You’re on vacation, it starts to rain, and now you’re stuck with rowdy kids in a cramped hotel room. Or, you’ve spent the day at theme parks, restaurants and stores, but the kids just can’t seem to wind down now that you’re back at the hotel. What to do? Pack a few simple, inexpensive things before you leave for vacation and you won’t have bored kids at the hotel. In fact, you’ll have happy kids that get to be creative, then get to wear or keep what they’ve made!
Pick up packs of tiny stickers before you leave, as well as some cheap sunglasses, and kids can decorate them at the hotel room. Stickers come in hundreds of themes nowadays, so choose a theme for each child, then give each kid a sheet of stickers to decorate the sunglasses. Stickers mean no glue and no mess while kids craft. Purchase ordinary stickers or choose other items that have adhesive backs. At craft stores you’ll find fake jewels, tiny mirrors, or 3-d stickers that are all adhesive. This is a cheap craft that will allow boys or girls to have a great time.
Older kids might enjoy painting their sunglasses more than gluing things on or using stickers. Paint markers make it fun and easy to create any number of patterns on the glasses. Although the markers look and draw just like magic markers the paint markers contain real paint. Find the markers at most craft stores and purchase an assortment of types like metallic, pearl-tone, or even neon. The kids can use stencils or just draw freehand on the sunglasses.
Young girls will love creating headbands with shells and other items from the beach. Purchase an inexpensive, wide headband and let the girls decorate them. It’s helpful to roll up a towel then position the headband over the roll. This will keep it steady while the girls use ordinary glue – or even hot glue – to attach shells and pieces of sea glass. They can wash the items in the hotel sink, allow to dry well, then have a blast creating their own headband with tiny shells.
If you’ve found some larger shells kids of all ages will enjoy creating something fabulous with them. They can take home treasures to their friends or just make memorabilia for themselves. Clean and dry the shells then use stickers or paint markers to create the design. Apply a horoscope sticker or one that spells someone’s name. Clear fingernail polish can be used to coat the sticker to protect it. Older kids can use paint markers to write their friends’ names on selected shells. Stickers can be found on most any vacation so take a trip to a nearby craft store and let kids choose their own sticker themes.
Take along a roll of magnetic sheeting and kids can make all sorts of things with no mess at all. Kids can attach menus, brochures, magazine pages and similar items to the sheeting to make great magnets. The sheeting is sold by the sheet or by the roll at most craft stores. It has a peel-away sheet that exposes the adhesive side. Stick the items on the magnet then cut out words, pictures or other things. Kids can reassemble the words on the fridge at home, practice their spelling, or just arrange scenes on the fridge. Take magazines along with you or just use things you accumulate while on the trip. They can make magnets from items cut from newspapers, business cards and other papers.
Instead of making magnets from papers they’ve collected children can make them from things like candy bar wrappers. Fill the empty wrapper with bathroom tissue, paper towels or even folded paper. Slide outer wrappers back on and stick the magnet piece to the backside. If the wrapper is one that has to be torn open tear it carefully. After consuming the candy bar, fill the wrapper with the stuffing, then glue the wrapper back on. These magnets can be made from small boxes of candy, gum wrappers, mint containers and similar items. A small magnetic square on the back is all it takes to hold these to the refrigerator or other metal areas.
Young kids can create simplistic scrapbooks while at the hotel by using paper and glue sticks. Use one whole piece of colored paper, then a half piece, to create each page. Glue the half page to the full page to make a pocket. Use stickers, markers or other craft items to decorate each page. Slide menus, business cards, brochures and other items from the trip into each pocket. Pages can be called “Monday”, “Tuesday”, etc., or each page can just have a different sticker theme. Make a binder for the scrapbook by just taping one side of the stacked pages, or poking holes and inserting metal rings. Or, bring along a binder for each child and that will make it easy for them to insert the scrapbook pages.
There will be no bored, whiney kids on your trip this year! When you get back to the hotel kids will be happy to get ready for bed when they know there’s a fun craft awaiting them when they get done. Each of these crafts are no-mess ways to let your child be creative while stuck at the hotel. They’ll love making and wearing or displaying their new things!