Holiday Travel Survival Guide & Craft
You’ve planned a family vacation and soon you’ll be packing up the car and hitting the road! Every parent knows that hours on end in the back seat of the car can make restless children pretty cranky. That makes for a miserable trip for all involved. Packing things strategically to keep kids happy during the trip—and after you’ve arrived—doesn’t have to be difficult.
Be prepared with plenty of snacks packed in portion-sized baggies for the long road ahead. Staying hydrated is important too, but to avoid stopping for bathroom breaks every hour, don’t let the kids nurse that bottled water. Instead, keep it up front and hand it to them as they need it.
Another idea is to create a travel kit similar to our Grandparent’s Day Play Date Kit, but a little more compact and travel-friendly. Fishing tackle boxes and craft storage containers make wonderful travel kits for the kids. Each contain different-sized compartments for storing drawing supplies, building blocks, beads and more. Some things to consider packing into your traveling busy box might be blocks, beads and pipe cleaners, smalls pads and markers, crossword books, and trading cards. What you put into it depends solely on what your child enjoys and their age range. The key is to pack a few things that will keep them from getting bored during the trip.
Another great way to keep the kids busy while traveling is with a magnet dress-up board! You can make one yourself like I did, and it can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. I’ve included a pattern for the people and clothing that you see here, but feel free to create your own designs!
To make this magnetic dress-up board you will need:
1 cookie sheet (check the dollar store or WalMart! I bought mine for less than $4.00 at Walmart.)
3–4 adhesive backed magnetic sheets
Downloadable pattern 1
Downloadable pattern 2
Cut each element out from the pattern sheet, leaving a border around each one.
Decide what paper you would like each clothing item to be and cut that to match the pattern piece (see photo). Construction paper works well for hair and the people.
Peel the backing off of the magnetic sheet.
Place the scrapbook and/or construction paper shapes onto the magnetic sheet, fitting as many on as you can so as to cut down on waste. Do not attach the patterns themselves to the sheet.
Use as much available space as you can by placing items close together but without overlapping.
Hint: As you attach your colored papers to the magnet sheet, place the corresponding pattern piece off to the side. Line them up the same way they are on the sheet to help you remember which is which!
One at a time, cut the magnet sheet so that you can work with each piece individually. Place the pattern over the colored paper and use it as a guide to cut out your magnetic piece.
As you can see, your magnetic piece now looks just like your pattern piece!
Continue this process for all of the pieces, including the people. Use colored pencils to add faces.
Hint: You may want to cut out one of the hairdos and place it over the person’s head before drawing the face. That way you’ll have a better idea of where the facial features should be placed so they are not covered up by the hair when your child plays.
When finished, you can add, remove and change out clothing, accessories and hair for several different looks! When not in use, extra pieces can be attached to the back so that the playing board is free of clutter.
Here are some examples of different outfits and looks your child can create. When they are finished playing, all pieces will stick to the cookie sheet, making it a great traveling toy!
Project created by Amanda Formaro for Kix Cereal. Amanda is a well-known craft expert and has been writing and crafting on the Internet for over fifteen years. Find out more on her blog, Crafts by Amanda, where she shares tutorials with step-by-step photos for adults and kids alike.