Traveling this summer??
Make sure you save one of your coffee cans because you might want to make 1 (or 10!!)
of these disposible/recylcable buckets of fun for the road this year. So drink up!!
Portions of this post previously appeared on Crafts Unleashed for Consumer Crafts. Some supplies for this post were provided for purposes of this post.
While road trips and vacation travel CAN be interesting, fun and even relaxing, more often than not, they are torture. Kids can be difficult to manage on a long car ride as they (understandably!) get tired, bored and cranky. While snacks and electronics help, sometimes you just need something fresh and new to capture their attention. Here is what you might need (though you can make lots of substitutions with what you already have on hand).
- Mod Podge
- Coffee Can
- Tissue Paper
- Cute Ribbon (I used this yellow chevron)
- Felt Car to decorate can - optional (only 57 cents!)
- Little Wooden Toys or Stuffed Animald (I used this $1.17 wooden lizard and dino)
The basic idea is to make basic old worksheet papers new again for your kids. If you simply through a workbook into the car for the trip, your kiddo might just plow through the worksheets, skip half of them and haphazardly complete them.
The trick? Make it a mystery, add a friend and make each step a process. Here is how:
See that Sherlock Holmes workbook? It was found at a thrift store for a quarter and is the perfect book for this setup. We talked about detectives and mysteries the week before leading up to the "coffee can reveal". You can use any worksheet book that has a theme or a story to it. Just try to find something that can have a beginning and an end. This is how the mystery begins...
Roll each worksheet individually and secure with ribbon, string, etc.
Trim the ends (above) so they will fit standing up in your recycled metal coffee can.
Kids can help with the ribbon cutting! (below)
Once you have all the rolls made, you need a "character" or two to give this activity a little life! I used these adorable little wooden toys. At $1.17 each, they are cheap and the kids love them as much as I do. We call them Din-Din (the Dinosaur) and Lizzy (The Lizard).
Basically, these little characters are the "helpers" for your children and help them discover the "clues". Simply write clues on the scrolls of paper, using state lines, state license plates, colors of cars, alphabet letters on signs, anything you might encounter on the road that allows the children to "unlock" each scroll. Once "Din-Din" or "Lizzy" spot a clue, the kids can open that scroll and do the worksheet. Once all the worksheets have been completed, make sure you include the "solutions" roll to see if their answers were right and if they correctly solved the mystery!
Now onto making the can look more kid-friendly! You simply need a used metal coffe can, cleaned and dry, along with some mod podge and tissue paper.
Apply mod podge over the entire can and then carefully attach the paper with the straight edge along the top rim. Go slowly as to avoid air bubbles.
The kids can help with the mod podge step!
Simply fold the paper under along the bottom of the can and leave as is or cover with a felt circle to make it look nicer.
Add several layers of mod podge on the top of the paper to make it a nice solid finish.
As it dries, make sure to get any drips with a brush!
If you are so inclined, hot glue this cool felt car (we ARE going on a road trip!) and secure with ribbon. I hot glued two small pieces of ribbon to the edges of the car first, allowed them to dry, hot glued the car onto the can and then pulled the ribbon tight into a knot.
Do not attempt to add anything to the can until the mod podged paper has COMPLETELY dried. You will rip it!
Once your can is completely dry and decorated, fill it full of papers, that cute little dinosaur
and lizard and save it in the car until the kids are going WILD then break out your "mystery in a can"!
My "Mommy Peace Tins" are another options for quiet individual time on a long car road. Check them out HERE!