Many of you will be traveling this year for the holidays and while Christmas trips along an old highway CAN be interesting, fun and even relaxing, more often than not, they are torture. Kids can be difficult to manage on a long car ride as they (understandably!) get tired, bored and cranky. While snacks and electronics help, sometimes you just need some fresh and new activities for kids to capture their attention. Today I am going to show you a simple travel kid idea with activities for kids that will help keep them occupied for at least a few miles and give YOU some peace! Added bonus? It is VERY cheap!
- Mod Podge
- Coffee Can
- Tissue Paper
- Cute Ribbon (I used this yellow chevron)
- Felt Car (to decorate can – optional and only 57 cents!)
- Little Wooden Toys (I used this $1.17 wooden lizard and dino)
The basic idea is to make basic old worksheet activities for kids papers new again. If you simply throw a workbook into the car for the trip, your kiddo might just plow through the worksheets, skip half of them and haphazardly complete them.
See that Sherlock Holmes workbook? It was found at a thrift store for a quarter and is the perfect book for this setup. We talked about detectives and mysteries the week before leading up to the “coffee can reveal.” You can use any worksheet book that has a theme or a story to it. Just try to find something that can have a beginning and an end. This is how the activities for kids mystery begins…
Once you have all the rolls made, you need a “character” or two to give this activities for kids idea a little life! I used these adorable little wooden toys. At $1.17 each, they are cheap and the kids love them as much as I do. We call them Din-Din (the Dinosaur) and Lizzy (The Lizard).
Basically, these little characters are the “helpers” for your children and help them discover the “clues.” Simply write clues on the scrolls of paper, using state lines, state license plates, colors of cars, alphabet letters on signs, anything you might encounter on the road that allows the children to “unlock” each scroll. Once “Din-Din” or “Lizzy” spot a clue, the kids can open that scroll and do the worksheet. Once all the worksheets have been completed, make sure you include the “solutions” roll to see if their answers were right and if they correctly solved the mystery!
Now onto making the can look more kid-friendly! You simply need a used metal coffee can, cleaned and dry, along with some Mod Podge and tissue paper. Apply Mod Podge over the entire can and then carefully attach the paper with the straight edge along the top rim.
If you are so inclined, hot glue this cool felt car (we ARE going on a road trip!) and secure with ribbon. I hot glued two small pieces of ribbon to the edges of the car first, allowed them to dry, hot glued the car onto the can and then pulled the ribbon tight into a knot.
Once your activities for kids can is completely dry and decorated, fill it full of papers, that cute little dinosaur and lizard and save it in the car until the kids are going WILD then break out your “mystery in a can!”