A family trip can be fun, but actually getting there can be boring for kids and a headache for parents. Instead of pulling out the electronic gadgets, concern going old school with some simply crafts. A long car ride can be more of an adventure with a little planning. As an added bonus, most of the supplies you need are reasonably cheap, with many available at your local craft store.
1. Window Crayons
Kids will be fascinated with these crayons designed to allow the youngsters the opportunity to express themselves right on your car windows. Even younger kids in a car seat or booster seat can enjoy window crayons if positioned next to one of the backseat side windows. Don’t worry; these crayons easily wash off once your little Rembrandts are out of the car. You can find window crayons at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and other retailers. A package of these specially-designed crayons is under $5, making it easy to buy a box for each kid. The only issue your kids will have is who gets what window.
2. Craft Bags
Take some small paper bags and create little craft bags for your kids. Each bag can be tailored to each child’s age. Younger kids will enjoy things like crayons, construction paper, felt and an accompanying felt board or even a small chalk board. Avoid the need for scissors in the car by pre-cutting different shapes out of construction paper before you pack the kids in the car. Instead of glue, take some magnetic tape or double-sized tape to hold their little projects in place. For older kids, make a larger bag with items such as magazines or random images you printed off your computer. Let your kids make their own collage. If your kids have a favorite cartoon character or celebrity, download related photos to use for this project.
the technology may be as low-tech as you can get, but balloons still fascinate kids. Blow up the balloons ahead of time for smaller kids. Let older kids use washable magic markers to draw faces or designs on their balloons. The balloons can be used for a game of catch or let your kids make up a little game with the balloons. Your child’s best source of amusement is their own imagination. Make sure the balloons are the right size for your kids and are easy to blow up. You might want to warn your kids that the balloons might break to avoid tears or screams that could distract you while driving.
4. Paper Coils
Here’s another oldie, but goodie. Paper coils are just strips of construction paper scrunched up like a coil. Your kids can make little faces that can be taped on or glued on with one of those roll-on glue sticks. Bring enough supplies for your kids to create a little farm or zoo. Depending on the length of your trip, you might end up with a kid version of Noah’s Arc by the time you get where you’re going. For kids that like a challenge, play a game where you call out the name of an animal and your kids have to make a paper coil of that particular animal, insect or bird.
5. Origami for Kids
the ancient Japanese art of paper folding isn’t just for adults. Print out the instructions for your kids. You can find simplified instructions on origami for kids here. The origami projects include bear faces, dog faces, butterflies, birds and boats. How about a little paper cup? They can actually use it when you stop to get something to drink. The great thing about origami is that it can become more challenging once kids master the easy stuff. Tired of making animal faces? How about a paper cat, elephant, house, frog or pencil. Just bring some markers, colored pencils or crayons so they can add details to their creations.
Does a little prep work the day before your trip? This way you can get all the supplies together and download instructions, photos and everything else you need without the pressure of having to get everybody ready to go. Avoid the temptation to pull out the electronic devices to keep your kids occupied in the car every time you take a trip or long car ride. Some simple craft projects can be just as entertaining.
Chris Baker is a freelance writer and blogs for carinsuranceforwomen.org.uk – if you’re interested in finding great deals on cheap car insurance for women click here!