Car DIY Hacks Every Mum Needs to Know
With spring in the air and summer just round the bend, every mum and dad needs to know how to keep kids calm, safe and happy in the car. Even if many of us aren’t going too far at the moment… goodness knows five minutes is often enough with kids! This is why we’ve put together car DIY hacks that help make any car trip a breeze.
Hopefully, come summer, almost all of us will have our requisite jabs and lockdowns will have eased greatly. Holiday road trips are 100% on our mind, and that’s when these car DIY hacks will be especially helpful. Then again, these tips are great to have on your roster for driving anywhere really.
And some take as little as 10 seconds to prepare! Read more to find out…
5 car DIY hacks to keep kids happy!
One of the big anomalies of keeping kids happy in cars is the way kids’ toys have bits and bobs. Some crucial piece of a puzzle, LEGO, Hot Wheels car or a doll’s prized hairband is bound to fall into the car footwell and get lost.
Then you’ll have tears – you included because whyyyyy do those tiny treasured pieces of toys miraculously disappear for good?! Kind of like one sock from every pair. At least us adults have gadgets to help us find our lost car keys.
But for toys and other kiddy activities, we’ve devised a car DIY hack workaround:
1. Baking mat equals non-slide DIY work station
Nothing beats freshly baked goods. And when it comes to kids and cars, that baking tray can double up its purpose. Baking mats make excellent work stations. Though you can’t use just any type – it needs to be the sticky grip silicone baking tray.
A silicone baking tray will help your kids keep their iPad, sticker book, textas and LEGO in place. No slip sliding around and losing pieces in the footwell. You might just need to pop a folded blanket and/or firm tray underneath, for added height and firmness.
2. Photo albums (not your phone’s kind, the real kind!)
Photo albums are engrossing for grown ups and kids alike. And have you ever noticed how, yes, while we do have photos on our phones, they’re always the new ones. Once they’ve been transferred onto some or other external storage, we rarely get to look at them.
That’s where photos come in hand, plus they’re a great trip down memory lane – and fun for kids to see their mums and dads in their (extremely) youthful getups.
A photo album is a great way to keep kids happy because it’s so personal, so interesting, and turning the pages is tactile. Why not send some of those thousands of iCloud photos to somewhere like Snapfish and crate a car trip album extravaganza?
3. Fail safe non-slide compartmentalised food tray
OK, first off, we’re fully aware that when it comes to kids nothing is truly fail safe. However, as far as success stories go, this one’s a winner. Back to baking essentials, a silicone muffin tray makes a great compartmentalised lunchbox.
Being silicone, your mobile lunch tray is less likely to fall, and food is also less likely to spontaneously leap out of it. And we all know how much more kids are willing to eat their food when it looks nice. You can pop orange, green and red veggies and fruits each in their own muffin shaped compartment.
Or if plain food’s the go for your carsick crusaders, pretzels, mini rice cakes, crackers and more can fit snugly into their own areas.
This sort of food tray can also double up as a gemstone, loom band and/or bead jewellery wonderland for the more creative kids.
4. DIY essential oil air freshener
If you already have a few favourite essential oils in your cupboard, this hacks stands to be the most inexpensive air freshener around. Simply douse a wooden clothes peg with a few (not too many) drops of your selected scent then clip the peg to the car’s air vent. Viola!
The natural flow of air circulates the scent, while the wooden peg retains the oil for quite some time. So this car DIY air freshener is as long lasting as it is inexpensive. If you’re not sure which essential oil to choose, we recommend trying Frankincense, Rose, or Geranium.
This great car DIY hack is so easy to do, perhaps the kids could help? It takes 10 seconds to make – watch how in this video:
5. Mobile car battery charger
Nothing could be worse than hopping in the car with your kids only to find the car’s battery is dead. Enter the self-reliant driver-parent. A great way to recharge your battery (wherever you are), is with a mobile battery charger.
A portable jump starter is also safer for cars than using jumper cables. Just make sure it’s fully charged. Read how to fix your car battery with a portable jump starter.
And while you’re at it, throw a mobile power bank into the car too. That way you’re never caught short stuck with the kids, trying to figure out how to contact help with a flat car and phone batteries.
More car DIY hacks
If you’re inspired by these hacks, we’ve compiled a few more DIY solutions to inspire your springtime driving.
- Car organising hacks. Change your life with these awesome ideas
- Car storage ideas. Your kids will love these (so will you)
- Car seats for kids. Installing safely is crucial for family protection
Car insurance for a softer landing
Even if your car doesn’t have a name, it’s one of those essential members of the household. Imagine being without it and not being able to get kids to school, playdates and family outings. That’s why our comprehensive car insurance covers costs related to hail, fire and flood, theft, accidents and more.
At an additional cost of $89* a year, you can even get 24/7 roadside assistance attached to your PD Insurance member policy. Plus your policy will be accessible online, easy to manage and super affordable. Exactly what you’d want from car insurance.
*At time of writing