Monday, April 19, 2010

Traveling with a Two Year Old - Part Two

When we were getting ready to for the St. Louis trip I knew traveling was going to be a different ballgame with Jaden now that he’s two.  He has his own airplane seat, he likes to do more things on his own, one toy doesn’t entertain him for a long period of time, my back can’t lug around enough books to just entertain him with reading…etc.

I had several ideas for some quiet books – like many of us probably had to take to church when we were little.  I saw TONS of cute ideas that gave me inspiration.  However, since all of them involved a LOT of sewing AND I had very limited time, I decided to go another route.

So, here is a view of my NO SEW quiet book.

The base for all of the pages are file folders cut in half.  I tried to keep the themes 4 pages (front, 2 middle, back) so that I could take out sections and replace them later.  All base pieces were glued onto the file folders with rubber cement and then laminated over.  All moveable pieces were cut out, laminated, and cut out again.  All moveable pieces and the place the “go” for storing or placement have sticky backed Velcro attached.  All the pages are stored in a 3-ring binder.  (It’ll make more sense as you see it).

This page has the word to “Jesus Loves Me” on it along with the pieces for the puzzle on the opposite page.
Here is the puzzle as you put it together.  I used sticky backed Velcro strips cut into small pieces for all of the pieces in this book.  I figured it would help Jaden get things in the right place AND keep from having pieces flying all over the airplane.  This puzzle was a little too hard for Jaden right now but, he did keep trying.
The next pages were dedicated to Noah’s Ark.  This was one of Jaden’s favorite pages.  He likes to name the animals and match them up
To fill in the back page of that section I put a coloring page of Noah’s Ark.  I just printed the coloring sheet, glued it to the file folder.  If you use crayons you can wipe it off with a Kleenex.  Jaden prefers markers to crayons now so he wasn’t too into these pages.  I experimented with markers but washable markers just stayed wet and rubbed right off on our hands and I didn’t trust non washable markers on planes and in other people’s houses.  I suppose dry erase markers would work but, I haven’t seen those washable either and, I didn’t have any to test with.

The next section is a traffic theme.
Matching up the cars.  This one was a little tricky because some of the cars are too close in color.  We worked on identifying if the lines matched up and if there was a front and a back of each car.  There is a removable Ziploc attached with velcro to the right hand page that holds all the pieces.
This section had an extra middle page because I had a great idea.  I drew a little road and several of our favorite places, the mission, the store, the park, our street…  Jaden didn’t really get the idea of playing in this “town” with his toy car.  I guess that kind of pretend hasn’t set in yet.
Last in the traffic section was a coloring sheet with Cars characters
The right pages starts a “love” section.  The words to “Jesus Loves the Little Children are printed with spaces to put blocks of each color that appears in the song.  It also holds the puzzle pieces for the following page – Heart matching

Then I was running out of ideas and time so I just lumped the pages together.  So much for being able to take activities out easily.  Oh well.  This is a counting and number recognition game.  You count the cherries on the cupcakes and match it up to the corresponding number.  At the time we took the trip, Jaden didn’t really recognize numbers yet so, he was a little lost.  He tried to match the cupcakes by color.  (Sometimes the cupcake with cherries has the same color frosting as the one with the correct number but not always).
The cherry topped cupcakes were stored in a library card “oven”

Next was helping the bear get dressed.  Jaden liked this page but there were a few too many things for him to get the clothes back in the basket very easily.  He also doesn’t quite have the concept of matching clothes yet.  But, he still had fun.

And then a matching shapes page.  This one was his FAVORITE.  I cut out shapes from all different colors and stored them in the Ziploc on the right.
 The shapes are traced on library card pockets.  The pockets have Velcro on the back so you can take them off and even use this as a floor game or you can later change them out to sort by colors instead.
Just insert the shapes in the matching pockets.

And to finish it off, a Thomas the train coloring page.  I also found that the coloring pages were difficult because of all of the Velcro pieces behind them in the book.  They were kind of lumpy.

All in all, this project was a LOT of work but occupied Jaden for one entire plane ride and several other odds and ends of time throughout the trip.  We’ll occasionally take it to church or on other travels (we have several trips coming up again this spring/summer).  A useful tool, adapatable, and VERY fun!


  1. Good work...Very neat!! You come up with some great ideas.

  2. This is amazing. J has the best mom in the world!

  3. CHICA!! This is AMAZING. good for you!! oh my gosh! i just can't get over it. you put this together. you should get an above and beyond award or something!! you did such a fantastic job. seriously! and the work you put into worth it. oh, i am just so proud of you!! such great ideas.