When you’re a busy parent, anything that can make your life simpler is your friend. While you’ve probably done everything you can to make your home a kid-friendly place, you may not have put as much work into another place your kids spend time: your car! Whether you’re heading out on an extended road trip, or you just want to add some ease to the daily trips to and from school, there are steps you can take to make driving with your kids a better experience with everyone. Check out some of our favorite car hacks for busy parents to make every drive with your kids a breeze!
DIY Trash Can/Tote: attaching a place for trash to the backs of your front seats will keep your kids from leaving snack wrappers and other rubbish all around your car. While you can purchase seatback trash bins at some auto parts stores or online, you can also make a DIY version for less money (or even for free with things you have around the house!) Check out some ideas for a DIY in-car trash bin.
Use a Shoe Rack for Organization and Storage: Cloth or vinyl hanging shoe racks are fairly cheap, and can be used for a variety of storage needs. Hanging them over the back of your rear seats is a great way to store and organize supplies like baby wipes, bottled water, first aid supplies, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray, small toys, and extras of things like diapers and socks.
Backseat Shower Caddy Organization: For small items your children might need in the back seat, use a plastic shower caddy. It can hold necessities like baby wipes and tissues, be filled with toys and books for in-car entertainment, or stocked with snacks for pickup after school or sports practice! Speaking of shower caddies, grab a couple of the in-shower varieties with suction cups and stick them to the rear window for another easy storage option for kids’ toys.
Keep it Clean: Cars can get messy quickly, even without kids! Keeping messes at bay and away from your car’s exterior will not only make it a more pleasant place to be, but also help it hold its value. Some ideas for protecting your car’s interior? Seat covers are always a failsafe way to protect upholstery, but you can also use a fitted sheet underneath a car seat to catch messes like crumbs. Covering the backs of your front seats can keep them safe from muddy feet, and putting silicone cupcake liners in cup holders make spills easier to clean up. Still need more help keeping your vehicle clean? Our friends with Chuck Patterson Dodge recommend the Chrysler Pacifica minivan to families, and tell us that it comes with an available integrated stow-away vacuum system, so you can always clean up on the go!
Keep Kids Entertained: Bored kids get fussy, and can lead to stressful drives. Head boredom off at the pass and have in-car entertainment ready at all times. You can use a binder to make a DIY activity kit like this one, or this one here. If you want the in-car entertainment system experience without the price, you can use an iPad or other tablet. Check out this DIY in-car tablet holder to keep a screen safely stowed on the headrest of a front seat.
Driving with your kids can be a stressful, messy experience, but it doesn’t have to be! Try out these car hacks or some of your own to make every drive enjoyable for everyone in your family.