One more [car activity] for the road!

This past month was full of road trips for our family! I’m happy to report we successfully entertained both kids for the big trips with some toys and games. But I have one more car activity (and road trip) for ya!

The kids have one more 3.5 hour drive to look forward to on Friday night. After this, we’re done traveling for a while. Of course, at that point we’ll shift our focus to moving but one thing at a time. I still have the activities from our beach trip in my back pocket but I got another idea from my cousin Andrea that I wanted to throw in the mix.

EASY car activity

When I say easy, I mean this took me under 20 minutes (while making a video) and cost less than $10 in materials, most of which I already had.

Buddy really likes cars so Andrea suggested gluing magnets to the bottom of some matchbox cars so he could race them on a cookie sheet. The cars wouldn’t easily fall and Buddy would be able to enjoy his favorite past time while tied to a car seat. Win-win. Here’s how I did mine:


Metal Cookie sheet ($0.88)
Matchbox cars (5 for $4)
Round magnets (pack of 6 for $2)
Adhesive Magnet Sheets (2 sheets for $2)
Hot Glue Gun
Construction Paper

car activity magnet materials

  1. Glue the magnets to the cars. The magnets I bought were adhesive but the bottoms of my cars weren’t flat so I needed the glue for extra stick. The flatter the bottom of the car – the better. You could stop here, if you wanted. You’ve got cars that will stick to your cookie sheet.
  2. If you want to add scenery, draw some shapes or objects on construction paper and cut them out. This is a good way to use up that bag full of scraps you’ve been holding on to (that’s not just me, is it?). I went with houses because I wanted to do something easy and quick. If the kids had been home, I would have let Buddy cut out his own pieces. But again, the goal here was quick and easy and little people “help” doesn’t usually come that activity magnets
  3. Cut pieces of the sheet magnet and stick one to each of your cut outs. car activity magnets
  4. Build and race away!car activity magnets

Lessons Learned

If I were to do this again, I would go to the dollar store and buy the super cheap plastic cars with flat bottoms and wheels that don’t turn. I think the magnets would stick better and there’s less risk that Buddy will want to take my creation apart once we make it to our destination. This time around, I had to buy milk so I went to my least favorite place on Earth, Walmart, to try to get everything at once. And then I forgot the milk.

There’s not much to do about this but getting the backing off the magnet sheets was a pain in the butt. The strips might be easier but the sheets are a better deal. I wouldn’t change how I did it but that was the worst part of putting this together.

So much more than a race track

It seems so simple but this will be a huge hit for Buddy. My favorite part? We can add to his magnetic collection as he gets interested in other things. Plus that cookie sheet will come in handy! We will be eating on the road so he can use that as his plate or as a lap pad if he wants to color. The cookie sheet may just live in the car forever!

If your kids aren’t into matchbox cars, you can replace them with something they are interested in. I, personally, would have really liked the paper cut outs. If you (or the kids) don’t feel like drawing your own, check out the press-out paper books Usborne Books & More has to offer!

Press-Out Paper Dolls
Press-Out Paper Farm
Press-Out Paper Town

Just press out the objects, add a magnet to the back and you’re good to go!

“So where are you going?”

Oh boy, I’m so glad you asked! This weekend we are heading to Cynthiana, KY. What? You’ve never heard of it? Well, it’s only the birthplace of one of the greatest shows on television, The Walking Dead. In the comics, Rick Grimes was not from outside Atlanta. Oh no, he was from Cynthiana. As were the two creators.

walking dead car activity

Part of the giant mural painted in downtown Cynthiana by Sergie Odeith. Photo credit: My Aunt Martha

This small town is hosting “The Walking Dead Day” where there will be comic book signings, bus tours (highlighting scenes mentioned in the comics) and, of course, zombies. I love The Walking Dead but feel extra excited about this event for 2 reasons.

  1. This is a one-time thing. As in, not likely to happen again anywhere else, ever.
  2. My dad is from Cynthiana and my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins live there. I can’t wait to see this very quiet town I grew up visiting hustling and bustling with 30K people all celebrating one of my favorite shows ever.

If you want to check it out or, better yet, join the fun you can get more information on their Facebook page. Actually, now that I think about it, I should have made Buddy’s magnet scene zombie-themed instead of a lame ‘ole house…

  • What a clever little activity! I am SO doing this for my 3 year old who is obsessed with cars!

    • asilletto

      Thanks! It is SO easy and I think any car-loving kid will love it! 🙂 Let me know how it goes for you!

  • Darlene

    Clever, crafty & cheap 😊

  • Cool idea!! I’m always trying to find fun activities and toys for our van rides. I’ve heard of using cookie sheets for different activities, but haven’t tried it yet.

    • asilletto

      If you do this, let me know how it goes! I’m going to think of other ways to use the cookie sheet in the car so it can act as a little workstation. I think it might become a car staple.

  • Wow! I love this. I would’ve never thought of making an activity like this, and it’s SO easy. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • asilletto

      Right?!? When my cousin mentioned it, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of doing something like this sooner!

  • Brittany Ashmore

    What an adorable idea! Plus it doesn’t cost a ton! You’re so creative!

    • asilletto

      If you try it, let me know how it works for you! Buddy played with it before we got in the car and he LOVED building the house!

  • This is such an awesome idea. I love how customizable it is. Have fun at your event. Walking dead is awesome!

  • Love this! We´re doing quite some travel and roadtrips as well so this is awesome!

  • This is such a cute idea! I’m pining it for later!

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