This week’s mini-series will be all about commuting/traveling with kids. I will be focusing on tips, suggestions, and products to make your life easier while transporting your kids in the car. Whether you’re going to grandma’s house that is 4 hours away, taking a trip across the country, or your daily 1 hour commute, these tips will be helpful for any and all of it!
Today, I’m going to showcase my DIY Kid’s Dry-Erase Activity Book. This is one of my favorite things I have made for my kids. The best thing about making it is you can customize it for each kid and it’s relatively cheap if you have a laminator already. If you don’t, I recommend this one: Scotch Thermal Laminator. I bought it last year and have used it A LOT and it still is working great. These are the laminator sheets I use with it: Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches- 100 pack.
Bonus! Dry-Erase Activity Books are also great to leave in the car to take into restaurants. They are a great substitution for an iPad, or at least a great backup. Because, let’s be real, you will have a dead touch-screen device when you were really planning on using it as a distraction for your short ones. Having an alternative ready and hanging out in your car or diaper bag/ purse will help in the minute you think: CRAP! WHY DIDN’T I CHARGE THAT LAST NIGHT!!
Also worth mentioning, these make great gifts. The one shown below is one I actually made for a birthday party my son went to. While making your kid’s one, consider your friend’s kids or your nieces and nephews. They might like one for Christmas, and you have more enough time to make one (or several) to give as gifts this holiday season.
DIY Kid’s Dry-Erase Activity Book
Supplies you will need:
Laminator and Laminating Sheets
3 hole punch
O-rings, approximately 1/2- 3/4 inch big
White card stock (or plain white printer paper)
Print outs (on the card stock) of activity sheets
1. Find and print activity pages that interest your kid. I have several activity sheets on my blog, HERE or do a quick Google or Pinterest search. (I will post a list at the bottom of this post).
2. Print activity sheets on card stock. Print an activity on both sides. (This makes it double sized and laminates well). Place double-sided printed page in laminating sheet and run sheet through your laminator after it is fully warmed up.
3. 3-hole punch your sheets. The laminator sheets end up being a bit bigger then your typical 3-hole punch is sized for. I do one at a time and line the bottom of my sheet with the bottom of the 3-hole punch. Then, I slightly curl the extra length at the top of the page into the top part of my 3-hole punch. It still works, just make sure the left side is nice and lined up before you punch it and try to be consistent about how line them up.
4. Collect all of your laminated activity sheets and place 3 O-rings through the 3-punched holes to hold the activity sheets together into a book.
Tips on how to use:
1. Buy Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Markers. They are WASHABLE and AMAZING!
2. Take a rag or a wash cloth and keep it with your Dry-Erase Activity Book. Use it to wipe the pages clean once you’re done.
3. Find a variety of activity pages for the Dry-Erase Activity Book. Think: individual activities, games you can play with your kids, educational, coloring pages, play dough mats, dice games, etc..
4. Locate the appropriate items to use with the pages. Dice, Play Doh, markers, game pieces (I use fake Lego guys in the photo, found in the Dollar Spot at Target this summer), etc…
5. Use some sort of pouch to hold all the items together. Keep it with your DIY Kid’s Dry-Erase Activity Book.
I bought the blue bag to hold all the supplies at Target in the office supplies/art section. Isn’ it great? It wraps around the Activity Book so nicely! All of the “supplies” fit in there… dry-erase markers, dice, fake Lego guys, and Play Doh. I’m in love!
Here are my printables to get your started in the right direction.
Hangman and Dots & Boxes
Beach Play Dough Mat
Counting 1-100 Travel Activity
Counting 101-200 Travel Activity
Tic Tac Toe
Skittles Rainbow Line Up Printable
Mountain Climber Game Printable
ABC Tracing Printable
Pig Dice Game Printable
Telling Time Printable
Other printables ideas I have found: favorite movie characters/animals/sports/etc… coloring pages, Battleship game, Lego Guess Who (I just printed the sheet twice, you get to pick your own guy and play by asking questions back and forth), M&M sorting, Fruit Loop sorting, road sign scavenger hunt, license plate game, hidden pictures printables, print a blank board game and make your own! The options are endless for this. Be creative and have fun! Consider what your kid is interested in and also what they are learning in school. Find activities that they will enjoy and fill your book with fun!
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