(You can find more ideas in the Car Ride Activities Set 3, Car Ride Activities Set 4, and Car Ride Activities Set 5.)
Car Ride Activities Set 6
Busy Bag 21: Make a Magic Wand Kit
Wrap pipe cleaners around a wooden dowel to form the base of the wand. Then attach some more at the top. Twist some of the top pipe cleaners into spirals and leave the others straight for the children to decorate with beads. Toss some pony beads into the bag with the magic wands. The children can decorate their wand tips with the beads of their choice and then play with the wand. Insipiration here.
Busy Bag 22: Nursery Rhyme and Preschool Song Flashcards
I found some great free downloadable nursery rhyme and preschool song printables. I saved the files and printed them 9 to a page to make flashcards out of them. I'll put them in a bag and let the children look at the pictures and try to figure out which song it is. Then we'll sing the songs as a family in the car. (This site is great! They have the files in color versions for circle times or posting in a classroom and in black in white to use as coloring sheets. They also have supplementary printables to go along with most of the rhymes.)
Busy Bag 23: Simple Marble Run
Find a small shallow box. I used the bottom from a small pizza box. Glue some straws into the box. Draw in a path and a starting and ending point. Of course, no one will examine the picture closely enough to notice that I stuck my stop sign in the wrong spot before having to draw in a second one. Find a marble and let the kids practice getting the marble from start to finish by tilting the box. If I had had several small gift size boxes around I would have made several small marble runs instead of one large one. Check the inspiration link to see several other small examples of this type of activity. Insipiration here.
Busy Bag 24: Felt Faces
Cut out an oval "face" and lots of accessories. I tried to make a girl (although she didn't really turn out well), a crazy jester like character and an alien/monster. See the inspirations for much more well done examples of this activity. My only defense is that I cut mine out in about 10 minutes and just used sharpies for details. It was quick which was important to me this time. Insipiration here, here, here, here, and here.
Busy Bag 25: Number Wheel Clothespin Match
Download and print a pie divided into as many sections as you'd like. I chose one with six sections. Cut out the circle and glue that circle onto a cardboard circle of the same size for added thickness and durability. Then use some stickers to make each section of the pie represent a different number. Write those same numbers on the clothespins and you're ready. The children count the stickers and pin the corresponding clothespin onto that section. Insipiration here.
Busy Bag 26: Foam Beads Sorting and Stringing
I'm hoping that sorting bead like items and stringing them onto a variety of stringing options never gets old. This time it is foam beads paired with a lace and some pipe cleaners. These foam beads can be sorted by color or shape and then laced onto either the pipe cleaners or the lace. Inspiration was my own craft supply shelf.
Busy Bag 27: Yarn Wrapping
This may be too hard for my three and four year old children but it would be great for older kids and I thought I'd try it. I taped a variety of yarns to a variety of popsicle stick configurations for a yarn wrapping activity. At the simple end is just wrapping the yarn around a single stick. More complex is wrapping yarn around a narrow X shape for a slightly different look. Most complex is weaving the yarn to make a god's eye project. I was inspired by my own eyes wandering over my craft shelf.
Busy Bag 28: Sponge Blocks
Take some sponges and cut them into strips to make great travel "blocks" for log cabin style building. If I had thought about it before I had cut all the sponges into strips I would have made some squares too for variety. These make great travel blocks because they are quiet, light, compact and have some texture to them to reduce sliding around in cars and other moving vehicles. Inspiration found here.
Busy Bag 29: Individual Note Pads
Just toss a couple of small memo books, some cool pens (or pencils or crayons) and some stickers in a bag. I wrote a sweet message to each child in each book to personalize the book for them. They may not be able to read the whole message, but they'll recognize their names and "Mama". Inspired by browsing the back to school aisle.
Busy Bag 30: Matchstick Construction
I had some colored wooden craft sticks in my crafting stash as well. I put a handful of the matchsticks and a piece of felt into a bag. The children can create simple pictures from the sticks or even try to build a tower log cabin style. They could also try to make letters or shapes using the craft sticks.
(Happy 41st Wedding Anniversary to my parents. I love you both!)
If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.