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Road Trip "I Spy" Homemade Book

May 23, 2012

A Game for the Road

By: Brenna Standley, Fort Collins Macaroni Kid
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Brenna Standley
Road Trip Time!

Desperate for something to entertain the children on our upcoming road trip, I wound up shelling out some serious cash this weekend for the double-screen in car DVD gadget; spent time organizing playlists after a download of Pixar and Disney Princess tunes; found an audio book version of the first Harry Potter from my library; and searched the house for my iTrip gadget - which still somehow eludes me.  So, why am I still nervous with 16 hours between my house and my destination, and more significantly - 16 hours back?

Toddlers.  32 hours round trip.  Of course I'm worried!

This is my best attempt at a solution. I got inspired by my vision of an "I Spy" with pictures game, since my 4-year-old is still a bit too young to Spy things that begin with a specific letter, and decided to have the kids go on a Road-Trip-I-Spy-Scavenger-Hunt-With-Pictures!  While this is highly unoriginal with a quick check on the Net (there are several I Spy picture books available for sale), I realized that it is also highly simple to make myself, and much easier to customize.

Just draw pictures, and make a book.  (See photo for examples of pictures)

Customize it for the things your kids are certain to see - easy things for littler ones and harder things for bigger kids.  If you aren't able to visualize an easy way to draw something, Google Images will help - just say something like 'tractor doodle' or 'windmill doodle' - and mimic the simplest art that pops up. Simple is a huge factor here so this project doesn't get out of hand. 

My vision is to have them put a sticker or make a check mark on each page they find, and we'll try our best to get them all.  If your kids are old enough, or budding artists - have them help find and make the doodles - they'll know what it is if they've done the doodling!

Here's a list of all the things I've doodled so far:
  • Speed limit sign
  • I-40 sign
  • Route 66 sign
  • a pottery pot
  • an adobe house
  • a cactus & a cactus flower
  • palm trees
  • an oil rig
  • a windmill
  • farmland
  • a cow
  • a horse
  • a lizard
  • a snake
  • a big sprinkler for farmers
  • a farm house
  • red rock formations
  • a truck pulling a boat
  • a big rig
  • a motorcycle
  • a red beetle bug car
  • a blue truck
  • mountains
  • mesas
  • lightning / storm clouds
  • a rainbow
  • sun rays
  • a sunset
  • birds on a telephone pole wire...
  • and I think I have some more ideas, too!
Can you tell where we're headed?

If you want nothing to do with the drawing part - collage it with magazines or take pictures of toys and other drawings from your kiddos books and print them out.

All I can say is - if you are making this book, may the road trip angels smile upon you!
Happy Travels!

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