Attempting to Make a Road Trip Easier

Every time we have to travel in the car with our kids for more than 10 minutes, my husband starts to get anxious.  Kids are notorious for having screaming fits and battles of epic proportion during infamous “fun” road trips with the family (not my kids, of course, but I have heard other kids act this way).

As we will be heading out of town soon, I attempted to find a way to make the trip more fun for my dear monsters angels, in order to preempt a scenario where weaker children would succumb to the stress of a 4-hour car ride.  We decided to go with Car Bingo, which would be played on our homemade magnetic boards, complete with custom bingo cards and personalized magnets. Yeah for me and my terrific ideas.

We started out with all of the basic ingredients (glue, paper, scissors, pizza trays, magnet tape, stickers and glass pebbles) and I had big plans for elaborately decorated trays which would serve as both a magnetic board and a place to rest a book or color.  It was going to be a magical “Martha Stewart-esque” experience for my kids to create these masterpieces together…or so I thought.

As it turns out, metal, glass and magnets can get quite messy when you try to glue them together.  And, scrapbook paper still wrinkles on the pans even when you use supposedly “non-wrinkle” glue.  We also learned that glue takes more than 2 minutes to dry and if you touch the products before they are dry, you must begin again.  Who knew?

In the end, we decided to just glue their names in cardstock to the tray and call the decorating process a day.  We did manage to put stickers on a magnet and glue them to a glass pebble to create our own magnets for the board though (that’s the really messy part when you get super sticky and the tips of your fingers turn black – but oh, what fun!).

pebble magnets

We also found a computer program where we could type in words and create our own printable bingo cards so we came up with license plates and restaurants, as well as letters and numbers because I quickly ran out of other ideas.  Then we added a few “things you might see on the side of the road” bingo cards, completed with magnetic clothespins that I “designed” to hold the pages onto the pan, and WOW! What a treat! (It’s really good that my kids are still young and don’t expect too much from me yet).

They ain't pretty, but they will serve their purpose

We’ll see how many magnets end up falling off and getting lost during the trip and how long it takes for someone to realize that the pan itself might actually make a good weapon of torture, but the bingo and magnets part should at least keep them busy for 15 minutes!  Now to conjure up fun for the other 3 hours and 45 minutes!

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