Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sticker Collages and matching ABCs

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We are leaving soon for a week long trip to visit my parents.  It will be fun once we get there, but the drive… oh, the long long drive… not sure that’s going to be as much fun. ;)  We’ll be in the car for about 6 to 7 hours for 2 days; somewhere around 12 to 14 hours total.  This does include some frequent stopping, which I feel is necessary for a small child.  If it were just hubs and me, it’d take about 11 hours and we’d do it all in one day.
Anyway, as you can imagine I’ve been trying to come up with good car activities for a 3 year old.  (If you have any input about this, PLEASE leave a comment!)  I want things that aren’t too messy, are engaging and interesting and novel for him, and won’t involve my turning around every 2 minutes (my neck aches just thinking about it) to help.  I do have a few things planned that we can do together for a while, and for which I’ll move to the back seat to be next to him, but I’m hoping he’ll be able to do and enjoy some activities on his own (besides dvds and cd books and coloring).
I had an idea about how to use stickers in a new way (new for M), and made up some little pages for him to do.  I’m not sure if this will be something I’ll have to help him with or not… I may decide to do one of them at home with him some time this week before we leave so I can gauge how easily he can do it on his own.  I thought I’d post these in case anyone else thinks it’s a good idea too. :)
I put together some little sticker scenes using half a sheet of construction paper.  These are foam stickers and we have a TON of them.  After I had the scene how I wanted it, I labeled each sticker with a letter, then wrote the same letter on the paper in the space where the sticker should go:blog pictures 016
When it’s put together it will look like this:blog pictures 017

Here are some more I put together.  I snapped pictures of some of them before I actually wrote the letters on them…blog pictures 018
    blog pictures 019 blog pictures 020 blog pictures 021 The last one has some layered stickers.  I’m curious to see how he’ll do with that.  Can you tell that’s supposed to be a kite in the sky?
To store these, I put the papers in a pocket of the bag we’ll be taking with us, and all the stickers in a ziploc bag.  I labeled the back of each page with a shape, then labeled the back of each sticker with the appropriate shape. 
Let me know what you think!  These were fun for me to put together; I hope M has fun with them too.
Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I don't have much advice...

    don't start the trip with lots of tricks given out...If you can get by the first hour or so each day with quiet...go for it.

    What about a trip to the library before you go (like you have time)? Then have a book party in the car!

    You could also set a timer...so when they say they are done with a toy, you could say that no new toys come out for x time.

  2. Check the dollar store and Target dollar area for some cheap little things he can play with in the car that you don't care if they're lost.
    I'll agree with Annette, try to get away as long as possible without entertaining him.
    Here's a link to my posts on traveling with kids: http://adventuresofmommyness.blogspot.com/search/label/traveling
    Maybe one of those will help you.
    Oh, and I've discovered that Color Wonder marker sets are great for the car because you can't accidentally color on the car with them. We had that problem with the normal markers.

  3. What a fantastic idea! I'll definitely be borrowing that one! And I knew right away that that's a kite in the last pic :)

    My daughter is younger than M, but some activities we used for a 17 hour plane trip recently included:
    * a bunch of keys and keychains all hooked up together, which she spent ages unhooking and re-hooking
    * tinfoil (for scrunching into balls, bowls, "sculptures," etc)
    * I bought a roll of tape - just regular tape - and let her go nuts with it. It's usually something she is only allowed to use under supervision, so the chance to pull off twenty-five miles of tape with nobody interfering with her was a big treat :)
    * I took a cream-cheese container, cut one coin-sized slit in the lid, and three pom-pom-sized holes. Inside, I put a few coins, some pom-poms, some tube-shaped pasta, and a shoelace. It didn't take much space altogether, but allowed her to do some sorting and threading and rattling etc.
    * I made her a dress-up bear out of felt (just 2D, nothing fancy), with a bunch of outfits... Maybe not great for a boy, though!
    * I made her a mini geoboard with about 8 x 8 pegs in it and a bunch of colorful elastics to make designs with.

    Hope the trip goes well!

  4. Great ideas with stickers even though I feel that you should also have some "unstructured options" where he can put stickers on unmarked scenes. I totally agree with Annette on new books. We also play a lot of word games in the car - like "guess the object by asking questions", "imagine if", "make a story about..." At least it's driving and not flying - you can always stop and release some of the energy. Have a safe trip!

  5. I have a lot of unstructured activities for M to do in the car, I just didn't list them in this post... and of course just playing with stickers is one of them, everyone loves stickers. This was just something I came up so he would have something "new" to do. I've found novelty can be my best friend on long trips!

  6. Last summer I went on a trip similar to your trip with a 1 year old and a 2 year old:}

    Some of the items that worked for us were, pipe cleaners, a cookie sheet with magnets, tin foil, lacing cards, play dough (yes, I was crazy- small amounts only), and LOTS of snacks.

  7. we have some toys that we only bring out for long car trips. how about a mini doodle pad? we've also made a sign that says "honk if you love...." to hang in the window. that's always fun to see if someone honks! there's always i spy, auto bingo and things like that. or pipe cleaners to bend.

  8. I really like this idea you came up with, very cute!

    My kids love magnadoodles in the car, and playing with felt shapes. The nice thing with the felt is it's no big deal if they lose or ruin some of the pieces, since I can easily make replacements. They've been playing with their dress-up bears for over a year now, and never seem to get tired of them - I have rough templates on my blog, here:


  9. I love your sticker ideas. We will be doing that soon. You always have such great ideas.

    I don't have any ideas on the traveling. We've not traveled much the past few years and I don't remember what I did when my older children were little. I hope y'all have a great time!

  10. I think it is a great idea Nicole and in fact I might even borrow your idea for home.

    Good luck with the drive and have a wonderful holiday.

  11. What a fun sticker idea! We usually print a map and mark where on the map the kids get a new activity at (every 75 miles, etc.) They love to mark off the route as we go along and they know how long until they get something new to play with.

    Color wonders markers and paper are perfect for the car (I use a cookie sheet as a laptray). We also download books on tape and silly song cds onto our I-pods so the kids can listen but we don't have to. I have gotten travel lite brites, etch a sketches, dry erase boards, magnadoodles, and magnetic games at the dollar store. Also good are I spy bags, silly putty, colorforms or felt boards, pipe cleaners and aluminum foil for making models and mini lego sets. You can play 20 questions, I spy, find letters in road signs A to Z, and name what shapes clouds look like or count who can find 10 red cars or cows first. We make printed grid boards with different road signs/attractions on our route and they have to mark them off as we see them similar to bingo.

  12. Neat idea! Let me know how it goes - we'll be doing phenomenal amounts of driving starting in May and I'd like to try this. Also, I've seen lots of car bingo games and finally bought one for our last trip - Crumpet loves it.

  13. What a wonderful sticker idea!!! I love it!! Next week I'm taking my 4 year old and 4 month old on a plane trip and this is a perfect idea for the flight! Thanks so much, and I pray your travels go well.

  14. I love your idea!! We're going on a road trip at the end of the month, I'll have to do this. Thanks for sharing.

  15. That looks so fun! My kids would love that and it would be a great activity during our one hour church meeting (before the kids go to their classes). I have those same stickers and have been wondering what I should do with them. Thanks! And good luck with your trip. =)

  16. I love this idea Nicole, I love all of your ideas! Perfect for a car trip - novel, fun and it will keep his interest as he is constructing a scene.

    I don't really have any advice for a car trip. The only thing I can think of at the moment are "I Spy" tpye games - where you make print outs of pictures that M can keep an eye out for on your journey (could be themed, for example colours, shapes etc)

  17. I got inspired by your post and used some foam stickers myself to help teach colors! Thanks for the idea! I love Tangrams, even the preschool kind!

  18. The sticker collages are a great idea! Thanks for sharing

  19. I love how you guided him to make a picture with the stickers.

    We take an I Spy bag. I got mine on Etsy, books, and a MagnaDoodle. Oh! and I stuffed toy to hug.

  20. Just saw this and thought of you.

    A cute tic tac toe.

  21. I love this idea! I know Mustang would, too. Thank you for sharing!


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