“Are We There Yet? ” –Travel Maps for Kids

From the backseat, comes the inevitable question all kids ask at least 700 times on each and every family vacation:  Are we there yet?

Enter the backseat travel map.  I photocopied a map (in our case, the northeastern states that we travel in most) and punched two holes at the top, tied it with a ribbon to the back seats, one map for each of the two rows of back seats in my mini-van.

Using some wet-erase markers, I outlined the states and wrote the names in so the kids could better see these areas. Then with another color, I outlined our route.

My 8-year-old especially loved this. He enjoyed informing the younger two kids of the next state we would be entering, how many more states to go, which was the biggest state, the smallest, etc.

For our next trip, I can erase the route line and mark a new one.  Or, I may give them dry-erase markers and let them write on it, perhaps making a game of finding and circling states or cities or bodies of water. We will definitely be using these maps again and again.

Let’s connect on Google+.

We are pleased to have this activity featured by Melissa and Doug toys. 


  1. Great idea! Nico is too young but I wish I thought of something like that for our 2 trips :-/

  2. Great idea for someone like Princess Belle who has such a problem with Geography too!

  3. Cute idea! My son is obsessed with maps. I think he’ll like this!

  4. Love this!!!!

  5. Hi Julie! I love this idea! My son is only 4 but I think having this visual would be valuable for him too! I shared the idea on my Blog’s Facebook wall. Thanks so much!

  6. This is a fantastic idea! I’m going to use this the next time we go on a road trip to visit family.

  7. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing! We are traveling next month and this idea is perfect for our trip!

  8. Wow, that is a totally different approach than my parents took many decades ago! :-)

  9. Well, I think they had different educational outcomes in mind. Unlike our children, with DVD players and such, our family trips involved things such as:
    - traveling in a car with no air conditioning, no radio, the windows open at 70MPH while my father smoked his pipe and the only entertainment we had was a music box hanging from the rearview mirror that played my mother’s favorite song “Edelwiess” when you pulled the cord…
    - did I mention my brother and I also each had large grocery bag of clothes between our legs and one or two in between us. For five hours no less!
    - asking “are we there yet?” more than three or four times usually resulted in something being thrown at us and a “shut the h$&@ up!”

    My brother and I became quick learners! :-)

    • Julie @ Creekside Learning says:

      Considering this history, you are an extremely patient parent when it comes to long trips with our kids. :-)

  10. This is really genius! My son would absolutely adore this. Thank you SO much for sharing!

  11. Jen Lufkin says:

    I found this idea on Facebook. Very clever. Upon further investigation I realized your destination was extremely close to our home in Perkasie, PA. Small world.

  12. where did you find that map? We live in Allentown, PA and are going to the outer banks in NC, this map would be perfect for us!

    • Julie @ Creekside Learning says:

      Hi Kristin,
      I got it from AAA. It is their North Eastern states map, I believe.


  1. [...] Map It: Are we there yet? Avoid this nagging question with this simple 3-step solution: (a) Photocopy your trip map, write out the names of the states on it, and outline their borders. [...]

  2. […] Creekside Learning has a really great idea for forestalling the constant “are we there yet?” questions […]

Leave a Reply