If you’re tight on space, but want loads of entertainment, this DIY travel activity kit fills only a coupon file and is perfect for you! If you want something more full-size, check out the Traveling Coloring Pages and Do a Dot printables, or scroll down for the deets on our coupon file kits. This post contains affiliate links.
Y is a hard kid to entertain on any given day, but keep him in one spot for ten hours straight and watch what happens.
Besides for piles of snacks, I knew I had to keep him well entertained with plenty to unload on our flight. So I was thrilled when I found coupon files while browsing for activities.
Tip: When getting coupon files for your DIY travel activity kit make sure you get those with very expandable bases!
I had been planning to put together an activity binder like so many wise moms do for long flights, but I was concerned about the space it’ll take up in our limited carry on baggage.
I decided that this coupon file was just the right size for cramming with micro-activities of the creative nature, and perfect for stuffing along with the tablets, snacks, allergy-friendly meals, blankies, new toys, and other creature comforts I knew we must have for our kids.
I also brought along lots of airplane activities for kids and some tried-n-true toddler airplane activities. But when it comes to long stretches of just sitting, sometimes quantity wins. You can simply never know what your child will fixate on at unusual moments like these, so you want to have options.
Of course, I put one together for M too.
Below, I’ll be listing ideas for both preschoolers and toddlers, as well as some activities that work in a DIY travel activity kit for pretty much any age group.
And of course, since we flew, this is a flight-themed kit but I’ll provide alternates for road trips as well – because most of these things are generically entertaining so you can just go with the flow.
While you can mix and match and come up with your own ideas, you should be mindful of the bulk that you’re putting in. Not all of it needs to be flat, but you should choose your “bulky” items carefully because you can only afford 1-2.
For us that was cars and crayons.
And finally, keep in mind that you only want to bring things that you don’t mind losing. We brought crayons from our big mixed crayon box – not the coloring suitcases that the kids treasure and always use.
Your kid will unload, try to do five things at once – you get my drift. The point is not to care.
You can watch the video – or scroll through for the list:
DIY Travel Activity Kit activies for any age group:
Cars are so entertaining – throw in one or three! Add roads from either this printable or this one.
We are in love with these airplane staff/traveler puppets. You can toss in some self-adhesive craft sticks to turn it into a travel craft AND a toy they can play with on the go. If you’re not flying, replace these with Little Red Riding Hood puppets.
Stickers in solid colors and different shapes pair well with eye stickers to make fun monsters.
Pair those with a small stack of index cards as a base for creating. The index cards are great for coloring on as well, making them a fun mix-n-match item to have in your coupon files. You can even write some creative prompts on them for older kids.
Of course, you’ll need some crayons for a few of your activities. I put a few in a good palette of colors in a small zip bag.
We also included stacking crayons but I was disappointed with the quality so I put in regular crayons too. The kids still had fun using them – they tend to have low standards. They also really enjoyed stacking and unstacking them. I kept this in the elastic strap so they kept it out the whole time.
I also included mini note pads as “sketch pads”.
I found mini velvet posters for them to color.
Toddler travel activities for a DIY coupon file activity kit:
For Y, I found this mini memory match game. He did more matching than memory matching, but it’s a fun way to engage a toddler with a color activity. You can make some up easily in other themes as well.
Sticky notes are always a hit! They’re easily removable so they’re perfect for sticker lovers who would destroy the plane tray with regular stickers.
Finally, we finished it off with some mini coloring pages. You can also print coloring pages to size instead.
Activities for preschoolers to put into your airplane activity kit:
Preschoolers tend to go for a little more structured activities.
We started by subbing the coloring pages for pages from this activity packet. They fit perfectly!
I also found someHighlights hidden pictures to print to size. M loves these. Just make sure to choose age-appropriate ones that are simple enough that they can be sized down.
I also put inthis airport scavenger hunt, which you can easily replace with something for road trips – such as a license plate hunt.
As you can see, the kits were almost the same for both kids, with a few differences! Any paper crafts or activities sized down can go into this DIY travel activity kit.
You can try puppets or paper airplanes, coloring pages, or anything really.
Toss in a few playing cards cards and build card towers. Or add in a mini deck and go for a game of war.
Throw in some pony beads, spread flat in a plastic bag, and a shoelace.
You can really do anything with this DIY travel activity kit – you just need to think small!
Want more cool travel stuff to do? Keep memories with a kids travel journal full of fun pages to fill in and color!
Got any other ideas for a DIY travel activity kit? Comment below!