Whether you’re trekking all over town with your kids on weekends for their numerous, back-to-back sporting commitments or you’re planning a long car trip for a holiday, these genius hacks for your car will make life just that little bit easier while on the road.
Create an entertainment folder
An A4 ring binder and some clear plastic pockets gives you a place to store and organize all the pens, pencils, textas, paper and colouring-in your kids could ever need to get through a car trip or even waiting around at a siblings football or netball game.
Water bottle storage
If you have a tiny car like mine a folder may be too much so try a water bottle instead. Fill it with pencils or textas and a few sheets of rolled up paper or colouring in pages and it will fit easily in your glove box ready for those dreaded words, “I’m Bored!”
Fluff in the cup holders
Always picking lint out of your cup holders? Or jamming your fingers in there trying to fish out coins or bobby pins? Put silicone cupcake liners in there for easy cleaning and easy retrieval of items.
Try a boot organiser to keep things in order or consider installing a shelf for extra storage that hangs from the back seat. If you’re dealing with a clothing explosion or dance costumes, consider a spring loaded tension rod across the boot to hang clothes rather than them laying everywhere.
Random food stops
Sometimes you just have to stop for a food fuel up in the middle of nowhere and it’s great to be prepared. Try packaging single use cutlery kits, including a plastic knife, fork and spoon, as well as a paper plate, serviette, straw and packaged wet wipe, all in a larger sized zip-lock bag.
Thirsty kids make for lots of toilet stops
Frozen juice boxes are great for slowing down the need to stop every hour for a toilet break. They take much longer to drink, keep the kids hydrated and reduce toilets stops, and double as ice bricks for keeping food cold.
Messy kids destroying your back seat
On long car trips when the kids are eating, drinking and playing, the back seat can be devastated. Try slipping an old fitted cot sheet over the seat to catch dirt, crumbs and avoid texta and pen marks.
If your kids must drink in the back seat, try punching a hole in the top of a lid on a drink bottle and putting a straw through. Or make sure you have a reusable water bottle handy and transfer any drinks to this to avoid spills.
Kids falling out of bed
If you are staying somewhere with no bed rails and your kids are still little, they may end up rolling out of bed. A pool noodle under a fitted sheet on the side of the bed is brilliant for this. Cheap, easy to source at most destinations or to bring with you and it works great.
“Are we there yet”
A parents worst nightmare is hearing those words every ten minutes on a long car trip. Get kids involved in the journey by creating a map for them to follow. Design activities and games with rewards or prizes at different spots along the journey to help kids know how far you have left to travel without them getting bored.
I-Spy (without the insanity inducing guessing)
Create an I-Spy jar for the kids. Include tiny objects like paper clips, hair bows, buttons, 5c coins, rings, keys, etc and then stuff the jar with rice or sand to hide the objects. Let the kids turn and shake the jar to try and find all the hidden objects.
Always have an emergency kit
Bandaids, bobby pins, pain killers, wound wipes, wet wipes, nail clippers, lip balm, dental floss; all the things that you just might need but always seem to not have handy. Store the kit in the glovebox all the time and you will be surprised how often it gets used.
Instead of passing out food in handfuls, try using silicone or paper cupcake liners. These fit snugly in a cup holder and can be picked at, at the kids leisure, without them having to hold onto the food (which usually results in it ending up on the carpet!)
What other tricks and tips do you use to maintain your sanity and keep your car clean on long car trips with your family? We would love to hear them!
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