Soâ€¦ summer is well and truly gone. The leaves are falling and I spend my days sweeping up bits of grass and other dead stuff from the conservatory. Â The neighbour’s sweary kids are back at school, thank heavens, and we’ve unpacked our suitcases from our holidays.
But, summer being gone doesn’t mean the end of travel. Nor does it mean the end of occasions where toddlers need to be entertained.
I’ve featured Little Jet Setters here before, and today’s review and competition is for the Acquadoodle Tray Table Cover, a little bit of miracle and blessing on our recent six week car journey, as well as the 12 hour flights to get to South Africa and back.
We’ve all seen the Acquadoodle concept and it’s great. What makes this one special is that it’s made to fit over the tray table on flights or trains. Of course it can be used on a normal table too, or with anything as a base.
The brilliance of this set for use in travel is that it folds up really compactly, so you can keep it in your handbag, your travel luggage, or even your coat pocket. The pen can be filled with any water, which is really convenient as you can fill it from the water fountain on a plane without having to queue for the bathroom.
There are four doodle areas on the mat, and I think it would have been better if the doodle areas were larger as we filled it pretty quickly and then have to wait for it to dry, but it’s not the end of the world.
Sitting in the car I was extremely grateful that it was a water pen, as Ameli would doodle on the mat, then on the seat in front of her (my dad’s BMW, you understand?) and then on the seat next to her â€“ or the door.
The set costs just under Â£13, which is a great price when you consider how much play this gets, and the fact that it can be used over and over again.
If you have any train or car journeys planned, a visit to grandma or half term or Christmas travels, I heartily recommend this set.
Value For Money Â – it’s a greatÂ price for the hours of entertainment, but the drawing space could be bigger
Quality – the pen isn’t in great condition anymore, but the mat is superb despite two months of regular use
Sustainability – not the most environmentally friendly material
Entertainment/Education Value – we draw pictures and learn words and it’s still in play 2 months on.Â
Total – a very well deserved 7/10 stars from Diary of a First Child
To be in with a chance to win an Acquadoodle tray, share a tip for travel with children in the comment section below.
The competition ends on 3 October at 23:59 and the winners will be randomly selectedÂ using Random.org.
Â The Winner is:Â Yolanda Barker
Little Jet Setter have aÂ Â Facebook page, you can â€˜like’. If you do, please let them know I sent you! You can also followÂ Diary of a First ChildÂ on Facebook to keep up to date with future competitions and other news. If you follow either Â on Facebook, leave a comment below so that I knowÂ you have!
You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you giveaways! You can subscribe toÂ Diary of a First ChildÂ byÂ RSSÂ orÂ email. You can also follow us onÂ FacebookÂ or onÂ Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!
Acquadoodle Tray Table Cover Review And Competition
story tapes are fab 🙂
If you are on a train, have something in people’s gardens to spot as you pass(eg climbing frames for one child, trampolines for another)
I’m a facebook follower of diary of a first child
Plenty of healthy snacks like cheerios. Wrap each toy individually so that the unwrapping is an activity in itself. Stagger handing out the toys throughout the journey rather than giving them all in one go. (twitter @pondering_kate)
Have some fascinating nature facts lined up for the journey about animals or plants that you may see on the journey. If you’re travelling in the dark get the kids to llok for constillations in the stars – my kids love to learn on the go 🙂
buy them a ninetndo ds, lots of fun
If you cant afrford an inbuilt DVD player for the car buy a portable one. Thats what we done and my 3yr old gets to choose a few DVDs before we set off on long journeys and he will happily chnage them when he wants.
Dad sticks the radio on and i have a nap, lovely journey and everyone always happy
We alway set off on long journeys in the evening as the kids then fall asleep! If we have to travel during the daytime, sticker books, cd’s and plenty of rest/play stops are required.
In the lead up to christmas, give them a toy catalouge and ask them to circle all the things they like the look of for christmas… takes ages!
oops meant to add, am following you on facebook and have told little jet setter you sent me too. thanks for the chance to win.x
I give my toddler the iphone!Fisher price make a childproof case for it (shaped like a steering wheel) so it’s safe, and I’ve put tons of aps on it to keep him entertained, and he loves watching videos we’ve made of him growing up on it.x
Take a good sing-a-long cd ,some playdough if your car seat has a tray, plenty of snacks and drinks, paper and pencil case and have some travel games lined up ready. We always had a ‘car box’ of toys which we could take into our holiday accommodation too.
A rubix cube hours of fun!
We always loved a game of ‘squish’ where you had to identify road-kill on the car journey. Morbid I know 🙁
Plenty of snacks and try to get them interested in the scenery.
plenty of snacks and games a few suprises packed in too and I really try where possible to do car journeys after bed time (our daughters only 2.5 so still realitvly easy to do!
pop a cheap stocking filler type toy into their bag so they find a ‘surprise’ which they can play with while you travel
Little packages of snacks (almost like an airline meal) that keeps them happy for a few minutes, especially if its stuff you don’t usually buy
I like to have something new for every hour of the journey. It might be a book or small toy or evan a snack. Just something to take their mind of the boredom. It works for us.
Having travelled all over France with my five children in the car, I know, some, of the tricks!
Lots of games to play in the car – don’t forget to join in yourself – things like making a saying from car reg plates letters, looking for road signs, change one letter (we used to start with a four letter word ie LEAD an then the next person has to change one letter and so on.)
Cheap little presents to be opened at certain stages of the trip and only if they have deserved it.
Toilet breaks at least once and hour! depending on the childrens ages, but don’t let them drink too munch on the journey as it causes more problem!
We also used to have the children take turns in washing the headlights at the stops for fuel, of course under supervision.
These saw us through thousands of miles over 17 years of holidaying in France.
thanks for helping me relive some happy, if occasionaly stressful, trips.
We always make sure we’ve got a cd in the car with our daughters favourite songs and nursery rhymes on, this keeps her occupied for hours!
Keep snacks and colouring in close at hand!
Always take a pack of baby wipes where ever you go! Kids can make a mess in an empty room!
Portable DVD Player is a must keeps them quiet for long trips
lots of singing cds keep our kids amused
A drink each, colouring sheets for the young ones, home made wordsearches for the older ones 🙂
DVD player – has been my lifesaver. A must for long journey – along with headphones for each child so you can still listen to your own music/radio
@Yolanda Barker, Congratulations on your win Yolanda – although it’s ages ago now!! Please email me your address so we can get this sent out! Thanks
I would say sticker books and sing along cds are a must!!
I spy books are great if you take the side roads instead of the motorway
Sticker books are a must and (dare I say it?) portable DVD players! eek! 🙂 @pipersky1
If they start to get bored distract them by playing a game. Something easy like count 10 silver cars then move onto another colour. Pick easy ones so they dont get fed up looking!
take plenty of snacks
I found on our recent holiday with our two year old that a two hour journey isn’t going to be tantrum free unless you are well prepared. My daughter hates sitting still for long periods of time, she is an explorer so we tried everything. We found singing her favourite songs (which including roaring like a lion) helped and having a bag ready with every possible want, drinks, snacks, magazine, books, noisy toy phone, comforter, hat and sunglasses incase of sunlight in the eyes and if all else fails a new toy. Raisins and singing had the best effect!
I always give them an activity pack this is identical so they dont fight!
eye spy games, guess who games, keeps them occupied!
you cant go wrong with in car dvd players:)
The children pack a little bag themselves to take in the car of things they like to do or play with. I also have sports type bottles of juice, so no spillage, mess or tears! When we stop we also swap places in the car.
Thanks for the giveaway
My travel tip would be to make sure you take lots of activities to keep them from being bored!
Snacks, leap pad, story books and a sing along CD!
we make up a travel pack before we go – each child can put a book on two in plus a game and some snacks – we also make some bingo type cards up and take them with us to keep them entertained.
Kids CD, toys, Ipad set up with CBeebies downloads, sncks, and if at all possible – time it to coincide with naptime! Even if it means driving down at bedtime!
Liked both facebook pages and following on twitter@lighterson
I always pack drinks and snacks, toys and some games always come in handy to when traveling coulouring books and pens to 🙂
For long journeys have a few little surprises to keep them occupied. Doesn’t have to be expensive, maybe a little notepad, some crayons, then maybe a comic to open later on.
pack plenty of books and puzzles and teach them travel games for on the move
My number 1 travel tip is leave the kids with your mum lol… but if thats not an option I would suggest taking their pillows and any ‘special’ covers they have and making sure that the journey is either really early or really late so that they can sleep…and hey, saves money too that way if you are going by plane or train. If thats not an option then I spy the colour of…is a good way to keep them entertained (my son has dyslexia) so cant spell, colours is easier.
already following and liking @abigailedkins x
Interact with them as much as possible (not if driving though – resort to a DVD player!) kids get bored and sometimes just need a little nudge in the right direction to change to something else. I always take a few surprises away with me to distract and excite but my eldest has twigged this now though and expects them, so she now gets for good behaviour lol.
I play a game of picking a make of car or a car the same as our own and we have to see how many we can spot & the one whos seen the most wins the game x
Liked on Facebook & following on Twitter as @natz44
Plenty of books and nursery rhymes cd and my kids fave playing spot the dino.
I print “Spot the difference” sheets out and have items on the list for the kids to tick off. Example cow, sheep, bridge, boat etc – it’s really fun and keeps them entertained. We also play the memory game “I went to the shop and bought….” Its really trivial but they enjoy it.
I also never thought I would say it but a DVD player is our must have! With regular trips up to Kent and back down to Devon it has been nothing short of a miracle for improving our car journeys. My husband and I even get to have a conversation… can you believe that?!
If it is a long car journey take along snacks, drinks and simple activities/comfort toys. Also plan to stop for toilets breaks and to maybe just have a bit of fresh air. On the 3 hour journey to our holiday home in Scotland, we always stop at the same little cafe half way through the journey to have a cuppa and a scone and to go to the toilet – the break always wakens us up and breaks the journey up a little for the kids!
When planning car journeys with young children try to travel during their nap times. Makes life better for the children and parents.
Bring lots of snacks, books, DVDs & games
Take snacks, a drink in a non spillable container and a colouring book and crayons,
LOTS SNACKS AND POP
If I am going on a long journey we always try and travel at night so that the children can sleep, also ensure you have plenty to drink and snacks taking small toys. Do not hand all the toys over at once let them play with one until they get board and then swap for something else
Packing a small bag with treats, fruits, snacks and drinks. Dont forget wipes and tissues!!! Also plain note pads and crayons are fun for drawing games. Aswell as the dvd players they have been a saviour at times! We love playing spot the car and I packed my bag!!!! Keep the journey fun for everyone as it maked it less stressful alround!
Try playing travel bingo with the little ones when travelling. You say something such as…’dog’ and the first one to see a dog is the winner and so on. To make it more adventurous you could make the prize a piece of fruit.
when travelling with older children we play the alphabet game – you have to find a written word , on a sign or passing lorry etc, beginning with each letter of the alphabet. You can only move on to the next letter when you have found the word of the letter you’re on.
Its got to be snacks and spotting things on the journey. Also my DD takes her doll. Also following you on twitter @lucyrobinson3.
Plan your journey properly and factor in rest stops and toilet stops, if your little one gets restless, it makes the journey seem so much longer.
liked both pages
You can NEVER have too many snacks!
wrap party fillers as presents 4 them to open on journey- feels like a birthday!
make sure you have a stash of healthy snacks with you
buy the children a new backpack each and let them pack them themselves with new books, easy wipe clean boards ( small ), buy suprise toys so each time you make a stop they get something new to play with this gives them something to look forward to each time you make a pit stop. buy each a clip board and clip puzzles, colouring pages much better than colouring on their laps and you can print out free pages of puzzles and colouring pages from internet
I always pack a small bag with small toys (not necessarily new, just things that have been “hiding” for a while), stickers, snacks etc, which I wrap up to add to the excitement! For slightly older children, try threading cheerios and dried fruit onto pieces of string like a necklace- takes a bit longer to eat, and saves spills.
Eye-spy is a long time favourite.
i would say be prepared – snacks, drinks and plenty to do!
I always carry a bag for my twins with drinks, wet wipes, snacks and some small toys in 😀
follow on fb and tweeted as @picklepie 😀
I follow you both on Facebook (Carolina J.) and told them you sent me.
Books and a DVD player are life savers during long trips, as well as lots of snacks.
My travel tip would be make flash cards of things you will see along the way, divide the cards up between the kids and see who stops their things first
Never thought I’d say it but a DVD is great for the 4 year old. She won’t sleep and can’t read a book on her own yet.
Emily’s too little for me to have any up to date travel tips as she’s asleep within minutes but some of my best memories of trips when we were wee were singing. Mum, Dad, my sister & I all sang so loud without a care in the world, we used to even have a book called “Sing along songs” to help us remember the words! Best family fun!
Lots of snacks and a new toy, or one that your child hasn’t played with for a while. I always take little tupperware pots with different fruits, cubes of cheese etc so my little boy can have a nice mix of things to keep him interested.
If travelling on a long journey in the car I take a bag of snacks and little toys or a comic as a surprise. I always have some kids cds in the car – just for long journeys
pack something new and something familiar & comforting & never forget snacks & drinks 🙂
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