As friends talk about the issues of traveling with children, I am reminded of the travel kit I made for a four/five-year-old child because he and his dad were heading onto a very long airplane flight.
Rather than just giving him some coloring books, paper, and crayons, knowing he’d soon be asking “what should I draw” or “may I have more paper,” I created play scenes for him — my own take-off on coloring and Colorforms®-like scene play.
- You and/or your child choose your own background and laminate (with a glossy, not matte laminate) it so it can be colored on with wipe-off crayons, wiped clean with any napkin or tissue, and used again.
- Your scene can be already-colored, or it can have a lot of coloring book-like areas your child can fill in. (For example, it’s nice when tree leaves can be colored either green or brown or orange to create various times of the year.)
- The more basic your scene is, the more room there is for your child to add to it.
- Crayola.com offers some free coloring pages you might like. Other websites do, too.
- You can either mount the backgrounds on thin cardboard prior to lamination or keep your play pack thinner by just laminating the paper.
- Your child gets to draw on the scene, adding any elements to it.
- Your child gets to add sticks to the scene to further enhance it.
- Your child gets to move the stickers like characters in a play, making up stories and bringing the scene to life.
- You’ll want stickers are very easily peeled off.
- As your child plays, he/she shouldn’t stick them down too-too well, so they can be repositioned to act out the stories.
- You might want to bring some sheets of wax paper and have your child stick the stickers on it to store them, point being that they won’t stick to it but will be protected from sticking elsewhere. Or have him/her put them back on the sticker sheet. Either way, perhaps store these sheets in a plastic bag.
What you pack:
- Your backgrounds
- Wipe-off crayons
- Your stickers
- (Optional) Wax paper to store the stickers
- (Optional) Plastic bag(s) that zips shut for storage
- The simpler the cut of the sticker is, the easier it is to peel and reuse.
- Trend Enterprises has a series called superSpots® Stickers that are round, and a series called superShapes that I believe would work well.
- It may be possible to even print your own stickers using Avery products. I have not fully looked into this. You might look at Avery® Sticker Project Paper 4383
Wipe-off crayons that are getting good reviews online include:
- Wipe-Off® Crayons by Trend Enterprises — I used these years ago and they worked well. In 2013 I am reading good reviews about them. Of course, the reviews are not about using them on your own laminated pages.
- Crayola Crayola® Washable Dry Erase Crayons — I have not tried these and am not sure how they will do on a laminated page. One parent’s review says they do not wash out of clothing.