Saturday, September 15, 2012

Road Trippin' 3

Since I had made magnet boards for the kids, I wanted to maximize their potential for the many-day-long road trip.  Here are the rest of our magnet activities:

Magnetic Puzzles
I bought a handful of puzzles (from 25 pieces to 100 pieces) at our local Dollar Tree to use, and I used the peel-and-stick magnets on the back of each piece.  To cut down on the storage space, I took them all out of their boxes and stored them in quart-sized ziplocs instead.  I also cut out the front of each puzzle box with the picture of the completed puzzle and stored it in the bag.  My 2-year-old is crazy-good at puzzles for his age.  But I did make cheat-sheets of all of the 25-piecers.  I just completed the puzzle upside-down on the scanner, scanned it, and printed it out.  That way the lines of the puzzle are clearly visable, and it's the exact same side.  If he needs it, I can hand back that sheet to cut down on frustration.

Magnetic Children's Rhymes
For this activity, I thought of a few fun and interactive kids' rhymes.  I found some great free printables for some and just used googled images for others.  I made 5 Little Speckled Frogs (above), 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree, I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and Humpty Dumpty.  I printed the pictures, used clear contact paper to laminate them, then cut them out and attached the peel-and-stick magnets to the back.

Letter Game Markers:
 I printed my kids' first initials in their favorite colors in lots of different fun fonts.  Then I cut them out and Mod Podged them to the flat side of clear, flat marbles.  When they dried, I used a glue gun to attach circle magnets to the back.  I found all sorts of printable games for the road (here, here, and here) that would need some sort of discs to mark.  They used their initial magnets for these games as well as to just play with.

Magnetic Letters:
We have several sets of magnet letters (the cheap-o plastic ones and a really nice Melissa and Doug set).  But I saw an idea to fill an old baby wipes container with magazine cut-out letters of different shapes and sizes and colors.  Knowing the kids would love that, but not planning ahead enough to cut them from magazines, I used the "Ransom Note" font and printed the alphabet multiple times in multiple colors.  Good enough!

Now that I'm typing it all out, I can't believe how much we had to do in the car.  I will say that I didn't even open everything I had prepared for the kids.  And I'll also say that, with a 4 and 2-year-old on a trip that had us in the car for over 35 hours total, we never had a single moment of frenzy.  Both kids were entertained, happy, and pleasant the entire time which is still shocking to me.  I'll be back with many more ideas!