Are you looking for a travel activity tray to keep kids busy while you’re on the road? I made a super simple magnetic activity tray for my kids to use for our upcoming road trip. They want to play with it now but I’m saving it for when we’re in the car. Affiliate links are used in this post. I get commissions for purchases made through some links in this post.
DIY Magnetic Travel Activity Tray
We are gearing up for an epic camping road trip. Major stops include the Badlands in South Dakota, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and parts of Colorado. We will be driving 3-5 hours on many days of our trip. The kids need something to keep them occupied in the van. They get carsick so using the iPad isn’t an option plus we like to limit screen time.
They love playing with our Magformers. (We have several sets.) I thought the Magformers would be the perfect in car entertainment, but we needed a base. Enter this crazy inexpensive cookie sheet from Walmart. At 88 cents, it was a great deal. When you’re looking for cookie sheets, make sure they are magnetic. The aluminum cookie sheets are not magnetic. If you’re not sure, go grab a magnet from the kitchen gadget aisle to test it out. The ones we bought are made of tin plated steel.
I added PlayTape around the edges of each cookie sheet. Now the kids have a race track for their cars.
Combining Magformers with the cars seems like a great way to spend some time in the car.
Aiden and Lily also asked to bring their baby dinosaurs along for the ride. Learning Resources sent us these dinosaurs for the Dinosaur Alphabet Mazes activity I wrote on their blog. The dinosaurs will be perfect for playing outside at the campsites, too.
More Travel Activities for Kids
In addition to the magnetic travel activity tray, the kids have a few journals and notebooks to draw or write in. Aiden (age 7.5) asked for colored pencils and Lily (age 3) has triangular crayons. They won’t roll so that’s a huge plus and they’ll help her work on a proper pencil grip.
They both picked new books for the trip. Aiden chose Revenge of the Zombie Monks: An Unofficial Graphic Novel for Minecrafters, #2 and Chasing Herobrine: An Unofficial Graphic Novel for Minecrafters, #5. Lily chose this Roar at the Zoo Sound Book and 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo. We have an assortment of thin Look and Find Books my mom found for them to keep them busy as well.
I took some advice from Left Brain Craft Brain’s Road Trip Activity post and also downloaded a few printables for them to use on the road trip. Here’s what I printed:
- Printable License Plate Game at Edventures with Kids
- Road Trip Scavenger Hunt printable from Make and Takes
- Road Trip Drawing Prompts from Picklebums
- Robot Drawing Prompts from Picklebums
- Monster Drawing Prompts from Picklebums
- Beach I Spy Game from Simple Play Ideas
- 4th of July I Spy Game from Simple Play Ideas
I’m not quite done packing yet. What else should I add?
Be sure to follow our summer adventures on Instagram. I’ll be sharing loads of pictures in my Instagram story along the way.