In exactly one week, Erin and I will be embarking on a road trip….for 6.5 hours….just the two of us. I love road trips. Erin likes going places as well. She and I are both really excited to see the “big waterfall” (what Erin calls Niagara Falls). I’m more excited to see some parts of Eastern Canada too. What makes me anxious is entertaining a 3 year old in a confined space for that length of time. Sure, I plan to have the Kindle powered up and a few movies downloaded for her view pleasure. The usual portable items such as books, crayons, coloring books, her art book and travel chalk board. This kid’s addiction to art is great, but not so much when her crayons come tumbling down on the floor out of her reach. Now that doesn’t make a long car ride so pleasing to her nor I. I decided I’d try to find a solution to this problem and incorporate it into a cool new toy to entertain her for the car ride as well.
When I was a kid, we each had a lap desk that we took on our road trips. It was great. A hard flat surface to color and write on with a pillow for leverage on the bottom. The pillow prevented the lap desk from sliding off our laps easily. I decided I’d buy one for Erin. But I either didn’t find one I liked, was too wide or big for her car seat or it had a completely flat surface. What about those crayons? They will still roll? I decided to hold off and keep looking.
One afternoon, as I was frantically semi-cleaning out the car, (you know, clearing space so a second passenger can sit back there?) I came across Erin’s “activity tray” that I made for her at a MOPS meeting last year. Similar to this one. I had made a flimsy alphabet set with it and most pieces were either worn to no use or missing. It then dawned on me, it had the surface I wanted….a design to keep those crayons from rolling onto the floorboard out of everyone’s reach! I knew then, making my own lap desk for Erin was totally possible!
I used the tray for the top hard surface, some fabric that Erin picked out at our new favorite fabric store (The Quilt Spot); and piping! I decided to make my own piping which I’ve never done before out of complete convenience. And HOLY HECK was that so easy peasy!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever be buying premade piping again!
It didn’t take me long and I had very little to no frustration in making it! In fact I love it so much, I might just list it in my Etsy Shop! After all, it does fit my brand (portable and expandable activities). The best part….it’s magnetic!!!! And I could make it a chalkboard surface or dry erase too!! Oh the possibilities are endless!!! Since it is magnetic, I decided I’ll be gifting Erin something similar to this for the road trip:
Here is the finished lap desk for Erin:
Magnetic top with a small ridge to keep crayons from rolling off. Plus handles!!!
Pillow on the bottom with the lovely fabric! Look at that perfect 3 inches on leverage!
Bottom Pillow View. This really is gorgeous fabric. Erin’s got great taste!
So what do you think? Do you think the little artist will like it? What about YOUR little artist?