The Magic of the Mary Poppins Bag

Who Doesn’t love the “Practically Perfect in Everyway” Nanny with her fair complexion, beautiful voice and magical touch or spin on the everyday task or chores? With Spring Break and Summer Road trips looming on the horizon, this is a “practically perfect” idea.

The Mary Poppins Bag is a fun way to help your kids when you travel. It helps make the trip magical and fun with surprises all along the way! We rode in my Sisters car and this was an idea she had just learned about and was eager to try. I am anxious to put my own Magical Bag together and give it a whirl with my kids too!

Her Mary Poppins Bag was complied for my neice age 2 and my little guy age 3. But before you start to collect your fun items for your bag you need to create your “travel time line”.

1. Your Travel Time line will hang between the windows of your back seat and be a visual ROAD MAP from your beginning point to your final destination. Find a piece of string, yarn, ribbon, etc. She used Bias Tape and it
worked great!!!! Measure the width of your car – giving yourself a some extra slack room on each side and cut. Round up some clothespins, papers, markers, tape or glue. Pick out cities, monuments, large landmarks, etc along the route of your trip – evenly spaced away from each other if you can. Cut small pieces of paper or cardstock out and write these places on them. Tape or glue the paper to the clothespin. The amount of places you pick along the way depends on the length of your trip and the age of your children. Smaller children may need more while older ones may be able to wait longer inbetween. When you are ready to go you will roll down the windows a bit and slip in your string/ribbon on each side, pulling it tight so it will be straight and out of the way off passengers.

2. The fun begins! Prepping your Mary Poppins Bag!!!! You will need to find a large “carpet” bag. Not really, but a good large bag is Key. It would be nice if this bag was specifically reserved for this purpose as well. This bag needs to be filled with fun snacks, toys, games, books and other items that your kids will get to discover along their trip! As you reach each clothespin destination something else gets brought out of the Mary Poppins bag! The more excited you are about it the more your kids will be too! Make sure you are the one pulling the items out of the bag. We don’t want to ruin the surprise of the next item for the kids. **PLUS, you also take down that clothespin and your children can “SEE” how far you have already gone on your travel timeline.**

She stocked her bag with a few key items. The first one was she took 2 pillowcases and a plastic serving tray and hot glued the tray to the pillowcase. When we hit our first destination the trays emerged from the bag and she stuff a pillow into the pillow case. Now the kids had a lap tray for other fun activities through the rest of the trip. We also gave them from fruit snacks on their trays as this time and engaged them in a color sorting game and counting too. They loved it! The next clothespin destination they received a coloring page and some crayons. The trays worked great for this because the raised edge kept the crayons from rolling off the end and getting lost in the car.

Here’s a few more ideas for your Mary Poppins Bag:

Snacks – crackers, cheese sticks, etc

treats – sweet ones like candy, suckers, etc

juice boxes


coloring book – with tear away pages b/c they don’t really need the whole book to themselves


book on tape/CD

file folder games

small toys like dolls, cars, action figures

dry erase board – you can easily create a dry erase surface with some contact paper and cardstock

some sing-a-long CD’s – get the family involved in singing, actions to the words, etc



crosswords/word search

handheld electronic game

binoculars – my kids love playing with these

travel bingo game




the possibilites are endless! Tailor your bag to the age and preference of your Children! You can add to the excitement of your snacks too by placing them in a
brown paper sack and not allowing your child to look into the bag – just reach in and pick out one item. We did this with our “sucker treats” bag. What you get is what you get! Then we challenged them to see who could suck on it the longest and make it last. Little things for little ones can be sooo exciting and fun! And they will surprise you with their creativity of the items you give them. Plain ole’ suckers became a fun game of “CHEERS” between the two of them which produced lots of giggles, smiles and good memories.


  1. I love the idea about binoculars.. I never thought of that before but I will for sure be packing them on our future road trips….

  2. We are leaving on a huge road trip in 2 days! Thanks for the great ideas!!! We have opted to take my husbands car without a television and this will save the day!!! Thanks!!!

  3. What a fun idea! I totally wanted to be Mary Poppins when I was younger. I even tried to dress like her. =)

  4. I have always done this for my son….a travel bag full of things to occupy him on a trip. My Mom always did this for me growing up. I just found your blog…great ideas and inspiration. cherry

  5. Just found your blog and I love it! This idea is brilliant…can’t wait to try it out. Thanks!

  6. I just love this idea!

    I’m trying to figure out how to upload my frame project on your Flickr group. Do I need to sign up for an account to do so?

  7. awesome idea… i love the travel timeline!

  8. What helpful information! You can never have enough things to keep kids occupied! Love your site!

  9. I remember when I was little, my mom used to buy some small toys at our church’s rummage sale (think Happy Meal toys and similar) and would wrap one up for each day we’d be gone. It was always so exciting to get to open up the toy each morning and play with it during the day. It only cost her a couple dollars, but it really helped keep me from getting bored.

  10. Love the ideas here! I’ve done something on a smaller scale but I love this grander idea, especially the timeline. We’ll be moving soon and drives to family will be about 9 hours each way (which I’ll be doing mostly alone with three kids under 6!). I’ll store away this idea.

  11. LOVE IT!! I have a 3 and 7 yr old and we travel from south texas to Estes Park Colorado every summer. They are good travellers but this will make it so much more fun. I was most surprised by the tray glued to the pillowcase. Genious! I found you on Tip Junkie…congrats!

  12. I love the idea of the tray glued to the pillow case!

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