Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Traveling Activities

I have gotten to the point where I am almost done with my travel bag for our upcoming road trip to Utah, then Albuquerque and back again.  It's going to be a lot of time in the car and we don't have a DVD player in the car.  I am taking my ipad for the kids to play on and we're taking my laptop to show a movie (although we haven't decided if that is going to work yet).  I have a few things that I am probably going to add to the bag but not much.

There are a ton of pictures but I wanted to show you what I did.  Here's all the stuff together:  It does all fit in the bin (except for the binders which I probably will keep in the bin next to their car seats).

 I bought cookie sheets from the dollar store that are about 9x13.  I covered the back with a large piece of felt.  I attached it with velcro.  I cut out a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (I only did 1 potato).  I got the templates at this site.  I also made a pizza with various toppings and I am in the process of making up order cards for the kids to make specific pizzas.  I found this idea here.  I also made a felt monster that you can see in the bag.  I want to make another felt scene but I'm not sure yet.  Maybe a train?

I bought travel soap boxes at Wal-mart and put crayons in there.  I am taking crayons and my intention is to bring them inside the hotel rooms at night when we are traveling.  When we are camping, I think the crayons are going to stay in my parent's hotel room.  Once we split up from them, maybe the crayons will stay in the cooler.  We'll see!

I realize that I don't have a good picture of what is next to the crayon box.  It's a bag with magnifying glasses and a bug hunt.  I printed it off from here.
 The cookie sheets are magnetic.  I found magnetic tangrams at the dollar store (2 different sets).  They are not true tangrams but I figured the kids could just build with them.  I found 2 small puzzles at the $1 section at Target.  I put magnets on the back so the kids could work with.  I found number flashcards at Dollar Tree and put magnets on the back and divided them into 1-8 and 9-15.  The kids can match them up on their cookie sheet.  I found this idea here as well as the next idea.  I found the Winnie the Pooh cards at Dollar Tree (they are a matching picture game) and I cut the cards into pieces and put magnets on the back.  I had some foam shapes that I had bought at Joann's a while ago and put magnets on those.  I made pattern cards both with shapes and words (the words are the color that they are supposed to use).  I may make a memory game that is magnetic (I found a game at Dollar Tree) and I may make Dominoes using stickers I bought at Target.

The felt things in the bottom left of the photo are Marble Mazes.  They took hardly any time to make. There is a tutorial here.  I made my mazes harder than what they show.

 I made a marshmallow building kit.  I'm not sure how much building they are going to do but I figured I had all the supplies and I might as well try.  I got the idea here.  I bought a spirograph at Dollar Tree.  I need to cut out my own paper.  I have a pen in their binder pouch.  I made a sorting box using shaped buttons that I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby and a sewing box that I got at Joann's.  The kids are supposed to sort the buttons by colors into the boxes and make sure they have the right number (the numbers are written on the bottoms of the containers).  I just realized as I typed this that I put the exact number in the tub of buttons and I should have put extras!  I found this idea here.  On the back of the the colored papers are white papers with the shapes of the buttons.  They can sort the buttons by shapes too (I know some are upside down).  In the top left corner of the pictures is a ziploc bag that has black construction paper, chalk and star stickers.  They can make constellations or just draw.  I found this idea on the same site as the bug hunt.

 I found mosaic sticker kits at Dollar Tree and picked on up for each kid.  I am bringing along pony beads and lanyards.  That might be a bad idea but hopefully not.  The cardboard thing with yarn is a cardboard weaving circle.  I made 2: one smaller and one larger.  I found the idea here.
 On the left side of the photo, I have lacing beads that I bought at the $1 section of Target a couple years ago. I made pattern cards for those as well.  Behind that is a binder.  I have a binder for each kid.  Inside is a pouch with color wonder markers (the pipsqueak ones-I found them at Target on clearance!), a new pen (to use with the spirograph), pencils and dry erase markers with pom poms for erasers.  I split the markers up between kids.  I have some activities in the front pocket.
 I made an I spy bottle and put a picture of the items in their binders.  The aluminum foil is for making sculptures or other things.  I also used the aluminum foil to wrap some new little toys.  I have various books for each of the kids: a robot funny face sticker book (the faces are blank and there are stickers in the middle, it's also a coloring book-I found it at Joann's), a construction site sticker book (also from Joann's), a color wonder pad (Target), and 2 color by number books (one from the $1 section at Wal-mart and 1 from Dollar Tree).  Plus I have 2 other card puzzle games that they can use on their cookie sheet since it has a lip around it.

I have a notebook for each kid and a clip board.  I'll have a stack of paper for them to color on as well.

I realize that I didn't get closer up pictures of 2 of the items.  You can see them in the middle bottom of the big photo.  I have a bag of pipe cleaners and made shape cards so that they can bend the pipe cleaners into various shapes (I found the idea here).  The pipe cleaners can be used to make sculptures as well.  I had thought about making cards that had a flower shape but I thought that was too advanced.  We can also use the pipe cleaners with the buttons from the sort activity and with the pony beads.  Both of those things can be strung on pipe cleaners.  The other item that I don't have a close up picture of is a button snake.  You can find the info here.

The binders have the mazes that I printed off the internet (I searched simple printable mazes), mazes I got from a maze book, alphabet dot by dot that I got from a book, number dot by dot that I got from a book, an I spy page that I printed off the internet (I can't remember where I found it, I need to do some searching.  It didn't have a list of things to search for so I printed 3 and cut out some pictures and glued it on a page opposite.  Each kid has a different list to search for), the I spy bottle sheet, a folder with paper and stickers, a pouch with color wonder markers, a pen, pencils and dry erase markers, seek and find pictures that are coloring pages (from a book I bought, these are in the front pocket), wipe off alphabet and number books, and printable bingo cards that I printed from here.

These are the books that I got.  The Dot to Dot number book (1-25) is from Joann's, the maze book (that I think is too simple) is from the $1 section at Wal-mart), Alphabet dot to dot (my aunt gave N2 these books), alphabet and number wipe off books (from their aunt) and hidden picture book (that I can't remember where I got it).  Each page is in a page protector that hopefully will wipe clean and my kids can use dry erase markers.

I am taking fruit loops cereal and string and they have to string their cereal into necklaces (I will make them string most of the string) before they can eat them.

Things I still need to make:
photo scavenger hunt page
pizza factory cards
another felt activity
legal size paper activity mats (I am going to draw scenes on legal size paper.  I plan on drawing a city with streets that they can use their cars on it.  I may also make a farm scene that they can use with their animals.  I may also make a scene for the dinosaurs.  I could also draw train tracks and take a train car for them.  I'll make these with sharpie and then they can color the mats too).

I may take these things along with me that are part of N2's toys:
finger puppets
lacing cards
construction site stickers (I bought these for N2's birthday party and have extras)
little dinosaurs
little animals
Go fish (we have Nativity go fish)
glow sticks (I am definitely taking these but they may not be for the car)

I wanted to make these puzzles with popsicle sticks and magnets but I decided I may have enough puzzles.  But if I find time I may make them!

Edited: I also have jewelry links that I found at Dollar Tree.  I am planning on taking most of the books that I got the pages in the binder from and I can replace the pages in the binder.  I didn't want to have tons of pages in the binder.

If you want any of the printables that I made (the pizza cards, the pattern cards, the shape cards, etc), just email me and I'll email them to you.


  1. YES! I want your printables! That is an amazing amount of things that you prepared. I'm sure your kids will enjoy them all. Keep a list about what they played with the longest, and report back to us, please! Oh, and don't make a dinosaur scene tonight, wait until tomorrow night.

  2. Wow!!! You impress me. I'd love copies of your handiwork, too! One thing Ian likes in the car is books on cd ... with or without the books. Hope you have a great trip. You kids will grow up loving car rides with all you have planned!