Traveling With Young Kids | Homemade Activity Book Idea

Traveling With Young Kids | Homemade Activity Book Idea

During one of our family road trips, my oldest daughter and I tossed around ideas to keep Emma (5 1/2 at the time) and Ethan (4 at the time) entertained for nearly 5 hours in the car (each way). Kaytlin thought up a fun way to keep the kids entertained while still containing the mess so we didn’t have to dig for crayons or stickers between the seats and it went over so well I thought I’d share.

Supplies you will need:

  • 1” – 3 ring binder
  • 1 sheet scrapbooking paper
  • sticky Velcro
  • retractable crayons or colored pencils (can also be done with markers if you have older children
  • 3 hole punch
  • sheets of stickers
  • print outs of coloring pages (found at various websites)
  • lined notebook paper

Here is what she did. Please keep in mind these have already been through one trek in the car before I had a chance to take the photos.


  • She started with a 1” – 3 ring binder for each child with a clear pocket in front. Because she likes things to look nice, she purchased a sheet of scrapbooking paper that went along with each child’s personality and slid it in the pocket.
  • Next she used sticky Velcro and put two rows on the front of the binders. The opposite side of the Velcro was used to wrap around the end of the retractable crayons.
  • Then place the crayons on the binder (Velcro to Velcro).


  • Next she hole punched some sticker sheets she found in the $1 bin at our local Target. You can also find inexpensive stickers at your local $1 store or maybe purchase a book filled with stickers to make your money stretch.


Because Emma and Ethan love stickers Kaytlin went a little overboard with how many she put in our books, but there was plenty of room.


  • The next section of the book is full of coloring pages print outs that Kaytlin found at various websites. They are fairly simple to find… Google “printable coloring pages ____” and fill in the blank with your subject. She also made some pages for tic tac toe and other fun paper games for the kids.


  • The back section is great for notebook paper if you kids like to write or you can use unlined paper so they can free draw. The possibilities are endless and fully customizable.
  • 2012-07-18 13.50.50

These books worked like a dream keeping our two entertained for most of the trip! I hope it helps you out!


  1. Jennifer Hedden says

    I love this idea! These would even be great gifts to give. Thank you for sharing such a neat idea!

  2. I think Kaytlin could tap into this market! What great ideas.

  3. Sandy VanHoey says

    What a great idea for when we travel. My grandson is one that cannot sleep in the car, never could and he loves stickers and all things like this. This is great!

  4. That is so great! Thanks for sharing these ideas. They would be great for the granddaughters.

  5. Juli Guthrie says

    What a fantastic idea! I travel a lot with my 3 boys, this has me excited!

  6. Abi R. says

    Great idea!! We have some long trips coming up with a 2 1/2 year old (VERY active) and a 3 month old…yikes.

  7. Colleen Fuller says

    This is very cool! I have to make some for the girls when they get older! Thank you!

  8. Such a cute (and affordable!) idea!)

  9. Danielle Mann says

    Like the retractable crayon/marker idea! I did something similar to this on our trip from Dallas, TX to Clearwater, FL. We had 6 kids in 3 different cars, ranging in age from 4 to 12. I made folders for each of them with activity pages such as word searches, coloring pages, and scavenger hunts that were all relative to the theme of road trips, Florida, or the beach. Included in each folder were 2 sharpened pencils, and an 8ct pack of Crayola crayons. This kept them busy for a while.

  10. Tatiana F says

    Definitely a great idea for our summer road trips!

  11. nikki m says

    This is excellent and so creative. I love how you did this. It would be perfect for my little ones too.

  12. Cara says

    Great idea! Thanks!

  13. Missy says

    What a super cute, fun, easy way to help keep the kiddos occupied while travelling, I wish I would have seen this a few months ago, when we went on our road trip!!

  14. Great idea, will try this when Max is older.

  15. Linda says

    Great idea! I think it would work for airplane too!

  16. Thomas Murphy says

    great idea for the kids!

  17. Michelle Feliciano says

    I love it! I have to make one for my nephew.

  18. Sarah Osborne says

    Wow! What a great idea. I’d have to wait a few more years for this to work for my toddler, but I’m going to remember this!

  19. Julie says

    We love stickers in the car!

  20. Jennifer Mae Hiles says

    Wow, the kids look mesmerized and entertained! What a great and affordable way to entertain on a car trip. I will use this in the future when my daughter gets a little older. I think it’s better than video games the entire ride!

  21. Geri Fink says

    This is going to be perfect! I’m going to try this for my five year old! He really wants some twistables. He will be so excited to have this in the car for our next trip!

  22. That is AWESOME!!! What amazing idea’s! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Marysa says

    Great idea! It is compact so it would be great for keeping in the car any time. Nice to have something like this on hand!

  24. Luda says

    Im always challenged when it comes to traveling with kids, im always looking for some ideas, and i just found something new, thanks

  25. Kristi says

    I love every part of this idea! We took our first vacation this summer with four kids and this would have been super handy! I know what I will be doing before our next trip!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  26. April says

    I love this idea, and can’t wait to make one for my daughter.

  27. Naomi says

    Great, simple ideas. Thanks! I’m putting together a book like this for my kids now.

  28. Some preparation when taking kids on road trips is absolutely key to keeping everyone busy and happy. Kudos to this special young lady for her ideas and creations. We, as parents and caregivers can learn a lot from this post!

  29. Sarah says

    I love this so much less time than lap books. Though the lap books are a tiny bit more educational. An easy idea though.

  30. courtney b says

    wow this is so neat.. activity books can be so expensive so i love this idea

  31. Susan H. says

    This is a very creative idea!

  32. Jayme Hennessy says

    I home school four children so traveling is a way of life in our household. This is a great idea to help with the boredom of long trips. I think I would add travel bingo cards to the list also.

  33. Wendi S says

    What a Great Idea. Everything is located tgether. It beats trying to feel around the car floor for various crayons and paper.

  34. jamie braun says

    what a super cool idea! my 2 year old will LOVE this! very creative

  35. Bess says

    awesome idea! We will have some long trips this summer and this is a fantastic way to entertain the kiddos for it. thanks. Also, just an fyi- I think your sons chest clip is a tad high. Might just be angle or the way he is bending his head down, though.

  36. wow such a great idea, affordable and fun too. perfect for this summer getaway.

  37. marissa lee says

    such an awesome ideal…thank you for sharing..

  38. christin hardy says

    great idea might have to try this this summer when we go camping

  39. Wow this is AWSOME!!!!!! I’m considering making one for my self with just paperI LOVE art!!!!!!! Thanks this was great

  40. Jennifer says

    I have a few left over binders from the school year and am trying for our summer vacation trip next weekend. It’s such a great idea.

  41. Jess says

    I am going to make 2 for each child….one for plane ride TO disneyland and a Fresh one for the trip home….also…a pencil pouch would be great for the grayons and it has holes so it fits in the binder….

  42. Tracy says

    I saw a similar idea to this on another site. They put the coloring pages & games in sheet protectors and had dry erase markers so they could be used over & over again. Going to try that with my 2-year-old on our 12 hour trip when we go on vacation in a couple weeks.

  43. What an awesome idea. I can’t wait to try this for my kids. Definitely pinning 🙂

  44. This is such an AWESOME idea! We’re getting ready for our longest road trip to date. These tips will really come in handy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  45. Senaida says

    This is a great idea… I’m going to try this on our trip to Europe with our 2 1/2 year old on a 9 hour flight.

  46. Such a good idea for road trips! This might just save me from getting a headache!

  47. What a fun busy books. I appreciate the fact that they are not very hard to make either. Pinned.

  48. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    This is a great idea and would keep kids entertained for a long time.

  49. What an awesome idea. I think this would keep my kids entertained for quite a long time. Thanks for sharing this.

  50. Interesting idea! My family will have some long trips this following summer, and this is a great way for our 3-year-old kids to have fun. Many thanks.


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