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Simple Gifts: For kids on the go

Submitted by on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 No Comment

Know a family that’s constantly on the go or planning a long trip in the near future?

You could buy a $60 travel set, complete with cup holders and desktop — $15 “accessory kit” optional. Or you could build your own.

Start with a basic plain tote bag and embellish with fabric paint, fabric markers or iron-ons – it’s an easy way to personalize the kit for each child. I recommend this for travel by air or train.

A plastic kids’ lap tray, which Michaels has had lately for $7 or so, also would be a good place to start building your gift. This route would work better for car trips. You could create a design on the tray top, while the sides are ideal for stuffing with goodies.

There also are a number of cute animal travel pillows available for $12, but if you have access to a sewing machine, you could replicate it for a fraction of that cost.

Crayons – square if you can find them – and paper are mainstays. Add a coloring book or create a custom version. Just google “free kids” coloring pages – you’ll unearth a ton of possibilities.

Sticker books also are popular, and there are a number of templates online that will help you make your own. If you have enough clip art on hand – or want to explore Microsoft’s free download area – you could come up with your own scene and stickers.

Add a mini Doodle-Pro. It’s similar in working theory to Etch-A-Sketch, except you can draw with a “pen” instead of twisting knobs. The “pen” is attached, so they won’t start wailing when they lose it down the seat. And they can’t throw them at anyone either. Not that either of my angels would do that.

Though the one in the link is $7, the fact that it’s a trademarked character is upping the price. It’s easy to find these for $5 or less in discount stores.

If the kids are old enough, a magnetic Bingo set would occupy them for a while. You could make one — Michaels sells magnets in 1 foot x 2 foot strips for roughly $10 – but I’ve found ready-made games for $5, so it’s probably more economical to buy it in this case.

Add small containers for snacks and a travel cup and you’re good to go.

But whatever you do, please do not add Hot Wheels. They make great projectiles to fling at Mommy when you’re bored with the ride. Not that either of my angels would do that.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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