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Topic: Carseat Travel Tray Tutorial  (Read 32282 times)
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« on: April 13, 2011 06:14:43 AM »

A few weeks back, my husband and I decided we would take a vacation this summer (8 hour drive) with our three kids who are 5,3, and 1.  I've since been on the hunt for travel toys and games, items I might be able to use to make our trip easier and more fun.  I found this great contraption...but didn't really want to buy one for $22 for each of my 3 kids!  


I made note about the things on this tray that I liked and wanted to implement in MY tray.
*edges so things don't fall off
*straps around carseat
*wipes clean

Then, there were a couple things I thought of that this tray did not have...
*dry erase board

Here's what I did:  purchased a pack of 3 cookie sheets at Walmart that come in graduated sizes.  (My kids come in graduated sizes too so that works out! Wink )  Purchased 2 magnetic dry erase boards, and 6 sheets of felt.

Total spent: $4 cookie sheets, $5 dry erase boards, $1.20 for felt, $5 for nylon strapping $15 for all three.  

Here it is installed on the carseat...

Not installed...

We recently had to take a trip that in total was about 6 hours one way...so we tried out the trays.  They worked out well.  
This is my youngest using hers...I did NOT put the dry erase on hers.  It's not really something she enjoys yet.

In a nutshell, we cut slits in the sides of the cookie sheet for the straps.  I attached velcro to the straps and sewed the straps to the cookie sheets.  I removed the dry erase boards from the frame...which left me with a very flat sheet of dry erase metal.  I glued that to the cookie sheet.  So, not only is the cookie sheet magnetic, but so is the dry erase board.  

I have a full tutorial on my website.  Oh yeah, the trays worked out well for eating as well.  They wipe clean easily and are flat so food/drinks don't fall off.  


All in all, I would consider this a success!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011 06:38:24 AM by b2j2fitz » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2011 06:22:55 AM »

Having taken my kids on major car rides ...this rocks!
I wish I'd had something like this for our previous trips!

Check out Trinkets & Jewelry! Wink
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011 06:25:54 AM »

ha ha You are definitely in the class of necessity is the mother of invention!  Who knew cookie sheets could be so practical and useful...

You did a wonderful job...very nice project, fairly simple, and definitely practical and fun for your children!

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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011 06:40:59 AM »

This is so cool! Now I know how to keep my children occupied.  Grin
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011 06:45:13 AM »

They look great! When I was little my mum made me a wonderful hanging organiser thing that hooked over the back of the seat in front and had pockets of all different sizes to hold everything I could need - pencils, crayons, notepads, books, tape player, drink bottle...that thing kept me entertained for car journeys from the north of England to the south of France!  Smiley I'm saying this so that you know your kids will appreciate these - they'll still remember them fondly in twenty years time!

My only point of concern would be that seeing as they're metal - I'm wondering how much they'll heat up when the sun comes through the car window? I can't tell in the pics so you might be ahead of me here but maybe you could put a sheet of felt or something on the underside of the tray so that hot metal doesn't touch bare legs  Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011 08:13:40 AM »

This is an awesome idea. I love it. you could glue magnets to the dry erase markers to help keep them on the tray. Not that it would work with my little one, they'd still end up thrown all over the car. and it would be great for those magnetic paper dolls too. All sorts of ideas. I think I'll have to make my own now. Thanks for sharing, You've been an inspiration. Smiley
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