So, to fill the time between snacks, eye-spy, "are we there yet?", fighting, naps, more "are we there yet?" and more snacks, I decided to make up a few games. This way they would have something brand new, different and interesting to play with and would hopefully keep them amused for a fraction longer than a millisecond.
I read somewhere ages ago about using an oven tray, some magnets and toy cars to make magnetic games perfect for car travel. I searched around on Pinterest for some game "pinspiration" but because most of the ideas were very US-related or not particularly age appropriate for my kids, I decided to just make my own. I called upon my inner creator (she comes out from time to time and it's always so lovely to see her!), refilled the ink in my printer and tapped out some games - all to be used on an oven tray with magnets.
The first one is a race-track. I googled around for an image and there were quite a few to choose from but I liked this one mainly because of the colours and the variety of interest happening around the track. I found this image (it's actually a pretty awesome rug) on the Doodle Girl Thoughts blog. I then just super-glued little round magnets to the underside of four of my son's cars. He can then race his little cars around and around (and hopefully around again) without the cars falling off and ending up down under his seat (which would not only lead to frustration but would most definitely lead to more fighting, more "are we there yet?" and more "fun and games"!).
The second one is an educational Maths game. I already had magnetic numbers so I decided to incorporate them into a game and at the same time help our son with learning numbers. He will simply roll the two dice, add them together and then find the correct magnetic number to place on the game number.
The third one is also educational (not that he'll ever know!) and will help him with spelling and word recognition. He will need to find the correct magnetic letters and place in the correct spot on the game.
I also bought a tray for my daughter and made her up a very basic game (she's not even 2 yet), again, using some wooden shapes I already had from a play set. You might be thinking why didn't I just give her the wooden shapes play set she already has and save myself the hassle ... BUT ... believe me, this IS saving the hassle. If my son has something, she must have that something too and there would be absolutely no peace and quiet for any of us if he had himself a little oven try and she didn't. You know how it is, sometimes you simply have to pick your battles and this particular battle (backseat, 2 little kids, long road ahead, no coffee in sight) is not a battle I care to pick!
All the game sheets are laminated and have little velcro dots on them for attachment to the oven trays. When the games are up, they store perfectly in an A3 plastic envelope and when the kids are totally sick of it all I will remove the velcro dots and start using my two brand new oven trays!
And, call me a pushover, but in the name of peace-keeping, fun, games AND equality, I whacked on some magnets to my little girl's two (and only) cars. Why do things look so much cuter in pink?
PS: Both the numbers and letters games are free for you to download if you need some backseat distraction any time soon. Enjoy. x