Saturday, December 31, 2011

Car Ride Activities Set 1

In order to prepare for a long car ride with two young children I made as many simple activities as I could think of to pull out in the car. If any of you need to go on a trip with young children you might try these. They would be great activities at home too, but these are pretty portable and so I save them for the car trip.

Car Ride Activities Set 1

Matching Nuts, Bolts, and Washers

I bought five matched sets of nuts, bolts, and washers (ok, my husband did, but who's keeping track?). I pushed the five bolts up through a piece of cardboard and taped small magnets to the bottom side of the same piece of cardboard to hold the washers and nuts onto the finished project. I then taped another piece of cardboard onto the bottom to make sure none of the pieces got lost. I traced around the washers to give the children a visual cue as to where to store then when they're working and as an additional matching game. I put dots to show where the magnet storage locations were for the nuts. I kept all the loose pieces in a baggie when they were not actually playing with they toy, but the magnets helped keep the pieces from getting lost in the car when they were playing with it.

Matching Pole

I made four of these. One for each child on the way to New Orleans and one for each child on the way home. I wrote letters on dot stickers and scattered the same letters on a paper towel roll. The idea is to stick the letter sticker onto the matching letter on the pole. I did the same thing for Ava, except for hers I drew simple shapes instead of letters.

Threading - Decorating Can

I took a clean old can (in my case, Carnation Instant Breakfast) and stuck those same circle stickers on the lid and punched holes in the lid/stickers for threading. I cut pipe cleaners in matching colors into thirds for threading through the holes into the can. I covered the outside of the can in white construction paper and then contact paper. I put stickers in the cans so the children can decorate their cans (Cars for him and Hello Kitty for her). So the activity consists of decorating their can with stickers and then threading the pipe cleaners into the matching holes. In the dark, glow sticks can be placed in the can (or threaded if they are the right size) and then the light will glow up through the holes in the lid making stars on the ceiling of the car.

If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.


  1. Really like the Matching Pole!
    Simple, interesting and portable!

  2. Wow, these activities are fantastic! My son would love the matching nuts and bolts one as he is all about tools. The matching pole is great too. Easy to put together and a fun way to practice letter recognition. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  3. i love so many of these ideas! we take a 17 hour car trip to michigan every summer and this time i'm going to prepare some of these super fun ideas for my girls to do. i was wondering though, how long ago did you get the itso containers? do they still have them at target? also, how big are the zippered pouches that you put the activities in? where did you get those? thanks for all the ideas and thank you for sharing!!

  4. I love these ideas! I've already made the Matching Tubes for our upcoming road trip and I'm looking forward to trying out a few others, too!

  5. It's an excellent diy project. Thanks for sharing.


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