Are We There Yet?! 3 DIY Travel Games That’ll Keep Kids Happy

by , posted on July 30th, 2013 in Games & Creative Play

I’ll be honest, now that Ellie and Jonah are older, I find it’s easier to keep them entertained on long flights and car rides. The ability to read is an incredible thing. We can hand them a comic or book and they’re good for a while. But when they were little, that was a different story. I’ll spare you the stories, as I’m sure you have a few of your own.

Today, the ever-talented Jane from Buzzmills is sharing not one, but three DIY travel games your kids will love. They are a great way to keep little hands and minds active while you’re traveling. -Jen

DIY felt travel games

We are slowly beginning preparations for our summer vacation.  Which also means that we are slowly making preparations for the long car trip that we need to take to get to our vacation spot.

It is sure to be a car trip filled with bathroom breaks, “are we there yets?” and maybe a little whining.  Let’s face it whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile the time spent getting to vacation can occasionally be difficult and stressful. We don’t have a DVD player for the car, so we rely a lot on small and portable games and activities to keep the kiddos busy and content in the back seat, including these simple felt DIYs which have come on several trips with us over the years.

Bonus: they are also great for restaurants too!

Lift the Flap Book
A “lift the flap book” for babies and toddlers is simple and fun.  It helps with color and animal recognition (although you can put something different than animals under the flaps.) and it’s a lot like peekaboo!


I started by printing animal pictures onto t-shirt transfer paper and then transferred those photos onto white muslin.  Each photo is about 3″x 2″.

Next, cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of Fusible interfacing (medium weight, I used Pellon Craft Fuse Fusible Interfacing) 9″ x 14″.  Fuse the craft fuse to the wrong side of your back fabric.  Arrange animals onto the right side of your front fabric and sew onto fabric.  Sew two small pieces of velcro near the edges on the short sides (this allows the flap “board” to fold and close like a “book”).

Flap book

Cut squares of felt large enough to cover animal pictures, place over pictures and sew along the top edge.

Place your two pieces of 9″ x 14″ fabric with right sides facing, sew around the edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ opening along one of the long sides.  Trim edges and clip corners.

Flip right side out, press and then top stitch along the edge, being sure to sew up your opening as well.  And you are done!  Loads of fun for little ones!


Felt Board
Another super simple felt travel toy for toddlers, a simple felt board…

Felt board

I made mine small (about paperback book size) for maneuverability in a car seat.

Cut two pieces of felt plus one piece of fusible interfacing (medium weight, I used Pellon Craft Fuse Fusible Interfacing) to 6″x9″.  Cut an additional piece of felt that is 6″x 4″ for the pocket.

Sandwich interfacing between your 6″x9″ felt pieces, lay the 6″x4″ piece on top and sew all pieces together, trim edges.

Cut felt shapes, people, etc. and tuck them into the pocket.  Voila! A simple travel felt board with it’s own pocket to carry around felt pieces.

Tic Tac Toe
And, one more felt game, this one is for kids who are a little bit older, preschoolers and up: tic tac toe…


Cut one square of felt 7″x7″.  Cut 4 strips of contrasting felt 7″x 1/4″.  Sew strips onto felt square to make a grid.


Cut two more pieces of felt 3″x7″ and 2″x7″ to make a pocket.  Sew a small piece of velcro in the center of one 7″ side of one piece of felt.  Sew the other the other part of the velcro onto one 7″ side of the other piece.  Flip felt square over to the wrong side sew the 3″x7″ rectangle along three sides (leaving the top edge, with velcro, open) to the wrong side of your large square with the velcro away from the outside edge.

Line up your 2″x7″ felt piece to overlap the bottom part of the pocket, sew onto large felt square along the top edge.

Pocket for tic tac toe

Attach two pieces of ribbon about 9″ long in the center along the bottom of your pocket and in the center of the opposite side.  Cut 12 felt circles about 1 1/2″ in diameter, 6 felt O’s and 6 felt X’s.  Stitch X’s and O’s onto your circles.  Load them into the pocket…


tie it up…



and you are ready to take your tic tac toe on the road.

There you have it—with a bit of felt, a sewing machine and odds and ends, you can make perfectly portable travel-ready activities to keep you and your little ones happy on your way to vacation!

I can’t guarantee that there won’t be the occasional “Are we there yet?” but maybe there will fewer.

jane from buzzmillsJane Bailey Kohlenstein is the creator of Buzzmills, a blog and etsy shop. She is the mother of two from which she finds crafty inspiration every day. It’s been 11 years since she was gifted a sewing machine and 7 years since she made her first stuffed animal. Since then, she has been learning to sew as she goes. Jane started Buzzmills two years ago as an outlet for her creativity and to regain a sense of self after transitioning from life as a working mom in New York City to a stay at home mom in the ‘burbs. She finds her head constantly filled with ideas. When she’s not buried under fabric, she enjoys gardening, hiking and satisfying her children’s creative whims. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Google +.

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5 Responses to “Are We There Yet?! 3 DIY Travel Games That’ll Keep Kids Happy”

  1. Caroline Says:

    July 30th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    SUCH great ideas, Jane! I pinned the tic-tac-toe one! We leave in a little more than a week for a road trip to SC and though we have smart-phone type devices, we don’t allow them or use them in the car–ever. I’m definitely going to make the tic-tac-toe set for the older girls–they love that game! GREAT projects!

    Jane@Buzzmills Reply:

    thanks Caroline!! I hope they enjoy it :)

  2. Jane@Buzzmills Says:

    July 30th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks so much Jennifer for having me here today!! :)

  3. 5 fun DIY games for kids | Guidecentral Blog Says:

    October 8th, 2013 at 10:02 am

    [...] Tic Tac Toe [...]

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    [...] Help your child be a happy traveler with an on-the-go game. [...]

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