Activities for Kids: Coffee Can Travel Kit

Many of you will be traveling this year for the holidays and while Christmas trips along an old highway CAN be interesting, fun and even relaxing, more often than not, they are torture.  Kids can be difficult to manage on a long car ride as they (understandably!) get tired, bored and cranky.  While snacks and electronics help, sometimes you just need some fresh and new activities for kids to capture their attention.  Today I am going to show you a simple travel kid idea with activities for kids that will help keep them occupied for at least a few miles and give YOU some peace!  Added bonus?  It is VERY cheap!

Activities-for-kids-travel-kit-Crafts-UnleashedSupplies needed to make your own activities for kids travel kit:

duo 2The basic idea is to make basic old worksheet activities for kids papers new again. If you simply throw a workbook into the car for the trip, your kiddo might just plow through the worksheets, skip half of them and haphazardly complete them.

travel kit coffee can worksheetsThe trick? Make it an activities for kids mystery, add a friend and make each step a process. Here is how:

travel kit coffee can suppliesSee that Sherlock Holmes workbook? It was found at a thrift store for a quarter and is the perfect book for this setup. We talked about detectives and mysteries the week before leading up to the “coffee can reveal.”  You can use any worksheet book that has a theme or a story to it.  Just try to find something that can have a beginning and an end.  This is how the activities for kids mystery begins…

travel kit coffee can shortening worksheetsRoll each worksheet individually and secure with ribbon.  Trim the ends (above) so they will fit standing up in your recycled metal coffee can.  Kids can help with the ribbon cutting! (below)

travel kit coffee can child measuring ribbonOnce you have all the rolls made, you need a “character” or two to give this activities for kids idea a little life!  I used these adorable little wooden toys.  At $1.17 each, they are cheap and the kids love them as much as I do.  We call them Din-Din (the Dinosaur) and Lizzy (The Lizard).

travel kit title amy renea crafts unleashed toysBasically, these little characters are the “helpers” for your children and help them discover the “clues.”  Simply write clues on the scrolls of paper, using state lines, state license plates, colors of cars, alphabet letters on signs, anything you might encounter on the road that allows the children to “unlock” each scroll.  Once “Din-Din” or “Lizzy” spot a clue, the kids can open that scroll and do the worksheet.  Once all the worksheets have been completed, make sure you include the “solutions” roll to see if their answers were right and if they correctly solved the mystery!

travel kit title amy renea crafts unleashed solutionNow onto making the can look more kid-friendly!  You simply need a used metal coffee can, cleaned and dry, along with some Mod Podge and tissue paper.  Apply Mod Podge over the entire can and then carefully attach the paper with the straight edge along the top rim.

travel kit coffee can mod podge canGo slowly as to avoid air bubbles.

travel kit coffee can wrapping paperThe kids can help with the Mod Podge step!

travel kit coffee can kid mod podgeSimply fold the paper under and along the bottom of the can and leave as is or cover with a felt circle to make it look nicer.

travel kit coffee can bottom of canAdd several layers of Mod Podge on the top of the paper to give it a nice solid finish.

travel kit coffee can mod podgingAs it dries, make sure to get any drips with a brush!

travel kit coffee can catching dripsIf you are so inclined, hot glue this cool felt car (we ARE going on a road trip!) and secure with ribbon.  I hot glued two small pieces of ribbon to the edges of the car first, allowed them to dry, hot glued the car onto the can and then pulled the ribbon tight into a knot.

Travel kit securing ribbonDo not attempt to add anything to the can until the Mod Podged paper has COMPLETELY dried.  You WILL rip it if you mess with it before it has completely dried and hardened!

travel kit coffee can bottom of canOnce your activities for kids can is completely dry and decorated, fill it full of papers, that cute little dinosaur and lizard and save it in the car until the kids are going WILD then break out your “mystery in a can!”

Activities-for-kids-travel-kit-Crafts-Unleashed-2What activities for kids do you bring along for long car rides?

About Amy Renea

Hey y'all! I'm Amy Renea, a freelance photographer and writer based out of Hershey, PA. I spend my days chasing children and chickens around the back yard, sipping on dandelion tea and munching on sweet potato chips. Come visit the Nest for All Seasons to learn more about my food, photography, DIY designs and modern garden living!


  1. Shan says

    Hey! I don’t have kids, but this is such a great idea I think I need to pass it on for my nephew! (Hopefully my mom will whip something like this up for my brother, since I don’t live on the same continent…) I love things that let kids work their minds, especially when it does NOT involve electronics! Great idea, and thanks so much for sharing. :)

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