Traveling Abicus

Age: All
Location: Travel, Waiting
Set-up: Planned


  • Scissors
  • Dental floss or string
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Buttons, screws, anything that is big enough to fit through a string and safe for a 3 year old to hold in his or her hands
  • Optional: Pen or marker and Tape


Take a piece of thin but sturdy cardboard and cut three slits on each side making sure that there is at least 2 inches on the top and bottom of each slit.

String the buttons or screws through the string or piece of dental floss. Making sure all objects are in place, wrap the ends around the first two top slits. Tie the two ends of the string in the back making sure that it is tight enough to remain on the board but not too tight as to not be able to move the objects back and forth. If you have tape, you can ensure the string the back to make it more stable. Do the same thing for the remaining four slits.

On the sides you can write what your child can look for while playing eye-spy in the car or on the airplane. For example, next to the first string of objects, you can write "color:red" and have your child search for red things around him or her.


This can be used as a regular abicus. If you add words, colors, numbers or shapes on the side, it becomes an I-Spy-Abicus. Write a color or word you would like your child to find and have him search away! Once your child finds something from a specific category, he or she can move the bottom or screw from one side to another to mark what he or she found.