May 12, 2009

Build Your Own Busy Kit (Part 1: Color)

In my spare time, I build children's activity kits, lots of them. Since we started My Busy Kit two years ago, approximately 3000 little busy bodies have gotten their hands on our kits, somehow. Our goal is to encourage family outings by providing the tools to make traveling more fun for everyone involved (including the airplane passengers in the row in front of you). But it's not rocket science, it's really just about creativity and convenience. Build Your Own Busy Kit is a series of tips for assembling your own travel activities - we hope you find it useful for your next trip!

Every My Busy Kit includes four content categories: Color, Play, Create, and Discover. For part 1 of this series, we will focus on "Color" (which means anything that will facilitate coloring, writing or drawing). What you see below is a selection of items in the "Color" category for My Busy Kit.

Take a visit to your art supply cabinet, and try to find a combination of crayons and washable markers. Markers are colorful and fun, but crayons are good for writing practice because you need to press a little harder to see the result. For added insurance, older kids may like pencils with a sharpener, but for the younger set, a 4-color pen might be just fine.

For paper, we always have at least one pad of blank white paper. Blank paper is an open-ended imagination-builder. It can turn into anything, which is part of the magic. In addition, we like activity books with a mix of guided tasks to keep kids focused. Step over to your office supply cabinet and grab a scratch pad. Then, snatch a coloring book (one of the thousands piled up somewhere in your house). Put them together, the combination can be useful.

To kick it up a notch, add some tools of the trade, like rulers, stencils, protractors or a compass. The novelty factor on these alone can fill up that extra hour on the tarmac. And don't forget your stationary drawer: pretty paper, sticker seals, envelopes and mailing labels. This can be a treasure for children just waiting to play post-office.

Helpful? Got more ideas? Then come back for more! The next installment in the series will be about imaginary and pretend play. Can't wait to see you there!

Lorraine Akemann / Co-founder / My Busy Kit


familyadventureguidebooks said...

Those free pads that realtors give out have saved my butt at church many a time. I find that my little ones prefer to draw with grownup ball point pens.

Carolina said...

yes, the plain pad and coloring is a necessary staple. I do like the idea of adding a few novelty items like the rulers and such.
Can't wait to keep reading the next posts, to see how you put them together.

Tiffany T said...

The paper with the variety of writing implements was a life saver on many outings, but what really helped us were the special shaped hole punches and wacky scissors. We don't have those fun tools at home!