Taking a road trip with kids? You can easily DIY a no-fail anti-boredom car kit for kids to keep them happy and occupied for hours. These busy boxes can be tailored for all ages.
We're hitting the road to Grandma's soon, and with three kids in the backseat, no DVD player, and a thousand+ miles ahead of us, I'm determined to go at least a few hours before I hear whining! Here is my tried-and-true anti-boredom kit that I put together before every road trip since we started long road trips with our boys. I'd recommend this assortment for ages 3-4, but customize it to your child's interests and attention span. I try to grab these items from our local dollar store before hitting the road, but I'll include some links to similar items on Amazon if you'd prefer to shop from home.
How to Build a Busy Box for Travel
- Some colorful plastic containers can fit on their lap. Bonus points if it has an attached lid.
- Small spiral notebook. Something with a stiff cover or back is ideal for your artists who want a hard surface.
- Glow Sticks! As soon as it gets dark and the kids can't see their crafts anymore, turn the car into a party!
- Stickers of all kinds. And the more, the better. If I give my kids a reel of 500, they'll peel and stick every single one of them.
- Retractable ID holder. For some reason, these are a mega-hit, and they don't become lassos because the cord always retracts as soon as you pull it.
- Jumbo Crayons. These thick crayons are less likely to snap in half on the journey. Stick with 12 colors or less. The 100+ crayon boxes look enticing, but you don't want to be playing pick-up at every pit stop.
- Personal Mini Fan. My kids can get whiny about the temperature, and this way they have a little control over cooling themselves down, plus holding a mini fan in front of your face is uber exciting for a toddler! Just make sure you get a fan with foam wings so the kids are less likely to use them as weapons back there. Don't forget to bring some extra batteries!
- Pre-packaged snack treats. Surely, you could bag your own (much healthier) treats, but I like the convenience of getting six of these for $1.
Customize Your Busy Box
With these simple boxes, you've just won yourself a lot of sanity. Notice how nothing in the box makes obnoxious noises or can spill a thousand pieces all over the car. Most everything can fit in a small toddler's hand, and there is a lot of room for creativity. Have your kids decorate their box with the stickers, write a story, make a picture flip-book, trace their hands, cool each other off, arrange the stickers by size or color on their paper, write notes to each other, make name tags for your retractable badge, and if all else fails, they can sticker up their little bodies! Keep your cool, roll with the punches, and make some road trip memories!
Do you have any car kit necessities?
What has worked like a charm for your kids on road trips?
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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links.