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Tag: car hacks

Here is an easy-to-make organizer to keep the backseat from lapsing into chaos on the road. This will hold snacks, toys, books, and necessities like sunglasses or umbrellas.

Here are the steps to make it:

1. Buy a hanging shoe caddy with cubby slots. These are typically long, so you’ll want to clip it to size. Binder clips should be sufficient here.

2. Thread a ribbon or string through the holes at the top. Make the loop fairly small, so that it’ll hold it right up to the top of the seat. Put it around the base of the headrest holder, then put the headrest on after.

3. Put your kids’ necessities in the organizer and hit the road!

*Pro-tip* If the organizer moves too much, you can hook the clips to the base of the seat with small Command Hooks.

 

See more kid-friendly road trip hacks on the blog.

This card game is not only simple, but it’s engaging for all members of the car, including the adults. They are durable and spill-proof for the inevitable backseat messiness and chaos.

Here are the steps to making this fun addition to your road trip:

1. Print questions

Find “Would-You-Rather?” questions on the web. Some have different tones than others – make sure you’re getting child-friendly questions. If your kids are older, you might find some that get a little more difficult.

Put these on a piece of paper divided by 6 squares. You can write them by hand or copy and paste them onto a document to print out. Double-sided allows you to pack more questions into your card stack.

2. Cut and laminate

Cut out the squares, then place them on a sheet of laminate (get the self-laminating sheets if you don’t have access to a laminating machine). Follow the directions to laminate, then cut the squares out again, leaving a border of laminate around the edges of the cards to keep them sealed in.

3. Hole punch and loop

Hole punch the top left corner of your cards and put them all on a binder ring. Clasp the ring shut and you have a compact card game that’ll entertain the car for hours.

See more kid-friendly road trip hacks on the blog.

A toyota SUV sits in a campground
Family road trips are fun but also complicated. Make it a little easier with these hacks for the kids.

Road trips are hard. There’s so much prep for a long excursion, and keeping the kids entertained isn’t the most of your worries. We’ve put together a few “life-hacks” for keeping the kids organized and entertained on the road.

Read more for how-to’s and details.

1. Shoe organizer for toys

a pair of hands puts an umbrella, a cat toy and a rainbow pencil pouch in a hanging shoe organizer hanging in the backseat.
Use a shoe caddy to organize your child’s toys and road trip necessities.

Your kids use a lot of toys and accessories when it comes to a road trip, which can end up all over the backseat (and under the seat). This organization caddy allows for easy access to your kids’ stuff, which is not only easier, but safer when it comes to you reaching into the backseat to grab something they need.

Most shoe organizers are quite long (meant to hang the length of a door), so you’ll need to either cut it to size or (what we prefer) clip the excess back. Then, use a ribbon to hang it on the headrest of the front seat. Next step: Fill with toys, books, sunglasses, water bottles, snacks and more.

Here’s our video on how to make it.

2. Road trip bingo

A traffic-themed bingo card
Use a laminated bingo card to entertain your children

This game is easy to play for kids of all ages and simple enough that you only need one sheet and a marker.

You can make your own using online design tools, or you can buy one ready on Etsy, like this one from Rainbows and Rainboots. Keep your bingo card neat and erasable with a laminate sheet.

Give your kid a dry-erase marker to cross off squares, and they’ll easily be able to wipe it clean and start over again. Washable markers work in a pinch, but don’t stay on the laminate well.

3. Question card game

a stack of laminated question cards sits on a purple clipboard on a white surface
These question cards will keep your kids entertained with zero mess.

For school-age kids, they may enjoy a fun game of “Would-You-Rather?” These cards are on a binder ring for safe keeping, and double-sided cards allow for a lot of questions for discussion.

For this, print out questions, double-sided, on equal-sized squares. Cut them out. Then, line them up on a laminating sheet and seal them. Cut them out again (cutting them the first time allows more edges for the laminate to stay together) and hole-punch the top corner. Loop them on a binder ring, and you’ve got a compact, durable game for hours of fun.

See our how-to video to make them here.

4. Washable window markers

A hand draws flowers and designs on a car window with colored markers
The car window is a big canvas for kids to draw.

Is your kid an artist in the making? Pack along some washable markers for them to draw on the window. Don’t worry – they wash off easily, and if your kids need a fresh canvas, they can wipe it clean and start over.

5. Marker and art supply storage

A child sits and draws on a window with a marker, and a clear shower caddy holds a colorful array of markers
Store your kids’ markers in a handy shower caddy.

Worried about losing all those washable markers? Get a little shower caddy for the window. These cheap little caddies will keep your kids’ markers in one place.

Want more car tips and fun facts? Follow AMM on Facebook.

The interior of a Mercedes, featuring a leather steering wheel and dashboard.
You don’t have to have a luxury or new vehicle to have the features you want.

Have you ever found yourself lusting over luxury car features you know you could never afford? New technology has made cars more comfortable, safe, and connected than ever.

The good news is that many of these features can be added to your older vehicle. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite add-ons that can make your car feel up-to-date.

Seat warmers

A close-up of a front driver's seat with a black pad strapped to the bottom and back of the seat. Red arrows show where the heat goes.
Seat warmers are an easy and affordable addition to any car.

On cold days, seat warmers are the envy of every bum. These seat warmers sit on top of your seat and often have extra cushioning as well. Just slip over your seat and plug into the cigarette lighter and your buns will be toasty in no time.

Backup camera

A close-up of a florida license plate shows a small round black camera at the top middle.
This discreet backup camera fits on top of your license plate.

You don’t have to have a newer car to have a backup camera. Plenty are now available from popular electronic retailers. Just place the camera on your back bumper or license plate and you’ll be able to watch from your in-car screen. No need to be afraid to back into a parking space anymore.

Lane assist and collision warning sensors

Photo of online listing for a Garmin dash camera and description.
This dash cam doubles as a lane-assist device.

Not only are these helpful to give you peace of mind, but crash-prevention sensors are shown to reduce collisions. These are often on the pricey side, but often cheaper to add on your own than buying the car with the features built in at the dealership.

This Garmin camera works as both a dash cam and a lane-assist device. Some devices come with sensors for each corner of your car that improve the accuracy of collision warning.

Bluetooth connectivity

A photo of a small round device with three buttons.
Bluetooth connectors like this are an easy shortcut to hands-free connectivity.

There are several options for connecting audio in your vehicle, but the easiest by far is using a Bluetooth receiver. The receiver sticks to your dash via magnet and plugs into the audio input in your car. It allows you to play music or make hands-free calls through your car speakers.

Bluetooth connection is a gamer changer for both convenience and safety – and in some cities/states making a call is only legal hands-free.

Remote start

Photo of a remote start product in a yellow box labeled Viper. The box shows a phone and parked cars in the background.
Devices like this can start your car with a push of a button.

Though it requires installation, it’s easy and affordable to get a remote start system put into your older vehicle. Starting remotely can help you heat up or cool down the car before you get in. Many also come with a GPS component that can help you locate your car when you forget where your car is in the parking lot.

For more car tips and information, visit AMM on Twitter.

Whether or not you have a spare pool noodle lying around your garage, these foam tubes can be great for more than fun in the pool. We have a couple of ways to use them for your car.

Protect your paint

Photo shows a car door opened against a pool noodle, cut in half and placed on the wall.
Protect your car doors from hitting the garage wall with strategically placed pool noodles.

When you pull your car in the garage, it can sometimes be a tight fit. To prevent hitting your car door on a hard wall, cut the noodles in half and adhere a few horizontally against the wall of your garage. When your door swings open, they’ll provide a soft bumper between your door and the wall.

You can also put some at the front end of your garage, and you’ll never have to worry about accidentally hitting the wall in front of the car.

For the kid’s seat

Do you have a small child who still requires a car seat? If so, this hack is perfect for you.

Photo shows a rear-facing car seat secured in the backseat with pink pool noodles wedged between the seats.
Use a pool noodle or two to fill the gap between baby’s seat and the backseat.

For rear-facing car seats, most parents struggle with filling that gap between the baby’s seat and the backseat. This gap can cause the seat to wobble which is unsafe for the baby. Some car manuals suggest you use a rolled-up towel, but sometimes the towel does not fill the space tightly enough to secure the seat.

Instead, take two or three pool noodles (depending on the size of your car seats’ gap) and cut them to the width of the base of your car seat. Be sure to reference your baby’s seat manual because some car seats ask specifically ask that you don’t use the noodles.

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