Personalised Travel Activity Pack

The girls and I are going on a road trip to the far end of the country next week. Or, we will be if the weather is ok. Apparently, it's been a little bit mud-slidey lately in the area we're going... We're heading for a remote, uninhabited (for most of the year) island off the coast of Donegal and it will take us at least 4 hours to get there. Not including the boat trip.

The girls haven't had such a long trip in the car since we went to West Cork last year and I had a hilariously unsophisticated but perfectly functioning mini DVD player that kept them entertained the entire way. Devo strapped it to the back of the passenger headrest with bungee cords, had a wire plugging it into the cigarette lighter for power and another wire attaching it to the stereo for sound. It looked like something out of the Back to the Future car, but it did the job. We survived the journey there and back and I eventually managed to get the Humf theme tune out of my head. Which only took a week in the end. Sadly, the DVD player has since died... I think Humf had something to do with it.

In the absence of screen time, I've been thinking of ways I can entertain/distract/pacify the girls on the journey without having to fork out for a new DVD player. I'll have the ancient 6-CD player loaded up with their favourite CDs. I'm sure at some point they will both nap out of sheer boredom for at least 20 minutes... so that's maybe 2 hours accounted for?

But what to do for the rest of the time? They are rubbish at eye-spy because they can't spell yet. There's only so many times they'll be interested in paying attention to me as I shout "Look! Sheep!" and "Look! Cows!"... and there's really not a lot else to see as you whizz through the Irish countryside.

I had a look at some 'Travel Activity Packs' in a local bookshop last week and, although there are some lovely ones available, kids really need to be able to read before they can get much use out of them. I'm not sure my girls can manage word searches and cross words, what with the whole not being able to read thing....

So I decided to just make something up myself. 

I know what kinds of things my children like and what stage they are at in terms of capabilities so I knew what sorts of things to put in it. It was really easy and not too time consuming to make and cheap as chips too - which is always a bonus.

I bought a cheap clipboard  - the type with a cover - from our local stationery shop for €1.49. It should be sturdy enough to lean on in the car. I used washi tape, envelopes and a few other bits and bobs from my stash to decorate it, printed a few things off to fill it and that was more or less it!

The Activity Pack featured here is for Lile so there are lots of cat-related things included. Hello Kitty also features quite heavily. Lile's interested in learning how to write so I've also put in an alphabet-tracing sheet and some simple maze games to help with pen control. Not that that will be easy in a moving vehicle...

There are stickers and tiny envelopes and blank paper in different colours too. The pink envelopes on the front holding the pens are stuck on with sticky glue dots and will hopefully survive the journey.

I have yet to finish Sábha's kit. It will be mainly fox and unicorn focused and won't have the alphabet sheet as she has no interest in learning pen control just yet.

Fingers crossed this will buy me a little peace and quiet on the trip!

Have you got any tips for keeping little ones happy in the car?


  1. Off to Dungarvan on our staycation and think these would be brilliant..if I've time in the morning I might attempt them xx

  2. GREAT idea! Mine would live those too. The clipboard is a streak of genius!! Have you seen the tutorial for travel Lego tins? A lot of work, but also very cool x

    1. Thanks Emily :) I don't know about genius, but hopefully it will kill at least 10 minutes of the journey! I have seen those tins. They are fabulous.

  3. That's a great idea, snack boxes are good too :)

  4. They look great and would cost a fortune to buy!

    We play I-spy with colours :). Depending on how busy the road is you are traveling on my kids love spotting and counting car makes such as Ford etc. and guess what colour the next car is going to be!

    1. Thank you! This was definitely cheaper than the fancy shop ones :) Great game suggestions, popping them on the list!

  5. What a fantastic idea!!! I'd never thought of making something myself for my babes. Both of my kids tend to be daydreamers on long car journeys - and now one of them will read (he is 10) and the other will draw or nap. (she is 6) Thanks for your comment on my blog too, I was really worried that I sounded condescending, but you calmed my fear! Good luck with getting back on board re: running or exercising - it is such a drag to begin with, but all it is really, is starting. Take care x


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