gigantic tantrum if they don’t get it.

I’d like to think that goes away as they get older, but how do you teach kids to be thankful for what they have? If they don’t learn to be thankful, how will that affect them in the future as teenagers and adults? It’s pretty scary when you stop to think about it.

I’m going through the same issues with my kids and put together a list of ways to make kids more thankful. This is a work in progress, and I’ve found some things are great for my son and not my daughter. Consequently, I’ve come up with this printable Thanksgiving journal as a prompt and tool to help get my kids thinking about why we’re thankful.

How to help our kids to be thankful

Kids' Thanksgiving Journal pin

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal

Click here to pin it to your Thanksgiving or Kids’ Activity boards for later!

In the spirit of the season, a kids’ Thanksgiving journal is a great way to help your elementary and even middle school students. Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and rather than focus on giving thanks only that day, build up to it with a kids’ thankful journal. Now, you can make one on your own with a regular notebook or blank journal. In the days before Thanksgiving, have the child write about different things they are thankful for and why. Also, they can draw a picture to go along with each day if they wish.

I don’t know about you, but my kids generally need more direction to help generate ideas and really dig deep and think about it. Therefore, I came up with this printable Thanksgiving journal you can download below. In it, I have a page for every letter of the alphabet. First of all, they have to think about something/someone they are thankful for that begins with the letter of the page. Then there’s a space to draw a picture and some prompts to help them think a bit more deeply.

Thanksgiving

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal Prompts

First off is the basic:

Tell me about something you’re thankful for beginning with the letter A. Why are you thankful for it/him/her?

Second, we dig a little more into the people involved:

Who is it or who gave it to you? Did they have to give up anything of their own to make you happy?

Third, is the action step:

How can you show them you are thankful?

My plan for Thanksgiving

I plan to give my kids a page to do every day leading up to Thanksgiving. However, you could do it all at once or a few every day, whatever’s best for the kids in your life! Then, on Thanksgiving, they will have the journal to share or as a resource when they’re asked the inevitable question, “What are you thankful for?”

Sign up for the Explorer Momma newsletter and tips and as a bonus get your kids’ Thanksgiving journal

Kids' Thanksgiving journal with msg

There are many other ways to encourage your kids to be thankful:

  1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry.
  2. Buy fewer rather than more toys.
  3. Make sure you are using “please” and “thank you” to model good manners.
  4. Stick to a weekly chore chart or list. Have the kids help around the house daily.
  5. Always give part of the weekly allowance or “commission” to church or to a charity.
  6. Make presents and cards for others for special occasions. (They love this one)

I hope you try out a kids’ Thanksgiving journal this year if you have elementary or middle school-aged kids. Not only is it a good writing exercise, but it might get them to think a bit too. If you do complete it, please let me know how it goes for you!

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

As I said, this is a list in progress for me. Do let me know if you have an easy way to help teach kids to be thankful, and I’ll add it to my list to try with my own kids. I hope we are all thankful for the many blessings we’ve been given. From thankfulness comes so many other virtues. It’s not always easy, and I know I often have to stop and think about my motivations, but we must always keep trying.

Give Thanks

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kids' Thanksgiving Journal pin2

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