If you’ve got a long plane or car ride coming up, and you have kids, you are going to need a lot of tricks up your sleeve to keep kids (quietly) happy the whole way there.
Lucky for you, these 10 ideas are cute, quiet, and perfectly packable:
1. Indian style art
Mandala coloring books are filled with intricate designs that are sure to keep kids busy for hours. Pack a few colored pencils (don’t pack the whole box unless you like chasing down stray pencils) and let little fingers get busy.
2. Portable playing
Play dough can get a little messy if you aren’t careful but it’s a great time-waster if your kids can resist the urge to throw pieces everywhere. The little containers are also very suitcase friendly.
3. Flying with felt
This craft takes a little more planning before you leave, but it does pay off in the end.
Felt books are a darling way to keep kids quietly playing for hours. This blogger has a tutorial for a “Mr. Potato Head” book, but there are dozens of other options out there.
4. Packable puzzles
With all those pieces, puzzles would be a nightmare to pack on a plane or car, but these craft stick versions are perfect for just that. This bloghas a couple of great examples, but feel free to print off any image to glue on and play with.
5. Carry on cards
Pack up some of these cute cut outs and some yarn and you are set with a quiet activity that’s easy to pull out in a fussy emergency.
Check out this blog to find a template to make a handful of sewing cards, but once you get the concept down, make whatever shapes you’d like.
6. Paper pastimes
Origami is sure to entertain your kids. Print off a tutorialor two to take with you and have your kids try to fold their own designs (with your help).
With cranes, frogs, and flowers to play with afterwards, you all should be set for at least awhile.
One blogger has quite the print out for a fabulous game of travel bingo.
Keep minds and eyes busy looking for all the items on their board before (quietly) declaring bingo! Use coins or candies to keep track of your wins and see who can be the first to blackout their board.
8. Passport, please!
Hold onto your child’s real passport for safekeeping, but hand them this printout versionto color, and fill with stickers on the flight.
Double points if you keep a copy for your kids to fill out on the way home with all the little tickets and pamphlets you collected on your trip.
9. Sticky windows
Perfect for a car ride or window seat on a plane, the little window stickers you can buy are a fun interactive way to pass the time without needing much else.
10. Flight or no flight finger painting
I know, I know; finger painting seems to be the least travel friendly activity ever invented. One blogger got around the mess by putting paint blobs in a heavy duty freezer ziplock for all the fun but none of the cleanup.
10. Stick ’em
A few velcro pieces and a stack of popsicle sticks is all you need to spend some travel time building and spelling the hours away. Learn how to make themhere.
11. Pipe cleaner pals
Martha Stewarthas the cutest tutorial to make the most darling little pipe cleaner animals you’ve ever seen. Print out the tutorial and spend time both making and playing with your new friends.
12. Sticky note games
A stack of sticky notes means endless fun playing mini games of tic-tac-toe, teeny drawings, making flip books, or this noun game(if you have a little room to walk around).
13. Rivers and roads
Painter’s tape and a couple of cars is all you need for this entertaining game. “Draw” a road or river with the painter’s tape on an airline tray table and create your own little town to play with. It’s a quiet activity and cleanup is a breeze.
14. Busy, busy bottles
This blogging mamacreated a busy bottle to keep kids very much occupied. Hide little trinkets and toys in a clear plastic bottle and play a game of hide and seek that could last for an hour or two.
Of course, a laptop full of movies with a pair of headphones works well too. Just don’t pull out ALL the fun games on the way there because you’ve still got the whole way home too!