diy road trip with a kid

I’m here! I’m alive! Sorry for the silence! We’re getting ready for vacation (yay!) and blogging has been pushed to the back burner. I want to share some things I’ve done to get ready for our road trip. Gabe does quite well in the car, but even I can get antsy siting for consecutive hours. We’ll have a laptop and movies for him, but I also have some special toys, too. (As a side note… I never grew up watching movies in the car. And I always thought those vans with DVD players in them were so dumb- does your kid really have to watch television IN THE CAR??… but now that I have a kid, I’m a believer. DVD players should be standard in cars with back seats. Movies in the car are GREAT!) Anyway…

I stopped by the dollar bins at Target- a great place to find cheap toys. I found some creepy looking army men (hey, at $1 for a pack of 3, I guess I shouldn’t expect realistic works of art, but I did weed through the packs to find ones that at least had the eyeballs painted in the right place!)… I got some crayons and a little notebook (which I have special plans for), a pack of Thomas the Train stickers (the boy loves trains and stickers- win), and a couple Matchbox cars. I wrapped each toy individually and will give them to Gabe throughout the trip. Just small little surprises to open as we go.

At home, I frequently cover our coffee table with a roll of paper and draw a road and parking lots. We spend lots of time playing with cars on the road. So I thought I’d make a travel version to go along with the Matchbox cars I wrapped. He can also use it as a lap desk of sorts. It’s a simple a quick diy project that he can use in the car and at home.

I used a frame and a piece of cardboard that fit inside the frame..

I taped paper together to match the size of the cardboard. Then I sketched out how I would paint the road.

Then I painted the whole piece of cardboard white. (Partially to make it prettier. Partially because I thought it’d make the cardboard more durable.) Once it dried, I used blue craft paint to make the road. When that dried, I used gray paint to make lines. And when it all dried, I gave it a few coats of clear protective spray.

And there it is! A toy car road. If you notice from the picture, I actually have the cardboard in backwards on the frame. I did this because the back of the frame provided a better edge. I wanted to make sure cars and things wouldn’t be able to easily roll off while we’re driving. The cardboard is glued down the the lip of the frame that it’s resting on. (Also, the cardboard I used is very thick, so it shouldn’t be too easy to destroy… I hope!)

I turned a small box on its side for a garage. The cars must have a place to park!

All his little road trip presents wrapped and ready to go. It looks like a lot but it really isn’t. About $5 worth of toys.

And that’s how we’re traveling with a kid to vacation this year!

Now I must go hide all these goodies until we’re ready to go!

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