Travel Activity Book

Some books are meant for reading. This one's for play!


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The kids who receive this colorful book of fun will beg to go on long car trips! Within its travel-themed covers is an assortment of favorite pastimes, including tic-tac-toe, checkers, coloring supplies, and a word game.

See below for complete instructions.

What You Need:

  • Three-ring binder
  • Tracing paper
  • Fabric shears
  • Felt yardage: dark blue, orange, lime, gold, and light blue
  • Fast-drying fabric glue (such as Beacon Fabri-Tac) or thick white crafts glue
  • Pinking shears
  • 1 yard of orange ribbon
  • Household supplies: pencil, ruler, and scissors

Instructions:

1. Download the free patterns for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat.)

Travel Fun Patterns

Adobe Acrobat

2. Open the binder flat on tracing paper. Draw around the binder; add 1/4 inch to all edges. This is the cover pattern. Cut two covers from felt, one dark blue (outer) and one orange (inner). Glue the dark blue cover on top of a piece of lime felt, allowing at least 1/4 inch of felt all around. Use pinking shears to cut out the cover, leaving a 1/8-inch lime border.

3. Measure the width of the binder's spine; cut away (and discard) this measurement from the center of the orange cover. The two pieces left are the inner covers.

4. Cut the ribbon in half. Center and glue one end of each ribbon to the lime side of outer cover as shown.

5. Glue each orange inner cover to the lime side of the outer cover at the top, bottom, and ribboned edges, creating pockets where you will insert the binder.

6. To cover around the metal rings, cut a piece of lime felt the height of binder plus 1/2 inch by the width of spine plus 1/2 inch. Cut the piece in half lengthwise. Tuck and glue each half behind the rings, wrapping 1/4 inch of the felt at the top and bottom around binder.

7. Fold back the binder flaps; slip them into pockets. Lay binder open. Glue the pocket openings closed.

8. Trace the patterns (pdf) onto tracing paper. Cut out the patterns from felt scraps. Also cut out assorted shapes, such as squares and rectangles for buildings and ovals and long squiggles for bodies of water. Decorate the binder cover and add small pockets to the inner covers, referring to the photos for ideas. Glue the pieces in place.

What You Need:

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  • Metal-cutting scissors
  • 30-gauge galvanized flat sheet metal (available in the air duct section of home supply stores)
  • 3 1/2-inch eyelets
  • Spray adhesive
  • Felt: orange, gold, light blue, and dark blue
  • Fabric shears
  • Pinking shears
  • Fast-drying fabric glue
  • 24 1/2-inch-diameter ceramic magnets
  • Acrylic paints: white, lime, and orange
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Household supplies: pencil, ruler, three-hole-punched notebook paper, hammer, large nail, and paintbrush

Instructions:

  1. Cut a 9-3/8-x-10-inch piece of sheet metal. Round the corners to match your binder. Using the notebook paper, mark three holes on one 10-inch side, placing the center hole 5 inches from top.
  2. Using a hammer and nail, punch the three holes wide enough for the eyelet to fit freely. Hammer smooth any rough edges on the holes. Recheck fit.
  3. Spray adhesive over one side of the metal; place, glue side down, on the orange felt. Trim around the edges with scissors. Spray the opposite side with adhesive. Place on gold felt. Use pinking shears to trim 1/8 inch from edge. Add eyelets to the holes, following the package directions.
  4. For the game board, cut 32 1-inch felt squares (16 light blue and 16 dark blue). Use fabric glue to affix the squares, alternating colors, into a larger 8-inch square in the center on the orange side.
  5. For playing pieces, clean the magnets. Base-coat the magnets white, placing them on a metal strip to make painting easier. Paint 12 of the magnets lime and 12 orange. Paint several coats, allowing drying time between the coats. Finish with several coats of clear acrylic spray. Let the magnets dry 24 hours.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image
  • Metal-cutting scissors
  • 30-gauge galvanized flat sheet metal (available in the air duct section of home supply stores)
  • 3 1/2-inch eyelets
  • Spray adhesive
  • Felt: dark blue, gold, and lime
  • Fabric shears
  • Pinking shears
  • Fast-drying fabric glue
  • 8 ceramic magnets
  • Acrylic paints: white, lime, and orange
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Household supplies: pencil, ruler, three-hole-punched notebook paper, hammer, large nail, and paintbrush

Instructions:

Note: Create tic-tac-toe and checkers games on separate boards or on the front and back of the same board. For a separate board, use dark blue and gold felt.

  1. Cut a 9-3/8-x-10-inch piece of sheet metal. Round the corners to match your binder. Using the notebook paper, mark three holes on one 10-inch side, placing the center hole 5 inches from top.
  2. Using a hammer and nail, punch the three holes wide enough for the eyelet to fit freely. Hammer smooth any rough edges on the holes. Recheck fit.
  3. Spray adhesive over one side of the metal; place, glue side down, on the orange felt. Trim around the edges with scissors. Spray the opposite side with adhesive. Place on gold felt. Use pinking shears to trim 1/8 inch from edge. Add eyelets to the holes, following the package directions.
  4. Cut 4 1/10-inch strips of lime felt. Create the grid with the strips; use fabric glue to adhere in place.
  5. For playing pieces, clean the magnets. Base-coat the magnets white, placing them on a metal strip to make painting easier. Paint four of the magnets lime and four orange. Paint several coats, allowing drying time between the coats. Finish with several coats of clear acrylic spray. Let the magnets dry 24 hours.

What You Need:

  • Glue stick
  • Card stock: white
  • Spray adhesive
  • Felt: desired color
  • Fabric shears
  • Three-ring zippered pencil pouch
  • Household supplies: scissors, magazines

Instructions:

  1. Cut out words and pictures from magazines. Using the glue stick, adhere the pieces to a sheet (or several sheets) of card stock. Apply spray adhesive to the back of the card stock; press to a piece of felt. Cut out the words and pictures. Store pieces in the pouch. Note: Be sure to include words for all parts of a sentence.
  2. Use the back of the binder for the game board.

To play the game, ask one player to select 10 or more pieces from the pouch. Then assign a specific amount of time for creating a sentence from the pieces. Award a point for each piece used. The first person to reach a certain number of points is the winner.

What You Need:

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  • Tracing paper
  • Fabric shears
  • Felt: assorted colors
  • Three-ring zippered pencil pouch
  • Household supplies: pencil

Instructions:

  1. Trace patterns (pdf) onto tracing paper.
  2. Cut patterns from felt. Store pieces in the pouch.
  3. Using the felt pieces, create a picture on the back of the binder or game board.
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