My family has always been a traveling family. In 1966, in fact, Dad loaded up all but one of his eight kids and Mom into a van and we drove from New York to Bolivia. An experience of a lifetime!
But that was just one of our many family road trips.
As we grew up, every summer we traveled somewhere either in a train or a car. So finding things to do for fun while traveling was a matter of necessity.
The idea of funny glasses came to me sometime in the 70’s on one of our car trips across the US. The idea probably stemmed from the incident you see in the photo above. On our travels down the Panamerican Highway, we used to get stared at a lot. We’d stop in a town and Mom and Dad would leave us in the van while they went shopping for food. Somehow we kids would soon attract a crowd around the van. Probably because we made faces and chanted “funny face is fun to drink.” Can you imagine watching seven kids all making faces behind the glass windows of a van? I would have paid to see that freak show.
Anyway, years later I came up with a highway version of the freak show. I took a pair of Mom’s glasses, glued a pair of huge magazine eyes behind the lenses, and stared at cars as they passed us. I’d wave, they’d wave back, do a double-take, then laugh. Mission accomplished.
This simple entertainment has come in handy in many situations, so I suggest you get cracking and make a pair or two for your next road trip.
How to Make Fun Kid’s Glasses
1. Buy a pair of used glasses at a thrift store. They should be very large and with very little prescription.
2. Find a magazine picture of someone with large eyes. The funniest pair of glasses I ever made were made with a picture of a baby. The eyes looked all squinty and swollen, and kids loved putting them on to get laughs.
3. Trace the eye pieces of the glasses over the magazine eyes.
4. Cut out the magazine eyes.
5. Make small holes in a dark spot on the eyes so your kid can see with the glasses on. Here I cut out the pupils, but it’s easier to look through the glasses if the holes are closer together.
6. Glue the eyes to the frames of the glasses. Make sure the right eye is on the right frame and the left on the left.
7. Wear these glasses anywhere to bring fun to your summer vacation.