Family, Surviving Chaos

A B Choo Choo!

An ABC train is loads of fun! This was one of my first DIY kids projects when we my husband first started traveling. I needed a way to not only keep the kids entertained while I made dinner but also get them to learn something!! A few pieces colorful construction, laminating sheets (for durability) and creativity made this project a breeze. And as an added benefit, when we started traveling as a family, the ABC train came in handy as it was easy to pack in a carry-on for long plane rides or road trips. Its a win-win!

To make it, cut out 26 wheels (they can be any color) and label them with the ABCs. Next cut out the boxcars and add 3 letters per boxcar (or 1 or 2-its up to you!). As for the locomotive (or engine), I drew it by hand; there are lots of free locomotive printables online if free hand drawing is not your thing. Laminate all you pieces and voila!

Surviving Chaos Tips

  • Let the kids help cut out the all the pieces; keeps them busy for while and helps their scissor skills
  • Change the letters to numbers
  • Use sight words on the boxcars instead of letters. This is perfect for kiddos learning how to spell!
  • These also make great letter recognition flash cards
  • Put it in zip loc bag: it keeps the pieces together, an added layer of protection from spills and it’s TSA friendly
Family, Surviving Chaos

Time and Money

“If you’ve got the money I’ve got the time!” These felt toys, discovered in the Target Dollar Spot, are a favorite with our kids and are the perfect learning tool. And who doesn’t love to play with money?? The play money is perfect for counting and teaching good finance concepts (got to start them early). Now if they only made something for Bitcoin…..

From colors to counting to telling time, these felt toys are perfect for kids aged 3-7 and fit in any purse, carry-on or backpack. When my husband is traveling, I’ll pull these out at home to keep the kids occupied while I make dinner, do dishes, start/sort/fold laundry, etc. The best part for me (and I’m sure other moms) is that they are felt so they’re very durable- kid tested, mother approved!

Family, Surviving Chaos

DIY Spelling Cards

DIY Spelling Cards

During my husbands travel weeks or when we travel as a family, these DIY spelling cards keep our kids entertained for hours. Just a pack of notecards, clothespins and creativity makes this spelling game an easy DIY craft project. These spelling cards easily fit in a zip loc bag, backpack or carry-on when flying. Vowels are in green and consonants are in black; the pictures also help with learning how to read simple words.

Although we love all the cool online learning games and apps, this is a great alternative to reduce screen time and allow the kids the opportunity to make more spelling cards. From colors to sight words, these cards easily move up with your child’s grade. The possibilities are endless!