So here’s an activity for the DIY parent who’s planning a road trip with kids: a magnetic chalkboard!

You will need:
1 cookie baking tray, any size
Chalkboard paint (available from Spotlight, Bunnings or similar)
Adhesive magnets (we used leftovers from a magnetic birthday card kit. Buy similar from Spotlight or Kmart)
Your imagination!

Step 1: Paint your baking tray with chalkboard paint. We recommend applying one coat, allowing it to dry, then applying more coats in different directions to get an even finish.

That’s it!

Not only will your tray act like a blackboard, it will also be magnetic! We bought a magnetic letter and number set from Toys R Us for around $10, and also cut out various pictures from cereal boxes to make puzzles. If you’re feeling really creative, you could make your own puzzles like the robot above, which was hand drawn on thin cardboard and cut out. Stick your adhesive magnets to your chosen pictures and you’re good to go!

Another idea is to write letters, words and numbers on A4 paper, stick it to the board using the adhesive magnets, and challenge the kids to match up with the correct magnetic ones.

This hack entertained our toddlers for quite a while, so we consider it’s worth the effort (and mess) for long road trips.

Have a hack you’d like to share? Send it to us at