Our travel activity packs are a staple for long trips.
We have spent a lot of time on airplanes over the last eight years. All of our family and many of our friends live out of state so we are flying at least three times a year for weddings, reunions, or just to visit the grandparents. I have had to come up with some pretty interesting things to keep my kids entertained on these long flights, but when the lollipops are gone and the ipad dies and you still have the longest hour of your life left until you land, you need some back up ideas to keep them busy. I found this idea for an activity binder and thought it looked great, but the bulkiness of it goes against my instinct to pack as light and compact as possible. Anyone else ever carried two kids, a backpack, diaper bag and a carry on suitcase onto a plane….alone?
My solution was to create “activity packs” where all of the fun fits into a pouch that zips closed. I was pleasantly surprised by how much can actually fit in these pouches and they both fit easily into my kids’ backpack or the diaper bag. The materials were cheap, most you probably already have in your house, and easy to put together. I made one for each of my kids and adapted them slightly to fit their age.
Here is what I included in each activity pack:
- Felt squares and string: I made a small cut into each square and tied a big knot at the end of the string. The kids slide the squares onto the string which helps develop fine motor skills. I had him work on creating patterns with the colors.
- Number matching: I used cardstock and Velcro for these. I made little squares with numbers 1-4 (number, word, and dots) and attached Velcro to the backs and the card. I would peel them all off and he would practice matching them back together.
- Sticker book: If you read my Surviving Toddler Years article, you know stickers are a staple at our house. I made a little book out of paper and stock piled his favorite stickers.
- Mini felt board: I cut a rectangle the size of the pack, then cut his name and small shapes out of felt. I cut shapes that he could use to design different trucks.
- Other ideas: I put in letter cards and a small dinosaur puzzle we had at home. You could also put in small books or crayons and paper or matching games.
- Felt squares and string: The same concept as above, but with the focus being more on learning colors and using motor skills.
- Texture Cards: I used card stock and put random pieces from around the house for him to feel and describe. Band-Aids, string, duct tape, pom-pom balls, sandpaper, Velcro etc.
- Mini felt board: I cut another rectangle and name letters for my younger one but for his board I made bigger pieces in basic shapes.
- Sticker book: Like I said before, they are both obsessed with stickers.
- Other ideas: finger puppets, small books and flash cards.