Travel Fun For Kids – Magnetic Calkboard Play Tray

Posted on Jun 21, 2012 in Do It Yourself, Fun for Kids, Gift Ideas | 1 comment

A can of chalkboard spray paint turns a dollar store baking sheet into an incredibly versatile travel toy for kids.  My kids love their play trays in the car or at home.  They can write with chalk, use it as a play tray, color pictures on it, play magnetic games, and drive their cars on it.  Hours of stimulating entertainment from one Dollar Store pan.

Would you believe that one of my kids absolute favorite travel toys is a baking sheet?  A few tweaks to a $1.00 baking pan and you have versatile and educational toy that your kids will love.  My kids love magnetic play at home, and they have many options throughout the house.  My son has a magnetic stop and go light toy in his room and my daughter has a magnetic princess play board in hers.  They also have magnetic trays (small round pizza pans) similar to this one that we use to practice reading, letters, numbers, and math.  Before a long road trip a couple of months ago I made these travel trays so that they could do double duty!  Adding chalkboard paint gave them even more options for creative play while on the go.

They are a magnetic play station, chalkboard, writing pad, and fit perfectly on their laps in the car.  Not only are they easy to hold and help them coral their toys while traveling, but they allow for all kinds  of fun.

You will need:

  • A baking sheet with edges (Dollar Tree cookie sheets are the perfect size)
  • Can of chalkboard spray paint (a paint on version works too – but is harder to get smooth)
  • Stick on magnet buttons (find in any craft store or craft section)
  • Small box of crayons (use markers or colored pencils if you prefer)
  • Small box of chalk
  • Magnetic Clip (4 for $1.00 at Dollar Tree)
  • Magnetic letters/numbers for word  and number games – (Dollar Tree)

Simply paint the front of the pan with the chalkboard paint and let it dry.  Peel and stick the magnetic buttons to the back of the crayon box and chalk box.  Add a magnetic clip and you are done.  I keep the magnetic letters and clips in a little pencil case for traveling and each child has their own set.  Print some fun pictures to color and grab some small toys for them to play with on their play tray.

My son’s favorite activities on his play tray include drawing race tracks and driving his favorite little cars around them and playing hangman with me.

My daughter mostly colors on her tray and plays princess on them.  I usually draw her a little garden with paths and a castle for little princesses. I love that we can play and learn even on the go together.  It is simple to print out educational worksheets or the kids favorite characters to color.  The trays are the perfect base for the kids to color and write on easily in the car.  It can be flipped horizontally or vertically to fit a plain printed 8 by 10 picture.  They also use these to put coloring books on as a little table.  It works great for them to have everything right their on their laps with the crayon or chalk boxes secured on the tray, they don’t drop and loose things while they are coloring.  The ridges on the pan help loose crayons stay put while we are turning or stopping in the car.

I love these toys!  They are fun, educational, and are limited only by your kids imagination!  For just a couple of bucks, and with a few dollars you can make traveling extra fun for the kiddos.  My kids love them so much, that we use them in the house and on the road.  They are a great option if you are going to visit friends or family that don’t have a ton of entertainment for toddlers in their home.  This is all you will need to keep them entertained for hours because of all of the options it gives you!  Keep them in the car or one at Grandma and Grandpa’s house – anywhere that you may need to keep little hands and little minds busy.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you! This is a fantastic idea! What do you think about painting the back too? Im wondering if the front side only would be less messy for lap use but for more versitility I can see painting both sides might be useful. Thoughts appreciated.

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