If your child loves crafts, bring along some portable ones to entertain them on long road trips. You can package these as kits in individual bags, and then whip them out when the kids get restless. Lap trays might be helpful for some of these activities.
1. Make bookmarks. Cut some long strips of construction paper (or cardstock for better durability) and pack them with stickers and washable markers. A small hole punch and some ribbon will add interest. Kids can make bookmarks for themselves, siblings, and folks back home.
2. Play-dough. If you can stand a little mess, pick up several tiny containers of play dough. Pack them with a baby wipe for easy clean-up, plus a plastic baggie to keep finished creations from drying out too fast.
3. Stickers. Pack with sheets of stationary or colorful paper to decorate. Or let the kids stick them on their clothes (or each other).
4. Easy telescope. Pack a paper towel tube with stickers, markers, and other decorations. Kids can use the finished product to scope out passing scenery.
5. Make a fan. Cut a sheet of construction paper into the desired shape (big shell shapes are nice for summer), and pack with crayons for decorating. Also include a craft stick to attach to the finished product with tape.
6. Latch hook rug kits. These are fun, portable, and easy to do for kids ages 7 and up. Pack supplies in a tote bag and give them a quick lesson before starting out.
7. Make jewelry. Pack plastic or wooden beads with colorful nylon cording and let them string away to form necklaces or bracelets. Or for an edible version, use colorful cereal or candy.
8. Aluminum foil sculptures. Just stick a few small sheets of aluminum foil in a bag and encourage kids to twist and bend them into animal shapes or whatever catches their fancy.
9. Collages. This idea requires more prep work. Cut out interesting pictures from old magazines (travel brochures are great for vacation themes, or customize to your child’s interest) and pack them in a bag with a glue stick and sheet of paper or file folder.
10. Make puppets. Cut out people or animal shapes from white cardstock and pack with coloring supplies, craft sticks, and tape for quick and easy puppets. Then encourage kids to put on a show to amuse the family.