Sunday, July 27, 2014

Travel Binders: 2 years later

Just about 2 years ago I made my first travel binders for our drive to Bald Head Island vacation. Back then my daughter just turned 4 and my son was only 17 months old. You can see those binders here.

Flash forward 2 years and now my daughter just turned 6 and my son is almost 3.5 years old. Before Camden didn't really even get a binder but instead some cars, magnets, and Fisher Price Little People to play with. This time around he's been watching me create his binder and can't wait to play in his "travel workbook" as he calls it.

We will be driving 6 hours the first day and then will stay over night and finish the final two hours the next day. I'm not really worried about entertaining the kiddos during those last two hours - we often drive that far for visits with family. It's those 6 hours that I want to be prepared for.

I used some of the ideas from the previous binder and came up with some new ideas on my own (and didn't totally rely on Pinterest) It's true...I can actually still can come up with some original ideas!

So here it goes - our updated binders!

I used a 1" colorful binder with pockets in the inside and clear plastic on the outside - this way I could put on a title page and even a page on the back.

Removable Magnetic Pieces
On the inside cover I used magnetic tape (found in a roll at Walmart) and put 4 strips on the binder. These strips will hold mermaid pictures (which were mermaid/sea stickers that I stuck on paper, cut out, and then added magnetic tape to the back) and state cutouts. We start in Pennsylvania and will travel through MD, VA, and NC. As we enter a new state Alexandra can remove the state cutout and place it on the back of the map, which also has magnetic tape. That way she can see how many states we have left to drive through.

US Map and Sate Coloring Pages
Finally, for each of the states we drive through I have a state information coloring page that I got off of  Each page has facts such as the state flag, bird, flower, etc.

Activity Pages
I used clear plastic sheets to hold the activity pages. I have mazes, hidden pictures, tic-tac-toe boards, the dot game, and letter tracing pages

Embroidery Floss
I have been trying to teach my daughter how to make friendship bracelets. They seemed to be frustrating for her so instead she just takes two colors and makes "twist" bracelets. Hey, whatever works and keeps her busy. PLUS I won't be losing hundreds of little rainbow loom bands in the car. I will have scissors and masking tape up front in the glove box to help her out and she can tape the floss to the back of her binder and twist away!

Magnetic Puzzle
I put magnetic tape on the back of each piece of a 48 piece Frozen Puzzle. That way she can do the puzzle on her magnetic whiteboard without losing pieces. I also cut out a small picture of what the puzzle looks like . Even after taping all of the pieces I have tons of magnetic tape left. I love that stuff!!!

Bendaroos/Pipe Cleaners
I thought I'd put some Bendaroos and pipe cleaners in the binder so she can make shapes or figures with them. I love those zip pouches too ($1 each at Walmart) because they keep everything contained. (I actually use those pouches to hold puzzle pieces for all of our other puzzles at home too. Super easy organized storage!)

I put the crayons in a zipper pouch. I'm going to put the crayons either in the bag in the middle of the kids or on the back of the seat organizer. They just made the binder too bulky to have them inside.

Crayola Dry Erase Markers
I love these dry erase markers! No odor, nice colors, and washable! These are also stored in a zipper pouch outside of the binder.

Color Wonder Markers
These are not pictured but will also go in a zipper pouch - they are en route to my house via Amazon Prime. Love that 2 day shipping! =)

Magnetic Dry Erase Board
I love that we go on vacation so close to back to school time because you can find great supplies for pretty cheap. For $2.50 or so I got a magnetic dry erase board which will serve several purposes. It will be used to play with the mermaid magnets, the puzzle, or just to draw. I also made it removable.I used the 3M strips that are meant for hanging pictures. They attach to one another and can be pulled apart. So, if she wants to take the whiteboard out of the binder she can.

I-Spy Games
I printed out some I-Spy games (that I found on Pinterest) for restaurants, car symbols, and for my son I printed out an easier one.

Color Wonder Pages
Last time around when Alexandra was 4 she was into Pooh Bear, Handy Manny, and Dora. This time around she has Disney Princesses and Fairies.

Next Up: Camden's Binder (3.5 years old)

I added some pictures of construction vehicles, race cars, and a train for Camden's binder. He picked out the orange binder for his "workbook".

Coloring Sheets and Color Wonder
He is not too much into coloring but maybe some pages with his favorite characters will entertain him. I think he'll gravitate towards the Color Wonder (which is probably better anyways since the ink doesn't show on anything but the paper!!!)

Scene Boards
I purchased a "Wonder Pets" reusable sticker and board kit at Ollies for $3.99. The bottom two are a sturdy cardboard. The top two I printed out on photo paper (so that it would be glossy and the reusable stickers will stick to it!!). I got the photo paper at the Dollar Tree. $1 for 8 sheets.

Reusable Stickers/Dry Erase Laminated Pages
We already had all of these Melissa and Doug reusable stickers but I needed a way to stick them in his binder without them all sticking together. I just happened to have a few pages that I already had laminated from when I was a teacher. So, on one side is an activity page that he can use the dry erase markers for , and on the other blank side I put the stickers. Saves space and has multiple uses!

Not only can he use the stickers on those scenes I printed out but also on the windows of the car, on his dry erase board, and on the outside of the binder.

This was one more scene I printed out and I stuck it on the back cover for Camden to use his car stickers. 

Binder Storage
I stored both binders plus the porable DVD player, the iPad, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab in this bag. Each device has different movies, shows, and games on them. I stored the binders first in a deep plastic bin which fits perfectly into my favorite Thirty-One bag. The bag will go in btween the kids and can hold all of this plus water bottles, headphones, snacks, etc. Although, I saw a cute idea about making indvidual snack boxes for kids for a road trip. I'd like to do that but we'll see if I have time. If I do I can post about it later!

Hopefully this will be easy access for the kids and they can help themselves as needed. Like I said I also have an over the seat organizer to store extra things like the crayon and marker pouches, sunglasses, other snacks, tissues, etc.

I'm pretty happy with the way the binders turned out. The kids have been watching me put them together but I told them they are not allowed to use them until we are in the car! I don't want the novelty wearing off before we even leave!


Denise Snyder are a great mom!!!


Thanks Aunt Denise!

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