Tuesday, 6 September 2011

DIY Travel Activity Packs for Kids

Travelling with a young child can be a real adventure, although some journeys can be a little more stressful than others!  Minnie is usually quite content on car journeys & enjoys exploring books, games, story magnets, or listening to music & story Cd's. But our recent camping trip took us on a long journey (with a sleepover) so I thought we'd take some extra activities to play with.

I've seen activity packs in stores but I've yet to find anything which is compact, light wieght & something which Minnie would enjoy. So with a little hunting around we came up with these packs for Minnie to take with her on her travels.



My aim was to produce creative & fun packs that would inspire Minnie's imagination too.  These packs were designed with Minnie in mind & as she enjoys creating & making they are filled mainly with craft activities. Initially I set out to create a pack for every day we were away. Now I have to confess that I LOVED making these, & Minnie ended up with 2 packs for each day!! Ha! In the end we didn't use them all while away camping, but they've been great to use at home & on recent car journeys.

Here are just a few of our Activity Packs.




I used several recycled plastic wallets (A5 size) which were an ideal size to carry around in a bag & also perfect for small hands to hold. Each pack contained different activities. The above pack had frog & butterfly shapes with double sided tape on the reverse, large lolly sticks (which could be used with the frogs/butterflies to make puppets if Minnie wished), coloured pencils (20p per pack from Asda) A5 sheets of plain paper & a couple of sheets of character stickers.

The pack below contained scraps of coloured material (which were different textures), wooden clothes pegs, chenille wires (cut in half) & pencil crayons (for possible designs on the pegs). 


Here's what Minnie made with them...


The next pack contained circles of thin card (different sizes & colours) the smaller ones had double sided tape on the back, chenille wires, coloured pencils & stickers. As you can see the chenille wires made great flowers, perfect for creating a flower garden outside the tent.


As there was limited space in the packs & the aim was to produce something which could be used for more than 5mins, I laminated circles of card for the next pack, & added self-adhesive googly eyes, & a whiteboard marker with an eraser in the lid. This enabled Minnie to create countless patterns, faces & pictures, & of course she found using the eraser lots of fun! Along with these were some frog finger puppets made from card & some coloured sticky dots which would make great speckles.


It was lovely to share our frog puppets with a fellow preschool camper who popped by our tent to say hello. I just wish I had had my camera. Thank you Abigail it was lovely to meet you! :-)


"Five Little Speckled Frogs, Sat on a speckled log..."

We discovered that frogs make neat indoor bunting too!


The pack below was one of my favourites. It contained coloured ribbons, chenille wire, coloured pencils, coloured stickers, coloured card triangles, a short length of thin ribbon, plain paper.


When the coloured ribbons were tied together they made beautiful patterns as Minnie swirled & danced with them inside & outside the tent! 


And when not being twirled by hand, they made a great rainbow wind catcher outside the tent!



With the thin ribbon, coloured spots & triangles Minnie created indoor bunting! (At this point I think fellow campers must have thought we were bonkers!)


Another pack contained card masks, 2 small pots (1 with coloured sticky shapes, the other with self adhesive jewels), 2 lengths of elastic thread, star stickers, 2 large lolly sticks, folded coloured card, foam sticky shapes, coloured pencils, small butterfly shapes, & thin ribbon. The pots I used were small empty play dough pots ideal for storing a little items, & fun for little ones to open too.



My little Superhero!

These funky masks provided Minnie with lots of fun & imaginative play!

The butterflies became yet more bunting! Can you tell Minnie enjoys threading things? ;-)

And the sticky foam shapes, coloured pencils & card made greeting cards to send to friends back home.


These packs were very inexpensive to put together & were predominantly made from items we had at home. They provided so much fun & Minnie's reaction as she opened each one was magic. Not only did she enjoy creating with the packs, she enjoyed much imaginative & free play with the items she made. (She now has all the bunting up in her bedroom!) For me it was great not only to see the fun, but all the learning, & development that was taking place too!

The only slight snag was that she was sooo excited when she opened the packs that all the items were tipped out almost immediately. This was fine in the confined space of a tent, or hotel room, but a little more interesting on a windy day surrounded by people in a field! Ahem! I think all the paper was rescued in the end! 

We'll definitely be making more of these in the future & it'll be interesting to see how the packs evolve as Minnie's interests change.

Going on a camping trip? Check out our Camping with Kids Survival Kit

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