Portable Car Play Kit

Portable Car Play Kit | Mama Papa Bubba

Have I mentioned that Grae and I love putting together homemade gifts?  Because we do.  We love it so much in fact, that despite the fact that we had actually already purchased a gift for today’s party, we decided we would make something instead – just yesterday afternoon!  Today’s birthday boy is a car lover through and through, so we used that for our inspiration.  He also {like many of our international friends} is often on the go, so we decided to make him a portable car play kit so that he has a fun and easy way to take his beloved toys with him – whether it be to a restaurant, on an airplane, or over to a friend’s house.

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This project was actually pretty simple.  To get started, we gathered up our materials {many of which we already had on hand}.  Like our portable LEGO kit, we started with a metal lunchbox as our carrying case.  We also used a basic cloth placemat {the perfect size for a table spot or airplane table tray}, a large piece of grey felt, some felt scraps in blue, green, and brown, some adhesive velcro strips, yellow dimensional fabric paint, Aleene’s OK To Wash-It glue, four matchbox cars, plus a ruler, a pen, and a pair of scissors.

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To get started, I cut out our different felt pieces.  These could look any way you like, but because my grey piece of felt was just slightly smaller than my placemat, I kept it pretty much in tact and only cut out four rectangles in order to create several different roads.  I kept our trees as simple as possible by just cutting out triangular treetops and rectangular trunks, and added a little pond for fun.  With all of the pieces cut out, I laid them on the placemat in order to figure out an arrangement I liked, then used my fabric glue {love this stuff} to secure everything.  Next, I added the dashed yellow lines using a ruler to guide them a little bit.  This part was slightly tricky only because you don’t want to smudge the wet paint in one area while you work on another, but as long as you give it a little bit of thought before jumping it, it’s totally doable.

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Then I let our road place mat dry overnight.

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This morning Miss G and I found it completely dry and still looking good, despite the fact that the road lines were no longer all that 3 dimensional.

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Our next step was to add some velcro to the bottom side of each car.  This part is super easy when using adhesive velcro like we did, but you’ll want to make sure that a) you use the soft fuzzy side of the felt on the bottoms of the cars and b) that the velcro doesn’t affect the wheels’ ability to turn properly.  You’ll also want to make sure that you press it down really firmly in order to create a strong bond between the cars and velcro.

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With our cars ready, we added a couple of strips of the stiff, scratchy velcro to the lid of our metal lunch box.  Again, we made sure that they were stuck down really well.

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With that, Gracen ‘parked’ our cars in their parking stalls…

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Then folded up the placemat and put it inside the main part of the lunchbox.

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Everything fit just perfectly!

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But before she was ready to put it all away for good, she decided that we’d better just make sure that it would be fun to play with while on the go.

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Luckily, our portable car play kit quickly got her stamp of approval.
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We tucked everything back into the lunchbox, added a little tag like we always seem to do with our homemade gifts, and called it ready for gifting.


Check out our other portable play kits here…

Portable Activity Kits


portable activity kit #1   |   portable LEGO kit   |   portable activity kit #2

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