“Look what I made!” instead of “Are we there yet???“
Did you know that March is National Craft month? If you’re planning a family road trip and need some things to keep the kids (or yourself) busy while you’re on the road, why not plan a few crafts for kids? Usually, we opt for games, books, or movies… quiet things that don’t make a big mess. But these road trip crafts will keep everyone’s hands busy and not make too big of a mess in the car.
Of course, you’ll have to decide what’s age appropriate for each passenger, but older kids can probably handle things like rubberband looms or beaded bracelets while the younger kids may need to use colored pencils and stickers to create a road trip journal.
And, you’ll want to plan an organize ahead of time. Small storage bins, scrap bags and tote bags are a great way to plan and store craft projects and can help with quick cleanup in the car.
Needlework Projects for Any Age That Are Great For Long, Quiet Drives
When we think of needlework, we often think of cross stitching or embroidery, and these are great road trip crafts for adults or older teens. But you can also get some really simple plastic canvas and yarn kits with big plastic needles and easy to follow instructions so that your little kids can make things like coasters and bookmarks.
Hand sewing doll clothes which can be cut out before your trip, hand piecing quilt blocks or hand quilting, knitting and crocheting are all wonderful crafts you can do in the car.
Here are a few of our favorite needlework crafts for kids on road trips…
Felt Animal Kits – You’ll positively die of cuteness overload when you see some of these felt animals. I might be ordering one of these kits right now to take on my next trip!
60 Quick Knits for Beginners – This book contains 60 quick and easy projects that would be perfect to start and complete on a road trip!
Crochet for Beginners – You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy these simple projects. In fact, you’ll probably love being able to whip out a couple of warm hats or scarves while someone else is driving.
Hedgehog Easy Cross Stitch Kit – This sweet wall-hanging project was just too cute to leave off the list. It’s simple enough for even a beginner and comes with everything you need to complete the project. The finished craft would make a great gift.
Flower Embroidery Kit – Who wouldn’t love this beautiful little floral piece? Hang it up on the wall, or use it on the front of a throw pillow or for a quilt block!
Doll Clothes to Cut and Sew – Do the cutting at home and take all the pieces with you. This project would be great for a beginner sewer to keep her hands busy on a long trip. And, she’ll get new clothes for her favorite doll. We call that a win-win!
Crafty Little Things to Sew – This book is full of ideas for small projects you could make from scraps. Just be sure to select your materials and get everyone cut out before you hit the road so you’ll be ready to piece and sew.
Flower or Butterfly, Horse, and Rainbow Needlepoint for Kids – These plastic canvas and yarn projects are perfect for small hands. They come with yarn, a big needle, and easy-to-follow instructions, plus frames to hang the finished crafts.
Plastic Canvas Coaster Set – Here’s another really easy plastic canvas craft that even the kids can do, and when they’re done you’ll have a new set of colorful coasters for the game room.
Craft Loops Weaving Loom – I think we all had these when we were kids! Remember the cloth loops and the little loom that let you weave them into things like potholders?
Road Trip Journaling
Everyone likes to color, so why not create a fun road trip journal to chronicle your adventure? Younger kids can start with a plain notebook and just add stickers and color with things like twist-up colored pencils. (We like colored pencils cause they don’t melt in the car like crayons, and these twist-ups don’t have to be sharpened!)
If you trust your kids with them, you can also pass out washable markers and washable gluesticks with little baggies of foam shapes they can glue onto their pages. Perhaps show them how to make a mosaic with the foam shapes!
Another really fun no-mess way to chronicle your trip is to purchase a small photo album and pick up a postcard from each state, large city, and attraction you visit. Add the postcards to the album as you go so that when you get home you’ll have a whole book of pictures from the places you’ve been.
Here are some fun printable maps you can include in your journals and some road trip stickers for decorating them.
Printable maps of each state and maps of the continental US can be downloaded at 50states.com.
These State stickers for little kids are reusable/moveable and come with a map to put them on. No mess. Just lots of fun!
US State Stickers – a colorful sticker for every state. These could be added to a map, used in your road trip journal, or used to decorate a photo album or guitar case.
US Flag Stickers are another fun way to decorate your road trip journal and help your kids learn about the state flags while you travel.
This Road Trip Flip Pack is full of fun travel and adventure related stickers.
And finally, a Travel/Nature Sticker Pack for those whose road trip includes outdoor adventures.
Jewelry Making in the Car? Why Not!
Making bracelets and other jewelry in the car may sound like a bad idea. But, these really are crafts you can do in the car! You might save the beads for the older kids, but even the littles can make friendship bracelets with some string, or weave paracord bracelets!
Bead Pets Kit – These little bead pets are so cute. Your kids will love to give them to their friends to use as backpack charms!
No-Beads Friendship Bracelet Kits are a good option for kids who are old enough to follow instructions and make things on their own, but may not be ready for a bead project.
Paracord Bracelet Kit – It’s been my experience that boys and girls alike enjoy making paracord bracelets. These colorful wristbands are made from a sturdy material that is actually used in a lot of emergency preparedness products and sometimes these bracelets can come in handy and the material be used like rope if taken apart.
Rubberband Loom Kit – This one may be a bit messy for small hands, but your tweens will love it! These little rubberbands can be woven together to make all kinds of fun trinkets.
Origami You Can Do in the Car
Really! You don’t need to do a lot of coloring, cutting, or gluing… it’s all folding. And with simple kits like these, even the kids can follow the instructions to make really cute animals from colorful papers.
Melissa and Doug Origami Animals – probably the simplest and good for ages 6+. This kit even comes with some stickers to add eyes and other fun features to the finished animals.
These Origami Animal Bookmarks are my personal favorites. My son and I have made these before from instructions we found online and we used them instead of birthday cards when we were gifting books! Double-duty… a card you can keep and a bookmark!
This Origami for Kids kit says it’s for ages 7-97 and comes with 60 sheets of bright paper, stickers, and video instructions are available online if you need more help than what’s included in the kit.
Coloring Crafts for Road trips
We simply can’t leave out coloring when it comes to road trip crafts! These items are things you can color and gift, making them projects or crafts vs just coloring in a coloring book, and with a good set of colored pencils, you’ll be set to create some really pretty mess-free crafts.
A whole book of bookmarks you can color and giveaway? Or Keep? That sounds like fun to us! And there are tons of choices. You can pick bookmarks with animals on them, or inspirational sayings, or mandalas, or even literary-themed bookmarks!
How about greeting cards? We all know that making your own cards to give is extra special. This all-occasion greeting card pack would be an awesome craft you can do in the car. When you return home from your trip you’ll have a whole box of cards ready to go!
Before You Know It, You’re There!
Crafting on the road can make time fly. And having a special souvenir of the trip or a gift you to give your host makes the journey all the more memorable!