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DIY coloring station - brilliant for kids and long road trips!

Travel Tip: Magnet Magic

Now that we’ve just barely finished unpacking all the boxes (inside at least – the garage is a different story), guess what – we’re packing some bags and hitting the road to visit our family lake house in Montana.  Naturally, a 7 hour road trip calls for breaking out the big guns and this idea from Kaley is one of my favorites.  Hope you can use it too!

With summer in full swing, we have been doing a lot of traveling (get more of our tips here).  Planes, cars, even buses.  And no matter where we are, the thing that keeps my daughter entertained the most is her coloring book and crayons.  But after attempting to squeeze my entire body between the airplane seats to find a dropped crayon for the 100th time, I decided there had to be a better way.  I needed a travel-friendly coloring station.

Even if you aren’t the DIY type, this is super easy.  You only need a few supplies, and about 5 minutes to put this together.
Supplies needed:
  • a half cookie sheet
  • crayons / markers / colored pencils
  • a notebook / coloring book
  • magnetic tape (can be found at any home improvement store)
  • super glue
  • scissors


  • Cut the magnetic tape into 3/4 inch strips
  • Super-glue to your crayons / markers / colored pencils.*
  • Super-glue a 2 inch strip of magnetic tape to the back of your notebook / coloring book.*
  • Stick everything onto the cookie sheet.
  • Give it to your child to enjoy.


*note: Even though the magnetic tape is adhesive, I super-glued it to make sure that little fingers wouldn’t pick it off.  Please remember that young children should always be supervised while playing with any toy containing magnets.


They get a nice flat, hard surface to color on, and you won’t spend your time picking up dropped crayons off the floor.  Everyone is happy!

Enjoy the rest of your summer travels!


P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?

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Kaley is a photographer who spends her days starting lots of projects and finishing few of them. She lives in San Francisco with her awesomely creative daughter and her amazingly understanding husband.

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