Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trip Fun Binders

We took a family vacation this year for Spring Break. It was the perfect time to visit my hometown in Texas, before the sweltering heat of summer.  It's was a long drive, though, so I made up some activity books for my boys.

I was trying to do this trip on the cheap (isn't that what I say about all my projects?).  Let's face it, the way this economy is, we can all stand to save our pennies.  So, I didn't want to go out and buy a ton of stuff.  Free printables to the rescue!

I gathered up some old school supplies--binders, pencil bags, and various and sundry markers and colored pencils.   

I used Picasa and Google Image Search to put together a bingo card for things we might see on our trip (I saw everything except the roadrunner...).  I made a collage in Picasa, then shuffled the images to make a different card for each person.  I put the bingo cards in some plastic sleeves that I had laying around and included some dry erase markers in the pencil bag so that my boys could cross things off right on the plastic sleeve.  

I printed out a few mazes and coloring pages as well.  

The mazes came from  They have tons of great free printables for kids.  They're super cute.

We all had fun doing the State License Plate Bingo by The Dating Divas.

I got some fun travel games from Whimsical Fig.

And some from LilSugar, too.  

The printable Battleship game by Cathe Holden at Just Something I Made is so fun, and SO cute!

I also added some maps.  A good way to stave off "Are We There Yet?" is to give the kids a map with your route on it that they can follow along with.  Each kid got a map of all the states we drove through, plus a Google Maps printout of our route and directions.  
 Plus, since we were going to be traveling during my church's General Conference, I printed out some Conference Packets from Sugardoodle (oh how they love their conference packets every 6 months!) for them to work on as we drove as well.  
 And, of course, I added a bunch of notebook paper for each binder, as all of my boys love to draw and write.  

Though not in their binders, I also had some conversation starters with me (in MY binder--of course organized me has my own binder!) from iMom and Sissyprint.  A long road trip is a great time for great conversations.

Each boy had a backpack to put their binder in.  I added to each backpack a magazine (copies of The Friend and Boy's Life), Where's Waldo books (that I keep stored with the suitcases so they're still interesting every time we take a trip), a couple little snacks (Tic Tacs and Barnum's Animal Crackers are favorites), Kleenexes and a package of wipes (do you know how nice it was not to have to twist around and get my allergic boys Kleenexes every 10 minutes?), and a teeny tiny stuffed animal each.  
These binders and backpacks kept my three boys happy and interested for most of our 40+ hours of driving.  We didn't even have to break out the DVD player once.  I call that a Family Vacation Miracle.  :)


Sharon said...

Those are some great binders & backpacks! I'm amazed that your boys were kept entertained for that much driving!

Aimingforswanlike said...

These are amazing. I'm definitely pinning this for when my boys are a little older.

Carol Stump said...

Love this!!

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

This is great! I just shared it on the My Favorite Finds FB page. Thanks so much for linking to Handmade Tuesdays. I'm going to pin this!

Amy said...

I've never thought of making a binder for car trips. Great idea to have everything all together in one place.

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust said...

Aw, this brings back some memories! But my car games, etc. weren't this well organized. Great job! Thanks so much for linking up to Fabulous Friday at Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust.

Warmly, Michelle

Cornerstone Confessions said...

These are great! I'm heading up a choir trip for the next school year and most definitely will be coming back to get some ideas for creating activity notebooks for each students. Love it! I would love to have you link this up to Titus 2 Tuesday next week on Cornerstone Confessions.

Hopping over from Women Living Well.


Jonie Marie said...

This is a genious idea! I especially love the bingo card. I am totally going to do that someday for my kids if we ever go on a long car ride like that.

Thanks for linking up to Point of View!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I love these binders Jenny! Such a clever idea... I'm definitely borrowing this one :)Thanks for linking up to Point of View this month. I featured you today:

Palmettos and Pigtails said...

Great post! I love that you linked back to the original sources....I'll pin your post, but can't wait to visit all the other blogs too! Thanks!

Mary Ekhoff said...

I've looked at a lot of blogs and done a lot of research for car trip ideas, but yours is by far the most helpful and most organized! Thank you for sharing it!

Melisse van der Velde said...

Thanks so much for this great idea! I used a lot of your ideas for our trip from the Netherlands (where we live) to Germany.

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