Arts and Crafts, Authors, Creativity

Waiting and Travel Games for Kids

Road-trip from Colorado to Utah
A quiet moment on a long car trip

MSN had an article on waiting games for children – restaurant, plane, long lines and cars.   The full article can be found here.  The author is Barbara Rowley and her bio from the site is “[her] most recent book is Baby Days: Activities, Ideas and Games for Enjoying Daily Life With a Child Under Three.”  Sounds like a wonderful book.

The article was full of fun ideas, but one really caught my attention.  This is from a Nancy Kay of Nashville:

[P]uppets or stuffed animals to go along with a story on tape. The kids can act out the plot while listening to the story — and keep the baby entertained at the same time. 

I adore books on tape (or rather CD or Digital books).  My daughters (ages 6 & 3) are loving listening to Mary Pope Osborn’s Magic Tree House Series on tape, read by the author.  She has a sweet voice and my kids really get into the stories.  I will periodically stop the CD and ask questions to see if I need to clarify anything, or to check their understanding of the story line.

I also think that it is a good way to teach and practice the reading skill of foreshadowing.  (What just happened?  What do you think is going to happen? etc.)

A friend of mine said that she just buys a bag of pipe cleaners and lets the kids go wild.  She said that the things that they create are amazing.  I think that it’s a great idea for stretching the imagination!

I also give each of my daughters a cookie sheet and I have a bag packed full of activities – coloring books, toys, books, car-friendly crafts, etc.

The cookie sheet is a perfect table for anything car-activity imaginable and also doubles for a snack-tray when needed.

If all else fails, then I bring out the movies.  I try to work out all other possible options first though – including music appreciation, scenery watching, and car games.

Our favorite car game is a modified “I spy”.  Modified, because my girls are on the younger side, so instead of saying “something that begins with the letter…,” we say “something that is …” and list a color.

What kinds of things do you do?


Welcome to the Tamarack Idea Factory

Do you remember a time when everything that you did was magnificent?  Scribbles were works of Art. Random movements were intricate dances.  Speeches of misfit words – absolute poetry.  As we got older we forgot that being creative is not a destination, but a journey.  We forgot that doing anything well takes practice.  We saw others excelling and decided that we couldn’t do, or be, as great as they.  We ran out of ideas and just stopped. 

This site is dedicated to bring out the creativity in you and your children.  There are ideas that you can use to have fun on rainy days, pick up where you left off, or use to just get closer to each other. Take a look around, enjoy!  Have fun working on projects with your little ones and re-exploring what it means to be a creative kid again.

This is the quintessential Cinderella looking at her ballgown.  Could there be a more perfect visual description of the imagination of children and the simple happiness of youth than this?  (Photo courtesy of