We're going on a cruise in a few weeks and I wanted to make something to keep the kids busy on the plane to Florida. I got this great idea from Brad's Aunt Lynda. She made something like this years ago for her grandkids. I just kind of made it up from the way she described it. They turned out really cute. The total cost was probably $10 each.
6-8 gallon Ziploc Freezer bags with the plastic quick zip things
1-2 yards 1" ribbon
Toys from the dollar store ( ex.- chalk board/chalk, toy cars, plastic bugs, coloring books, crayons, stickers, card games, travel games, alphabet magnets, etc.)
I started out with a placemat that I found at Target. It was fabric with a plastic coating that you could wipe clean. I figured that would work great. I set the placemat lengthwise and face down and folded up the bottom about 2 1/2-3". Just enough to fit a coloring book in that spot. I sewed both sides up on the 3" part.Next, I turned the placemat right side up and sewed some ribbon along the length of the placemat down the center for the ties to keep the book closed. I left about 12-14" on each side to so I could tie. I just used tape rather than pins to hold the ribbon in place as I sewed the ribbon in place. I used a zigzag stitch just for fun.Next, I turned the placemat wrong side up and set the ziploc bags down so I could sew them down the center with a ribbon to keep them in place. The gallon bags are a little too long so when you lay them down, the seam end will overlap a few inches. I just made sure the zip end was about 1" away from the outside edge of the placemat. I set one bag on the left side and then the next on the right side, alternating and making sure the zip end was on the outer edge and the zipper was at the top of the book. (I hope this is making sense) I used tape to hold each bag in place .When that was done, I set the ribbon down the center of the bags. I cut the length of the ribbon about an inch longer than the book and tucked the raw edge between the ziploc bags and the placemat. I sewed down the center with zigzag stitch.It is done! From this point I just removed all my tape and filled the bags with items I purchased at the dollar store. I also found some cute things from Target's dollar section. I couldn't believe how much stuff I could fit in these books.
I made one for Max(3) and one for Sadie(14 mos). It was really easy to find stuff to fill Max's book. I'm having a hard time filling Sadie's. If you have any ideas on what could keep babies busy let me know. The only items I could think of were a cheerios, toys, books, mirror...let me know if you have any more ideas!