Kids and traveling, how do those two words together make you feel? Those words are a nightmare for so many because kids are so quick to get bored, bicker with siblings and make the car a mess pretty quickly. Road trips don’t have always have to be dreaded, especially with a few car hacks to keep your car organized and your kids entertained.
1. Tackle box for snacks
Car rides can be long at times or even cross over times of the day your child would usually eat a snack. If you’re going on long road trip this snack-hack is definitely for you! Go to your local Walmart, hardware store, or even on Amazon to buy a clear lure box with removable dividers. There are several different sizes you can buy based on your preference.
Fill each compartment with different snacks such as: raisins, goldfish, nuts, mini cookies, nuts, dried fruit, candy, etc. Then when you’re in the car you can explain to your kids these are all their snacks for the road trip or you can refill them as you go, whatever you prefer. The boxes are easily washed out, refilled, or even decorated for another fun activity!
2. Plastic cereal dispenser for a trash can
This one is pretty simple, but a great trick to keep your car clean. Go to the Dollar Store, Amazon or Walmart and buy a plastic container for cereal storage with a pouring lid. Put this container in your car and add a plastic bag or small garbage bag on the inside. Then when your kids have trash in the car they can pop open the pour lid, put the trash inside, and close it shut. This could also be really helpful if you have someone who struggles with car sickness because it easily can contain the smell.
3. Silicone cupcake liners for cup holders
Not many people know about these, but they now make silicone cupcake liners so they can be reused instead of thrown away. These might be a little harder to find in store, but they can easily be ordered on Amazon for cheap. Put one in each cup holder, especially by your kid’s seat for all the spills and leaks. They are easy to wipe out, can be thrown in the dishwasher, and will save you from constantly wiping out that sticky car cup holder.
4. Travel soap boxes for easy storage
Not sure how many people still use soap bar travel cases, but they can still be found at the Dollar Store or on Amazon. The best item to store in these are Crayons because they fit perfectly! You can also use the boxes to store cards, magnets, or any other small items your kids might use for activities in the car. They take up very little space and also prevent all the little pieces from ending up all around your car.
5. Cutting board for a kids table
Ever wished there were tables in cars, even if it was a small one like they have in planes? Now dreams of having a car table can finally come true by using a metal baking sheet! This idea is perfect for kids to use as a table for drawing, keep things in place, play with magnets, or even to play cards with siblings. When your child decides they’re done with the tray it can easily be stored under a seat or in between the console and passenger seat.
6. Window drawing
All you need for this fun car entertainment idea is a couple dry erase markers and a basic winter glove of any size. These items can be found in many different stores, but we’ve linked them through Amazon. Windows can work just like dry erase boards, so your kids can draw on the windows and easily erase it with the glove. The drawings and games are endless especially since it can all be erased. This creative idea might not be for toddlers, nor will every parent like the idea, but it is fun!
7. Sticky note count down
This one is simple, but could save you from the constant, “are we there yet?” question. Before going on your road trip pick up a package of sticky notes from any local store. Each sticky note will serve as numbers for a countdown on how much further or how much more time you have left on your trip. You can decide whether you want to go by miles, hours, or half hour increments. You can let your kids decorate each sticky note and work together to stick them on the car windows or dash board. Then while you’re on your trip they will slowly be removed the closer you get to your destination. It lessens the questions, while also giving your kids something to occupy their minds!
8. Dollar store shower caddy to serve meals and drinks
How often do you get fast food and face the nightmare of trying to help your child hold all the pieces of their meal on their lap? Or maybe you pass it back piece by piece? This small shower caddy could be your new best friend because it provides space for a drink and two compartments to place the food in the caddy. You can place the meal in the caddy and then easily pass it back for your child to enjoy since everything is all in one place. These caddies can easily be found at the Dollar Store or on Amazon in multiple colors so each kid can have their own!
9. Travel binder
This idea takes a little more work, but could be a lifesaver on a long car ride. The supplies you use are based on your own opinion and your child’s age. You need a binder either one or two inch which can be found in several stores on Amazon, a three-hole punch, and then lots of activity sheets. These activity sheets could vary from coloring pages to word searches, even printable car games! This binder can keep your child entertained for hours, especially if they have no access to it before the ride begins.
If you want to make the binder reusable then all you need are page slips, dry erase markers, and an eraser. You will just have to put the activity sheets in each cover, which you also wouldn’t need a hole punch for because they come pre-punched!
10. Suctioned shower trays
This is another idea to keep all your kid’s small toys, food, or even cards organized and off the floor. All you need is a plastic shower tray that has suction cups so it can stick on your car window. These trays can be found in several stores and online in many different shapes and sizes.