Making some craft kits to hand to Baby when he gets bored is a good way to keep him entertained when your family is on the road, in the air, or away from home in general. You don’t even have to be particularly craft-inclined to assemble some fun things for Baby. Here are some tips for assembling a good, low-mess traveling craft kit for your toddler.
Try to reuse things you would normally recycle
You can save a lot of money by reusing items for craft kits, instead of buying them new. Here are just a few things that can be repurposed for toddler craft use.
- Mint tins: Metal tins are good for storing things like crayons or tiny pom-poms.
- Cardboard tubes: The tubes that toilet paper, paper towels, and wrapping paper come wrapped around can be decorated, re-shaped and used as stamps, or even taped together to make pretend binoculars.
- Plastic baby wipe containers: These aren’t just good for holding wipes. Once they’ve dried, they can store things like crayons, stamps, and markers.
- Tins: If they have a lid, these are great for storing supplies.
- Tupperware: If you’re not using it, good old fashioned Tupperware is great for storing craft items.
Stock up on toddler-friendly craft materials
Of course, there are some craft supplies you may need to go out and purchase. If you can wait, try to go to these stores after holidays, because there will likely be some sales this time of year. Regardless of when you go, once you’re there, here are some things to look for.
- Sticky things: Colorful scotch tape, stickers, googly eyes are great for decorating, while making less mess than paints or glitter
- Markers and ink: Stamps and stamp-pads, color pencils, crayons, washable markers
- Paper items: Colored tissue paper, colored construction paper, foam sheets
- Hands-on tactile stuff: Pipe cleaners, small containers of playdough, small pom poms
- To avoid: You’d be hard-pressed to find a parent who supports packing glitter into a craft kit. Unless you want glitter to cover every inch of your car, try to avoid it when making a craft kit for traveling. Paints also make better stationary craft tools than on-the-go ones
Spend some time packing and cleaning up
Once you have a reasonable amount of craft materials, you’re ready to assemble a craft kit for Baby. It might seem tedious to work on this before a big trip – especially when you probably have your own things to pack – but this preparation will definitely pay off in the long run. Once you’re all at the airport or in the car, you really don’t want to deal with things like scissors getting taken away at airport security, or glue getting all over a car seat.
Once the trip is over, go over the kits with Baby to make sure that everything gets put away at the end of the trip. This means marker caps are on, glue lids are shut tight, scraps are recycled or thrown away, and anything else that would extend the craft kit’s life gets done.
Don’t make things too structured
It’s good to have some structure and ideas planned ahead of time, but at this age, Baby just needs some items that will keep his interest on what could be a fairly boring car ride or plane ride. Sure, there’s always the thrill of being in totally new surroundings, but that might not last for more than an hour (or even half an hour).
Craft kits can be a good way to ensure that if Baby needs entertainment during the trip, he has some options that will be fun and interesting, but will encourage creativity, as well.
- Claire Lerner and Rebecca Parlakian. “From Baby to Big Kid: Month 22.” ZerotoThree. ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, May 2016. Web.