Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Car Ride Activities Set 7

I sure hope someone is planning a trip with young children in the next few months and finds all these travel activity posts (Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, Set 4, Set 5, Set 6) useful! For the rest of you, I would like to point out that many of these activities could easily be integrated into therapy sessions or simply used as craft projects or activities around the house.

Car Ride Activities Set 7

Busy Bag 31: High/Low Homemade Instruments

Kids love to make noise and I was looking to add a little of variety to my busy bag stash. This activity is only appropriate in an environment where noise isn't going to bother anyone. I took some small plastic boxes from an organization tray and used them to make two sizes of drums by stretching balloons over the tops and holding them in place with rubber bands and tape. I provided a popsicle stick to use as a drumstick. One drum is higher in tone than the other. I took a third box and stretched rubber bands around it for plucking out notes (one high and one low). Then I made two shakers by putting taping beads between two bottle caps and beans between two other bottle caps (one sounds high and the other low) and decorating the caps with sharpies. Finally, I made a homemade kazoo from a tube of cardstock and wax paper (it doesn't work super well, but the kids will like it and it will do well enough). All the instruments are small and lightweight and pack away into a small bag.

Busy Bag 32: Mini Automoblox and Felt Roads

Several years ago I found some Automoblox Minis on sale around the holidays and scooped them up. The children played with them for months before they got tired of them and I put them away for a while. Then I forgot about them. I pulled them back out and stuck them in a bag along with some black strips of felt to use as roads. These cars are great because they disassemble like 3D puzzles and can be put back together interchangeably. Any toy cars paired with some felt roads would work as a busy bag though. If I had more time I'd try to make a small garage of some kind to go along with the kit.

Busy Bag 33: Memory Game

Find something in your house you can stick in a bag for the children to use as a memory game. I pulled some tiles from our Qwirkle Game. You could even make your own memory cards on cardstock by drawing matching shapes or letters on the cards.

Busy Bag 34: Preschool Sewing

Cut out small pieces of plastic needlepoint canvas. Include some tipped lacing yarn and beads and let the children experiment. I tied beads onto one end of the yarn to help get them started. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 35: I Have Who Has Game

I came across a free printable shapes version of the I Have Who Has game for preschoolers. I printed a subset of the cards and stuck it in a bag. The non-driving adult will deal the cards and play the game with the children.

Busy Bag 36: Magnetic Popsicle Stick Shapes

I took popsicle sticks and put small pieces of adhesive magnet strips on each end of both sides of the sticks. I decorated three of the sticks with triangles on one side and four with squares on one side. I left the other side blank for free play. If I hadn't run out of steam I would have done a pentagon set. The children can build the shapes from the sticks, or simple engage in free play with them. Inspiration and variations here and here.

Busy Bag 37: Geoboards with Pattern Ideas

I bought some geoboards for the last car trip and the children love them. I was looking for a way to freshen them up for this trip and I found some patterns. I printed them in flashcard size to give the children some inspiration.

Busy Bag 38: Alphabet Flashcards

I found some beautiful free printable alphabet flashcards and printed two sets. I think the children will enjoy looking through them and can try to find the matches since I shuffled the sets before I put them in the bag.

Busy Bag 39: Mini Chalkboard

This one is fairly self explanatory. I took a mini chalkboard from our Handwriting Without Tears homeschool program and put it in a bag with some chalk and a felt square to use as an eraser.

Busy Bag 40: Small Jigsaw Puzzle

I took a small Melissa and Doug wooden travel puzzle and put it in a bag for the children.

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


  1. You have some really great ideas on this blog. :-)I pinned a lot of them and will try them out with my kids this summer. Thanks!

  2. I've been through all 7 pages and love your ideas- thanks for taking so much time- we will be driving from Virginia to Idaho and back this summer with 4 kids (11 down to turning 2 on the trip) and really appreciate this!

  3. I only today discovered busy bags. These are essential for a single Mother like myself, especially when taking them on long road trips! Making a bunch similar to yours with my kids this weekend! Thanks!

  4. Fantastic ideas! Thanks!

  5. I have just pinned all of these activities and will go to purchase/order materials to get started. I am a stay at home mother of five (ages 11-18m). Of the five children, the last two (3, 18m) are the busiest. These activities will definitely capture their attention and keep their little "BIG" minds busy. Thanks you so much for taking the time to post this for others to see. This was truly a blessing!


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