Our family is gearing up for a road trip, and I've been working hard to find ways to keep my brood entertained. They travel extremely well, and will sit mostly quiet for more than an hour even if they didn't have things to do.
But this trip is 10 hours long - a bit much, even for them. R loves cars and trains and planes, but inevitably they all end up on the floor as he tries to drive them on his lap, and i'm stuck retrieving them every two minutes (and getting carsick from turning around so much).
Here's my solution:
I got out a metal serving tray that i had purchased during a Christmas clearout sale, some cardstock and some Mod Podge and turned it into an activity tray! I kept it nice and simple. I had the kids draw grass on some thin paper for the background - cardstock was too thick for the magnets, and tissue was too thin, as the pattern on the tray would have shown through.
I cut out a pond and a tree, then put two ducks in the pond. R said, "look, a mommy and a daddy!", so i made three little ones. My boys love to play with things in families, and love it even more when they can model them after OUR family, so i made a mommy duck, a daddy duck, and ducks for E, R, and J.
And five apples on the tree, so he can practice counting (and so there's something for his toys to eat).
He picked out all the colors for the house.
And the best part??
Even upside down, the cars will stay put!
I used a heavy-duty craft glue to stick good strong magnets on the bottom of the cars so they wouldn't slide around with every bump of the car, but R can still easily push them around to drive them. And the rim on the tray will help contain any dinosaurs or people he wishes to add to the scene.
I can't wait for him to try it out! (too bad i have to hide it until we leave - but if he's never played with it before, it'll keep him entertained longer in the van)