As I mentioned in part 1 of this post, I’m desperately stockpiling activities for our kids to do in the car for a loooong road trip we have coming up. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration for your summer travels! Many of these activities would be great for quiet time at home too (and who doesn’t love that?!).
An easy activity to put together is with colored jumbo popsicle sticks (Hobby Lobby, $3) and adhesive velcro strips ($1 from Dollar Tree or $3 from Hobby Lobby). Simply cut strips of velcro to fit, and apply them to both ends and both sides of the sticks. You’ll need a “hook” piece and a “loop” piece of Velcro on each side of the stick. Kids can use their imaginations and create different shapes, buildings, etc. with these fun sticks that stay together. Thanks to Bayou City Mamas for the idea!
My 3 year old son is very into tools and “building” things, so my husband found some great screws, nuts, bolts, and even a little allen wrench in the garage. These should keep him busy for awhile practicing his building skills.
I thought the kids might like to get a new notebook for coloring and stickers on the road. I got these basic composition books from the Dollar Tree.
With a little scrapbook paper I already had on hand, they look totally transformed! I simply lined the paper up on top of the notebook, pressed along the edges of the book to crease the paper, then cut along the creases. I used Modge Podge (same kind as in my last post) to glue the paper to the front of the book. I printed their names with fun fonts, put them on a slightly larger, coordinating paper, and glued it on. A coat of modge podge over it all sealed it up.
I did the backs of the books in coordinating paper as well. I’m bundling crayons with my toddler’s notepad and some kid-sized mechanical pencils (Dollar Tree) with my son’s notepad. Even if he breaks the lead every few seconds, clicking new lead out frequently should be great entertainment for a kid who’s never had a mechanical pencil. And entertainment is what I’m after!
My son loves anything that sounds remotely silly, so I thought he’d get a kick out of Mad Libs (Amazon, $3). I’ll probably have to give him a few choices or a category of words to choose from to fill in each blank, but I have no doubt he’ll laugh hysterically at the silly end result.
I’ve heard great things about these Melissa & Doug reusable sticker pads ($9 for both from Amazon) and decided to spring for some for this trip. They’re vinyl cling stickers, so they don’t lose stickiness. Plus, they could be fun to stick to the car window too.
These Melissa & Doug “Water Wow” pads are fun, clean entertainment too. We already own the truck one, and my son always looks forward to “painting” with it in the car. You just fill the pen up with water, and when it’s brushed over the pages, color appears. As soon as it dries (only takes a few minutes), it’s ready to “paint” again. Since the one we have can be a source of arguments now, I bought this 3 pack (Amazon, $12) for some variety. I fill the pens up and keep them in a baggie to avoid any leaks when travelling.
We seem to get endless “are we there yet” questions even on short road trips, and my preschooler doesn’t really understand what “2 hours” means. When I found this great idea for travel tickets, I knew we should give it a try. Just print the free printable and cut out the tickets. I’m going to collect a ticket from him every 30 minutes, so I’ll just give him the number of tickets we’ll need for the first leg of the trip. Hopefully, having something to tangible to track the time will help him understand how much longer we have to go…and maybe not ask quite so much!
Look at this “wrapped” stockpile! I thought putting the smaller items in brown paper bags would increase the excitement about choosing one. I labeled the contents on the bottom of each bag to avoid similar picks in a row.
I didn’t photograph everything else, but I’ve raided the rest of the house and added these items to the car entertainment bag as well:
- Magna Doodle board (magnetic drawing board)
- Aquadoodle Travel Doodle (Amazon)
- Wipe clean tracing books
- Dry erase markers (Crayola makes washable ones) and gloves for drawing on car window and erasing with glove
- Crayola safety scissors (no blades – Amazon) and paper
- Pretzel sticks and big marshmallows, which can be used to build things and then eaten
- Bag of pipe cleaners
- “I Spy” books
- Post-it notes
- Box of Band-Aids (purely for playing)
- Small box of Lego Duplos
- Small toys from Dollar Tree
- “Sewing” shapes that I found in Target’s Dollar Spot years ago (similar to these)
- Magnetic Cars, Planes and Trains (Amazon)
- Tablet & DVD player
- Lots of snacks!
Wish us luck! Let me know if you’ve had luck with any other toys or activities or in the car!