Snacking and Playing on the Road...I Encourage My Daughter to Do Both

Pre-baby, I had this laughable notion that perhaps I wouldn't allow my daughter to eat snacks in the car. Go ahead. Giggle. Guffaw. Smirk.

Then, I realized that snacks are the golden form of entertainment. Toys are good, books are better, snacks are best. And now I hand back Cheerios and fruit leathers, crackers and blueberries without hesitation. And I even occasionally let her sip a juice box back there (gasp!). 

Snacking and Playing on the Road...I Encourage My Daughter to Do Both 1Now that my daughter is older, I'm thinking that crayons and a coloring book might be worth a shot too. The question, of course, is how can your child hold the crackers, the juice box, the crayons, and the board book without being extremely uncomfortable or making a colossal mess? 

The answer? Alyson Probst, a mom in Denver, CO, already thought of that. She invented the Snack & Play Tray, "a unique and innovative product for families on the go." The tray is made of soft and durable 100% nylon and buckles either around the child, a stroller, or a carseat. It features a 2-inch "wall" to keep toys and food from falling off and two mesh side pockets that are conveniently placed for easy access by your toddler.

The tray retails for $19.99 and is available for purchase online.

WIN IT! One winner will receive a Snack & Play Tray. To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Tuesday, July 15 at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address. 

*UPDATE* The winner is #52 Ellan B. Congratulations!

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263 comments on “Snacking and Playing on the Road...I Encourage My Daughter to Do Both”

  1. This would be great for my little granddaughter when she travels to grandma's house. No more messes in the car.

  2. I can't believe how much I need this! We just vacuumed the van (yes, another thing I swore I would NEVER own) and you could have fed a family of 4 with all the cheerios, goldfish, raisins,and assorted other foodstuffs we sucked up!

  3. This is great, then maybe I wouldn't have the cheerio outline when I take out the carseat. Thanks

  4. This PERFECT! I could really use something to entertain my daughter when we go on trips. Now she's at the age where she doesn't want to take naps so a long trip can really be LONG if she has nothing to entertain her.

  5. I'd love to win this! My four year old is always starving in the car. Whether we're just driving down the road or going on a long trip snacks are a must!! You have some of the most inventive things for kids!

  6. This is another fantastic product that would just be great to have with my two little guys for our long road trip to Colorado next month. Thank you so much for the contest.

  7. This would be fantastic for my lil guy. He loves to color and to be able to do so in the car would make trips so much easier! Plus the ability to snack and create would make him a happy camper!

    Fantastic giveaway! Thanks so much ^-^

  8. My middle and youngest could both use this to keep each other from messing with each other on even the shortest of trips.

  9. This is awesome. We just got back yesterday from San Diego, which we drove the six hour drive with two children. Several times I actually thought, I wish that I had a tray for him to color on or play with his cool sticker book I got at Costco for the drive. Of course now that I am home I find out about it. Well, I am definitely going to have to get one for the next car ride.

  10. I hate dry foods all over back seat, this would be great! Why didnt someone think of it sooner??

  11. This is awesome! My kids are a bit older than this, but I'd love to be give this to my 2 year old niece.....my brother and sister-in-law would think this is the greatest invention.

  12. This would be wonderful for my little guy. He often wants to snack in the car on trips, but can not hold things yet. Giving him the tray would allow him more independence that he desires.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  13. I have bought similar type items, but they were of lower quality. This looks really promising. I would love to win one to try, then buy two more if it works out well.

  14. We have family in Delaware, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida and we live in Ohio! We take LOTS of road trips and this would be great for our son!!

  15. What a great idea. I would have loved to have one of these for long trips when my daughter was young. Now I'd love to have one for my cousin who is expecting her first baby. She would love this.

  16. Think this is a fantastic idea. I am sure we would use this daily for snack time at the older kids games etc. I also saw it being sold at Sensational Beginnings which gives it a great amount of credibility in its durability.

  17. This would be great to have in the van with us! My son loves to keep his hands busy in the car...and this would be great for him!

  18. This would be great in the car for my daughter, we drive to FL every year and this would really help.

  19. This is a really great invention, and if I don't win I will definitely have to buy one for each of my granddaughters who have to be constantly amused while in the car...(or else the poking and pinching of each other will start)LOL!

  20. What a terrific idea! This is one of the smartest new children's items I have seen in many years

  21. This would be great for back to school to hold those precious crafts, class projects, show-and-tells before and after school! Super giveaway! Thanks!

  22. My son still naps in the car but my daughter...well, first it's talk,talk,talk followed by "I'm bored" and "How long?" If she could color and play with toys we'd all arrive at our destination happier! Thanks for the contest.

  23. This is such a great idea and would be so very handy - especially on long car trips. I think that's probably when we would use it most. Thanks so much for the chance to win one!

  24. This is perfect!! This would be ideal for our trips to Ohio & back from TN. We make this trip a lot to see family and the road trips can sometimes be hard on little ones, not mention big ones!! SO this would be so useful with eating & playing in the car!

  25. I think this is a wonderful idea. I can't tell you the number of times I have almost dislocated my shoulder reaching behind me to retieve a lost toy or crayon.

    Thank you for the contest.

  26. There are so many uses for this tray that we would probably use it until the children are teenagers (if not beyond). What a great idea

  27. Is the tray part nylon too? held taught by buckling it in? because if so, that is BRILLIANT. Many years ago I worked at a toy store and we had a car seat activity thing that was a little desk, but the desk part was hard. Well, if you're in an accident and that hard pc of plastic/wood/even cardboard comes into contact with both the back of the seat and your toddler's tummy, it means bad things. I'm so excited to see this (and for the quiet time it might mean lol)

    And stephanie? Lemmie give you a bit of advice so you don't learn the hard way like I did. If you give your daughter crayons in the car. TAKE. THEM. OUT. when you get out, or you'll come back to a waxy mess on your carseats lol We don't all have to learn the hard way, right?

  28. What a great idea! I would love to have something like this for the grandbabies. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  29. This would be awesome for my son. It would definitely make the 2 hour drives to my mother's a lot easier! Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. What a great idea - the kids are always clamoring for my attention for me to get their dropped crayon, book, or sippy. the only issue would be which of the two would get to use it for the ride! :)

  31. I'm not sure if I would use this in the car...it's hard to tell from the photo if it really is easy to clean up, get off and get the toddler out, ya know?! However, I really like that it can fit on a stroller!

  32. I wish they had these when my girls were young....hey, what are the odds of using it on my teenager and her friends when they are eating in the car???? ;) I do have a granddaughter who this would be perfect for!

  33. This is great. Why didn't I think of that.lol. This would be great for our trip to florida later this year. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  34. What a fantastic idea. I love the fact that it fits around the child, car seat and a stroller. The edging keeps things from rolling off and a poor child from crying. Please enter me in your delightful drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

  35. Great idea- its definitely better than saying- we will get that car when we stop- i cant reach it right now

  36. That is a wonderfully useful item. My son just turned three and always has things to do while in his car seat. Perfect design!

  37. My son would love this! He wants to hold everything on his lap when we travel, leading to many messy spills!

  38. This is a neat idea. I would love to have one for my messy toddler who needs food on the go. Also for keeping those lil toys from getting away from him.

  39. Wow do I need this! The back of my car is coated with a unique cheerio-and-apple-juice glaze from spills...

  40. I love this concept for the stroller. My one year old can get a little testy while taking longer walks and this would be ideal for entertaining her. Thanks for the chance!

  41. I like the idea of having a surface whenever the baby needs it, for the most part. It would make daily life easier in odd, difficult situations that every parent finds themselves in LOL

    Thanks :D

  42. This is great! I've always looked at something similar but never bought one. We broke down and got a new vehicle last year and it has a dvd player in it...it really does help (unfortunately) but yep, that and they each get their own snack bags for the 3 hour trip to Nana and Papa's that we do at least once a month.

  43. What a clever idea! My only concern would be about the safety in the car? Do you know anything about that?

    It is brilliant, though. With long car rides this would be especially helpful! It's really hard to entertain a child for more than a few minutes at a time!

  44. This is a wonderful and useful invention! Thanks so much. Lukas is almost the perfect age for this.

  45. Wow, this is ingenius. Although I need two of them. The girls can be hard to keep entertained in the car.

  46. What a great product and web site! We really need one of these. Thank you for having this contest.

  47. my little guy wouldn't use this yet...but I think in the next year for sure! We already have crumbs up our shorts from baby toast in the car seat!!! This would help....

  48. Want to win this so badly to give to dear friend...who REALLY needs this. Thanks for great contest :)

  49. That's a neat concept! I would encourage our kids to do both too, esp since you are sometimes on the road during snack/mealtimes and/or for longer periods of time that you'd prefer, with traffic (ugh!).

  50. this would be so great. We no longer have a dvd player in the car so we have to find new ways to keeps the girls entertained. They do great for short trips under an hour but soon we will be taking some trips that will take a few hours in the car. They would love to draw and eat in the car more easily

  51. This would be great for our truck. My husband is always fussing about the messes that the kids make. You know how men are with their trucks.

  52. I have been looking at this tray online and wondering if it is any good. I had purchased some less than quality trays for my boys last year and, needless to say, they have fallen apart and can no longer be used. I would love to give this tray a try.

  53. This would be amazing helpful to have for traveling. It would make the long trips seem shorter for him if all his toys weren't falling on the floor. I love this product!

  54. This would be perfect for my sister! She takes my nephew to lots of physical therapy appointments, swim lessons and music play group. She needs to keep him busy in the car.

  55. My three are forever losing stuff in there seats and in between the three car seats. Leaving me to find fun melted crayons, molding food, odd socks etc (don't ask!) This would be great

  56. This would be AMAZING for my 2 1/2 year old. He is a very busy boy and I find myself constantly reaching into the back seat to pick up dropped toys. This would be a life saver!

  57. This is a great idea. I have a large family with more than one young child and I can think of many situations where this would have come in handy.

  58. This is a great idea for our backseat drivers, LOL =)
    My son would love this. Thanks for the contest! Good Luck everyone!

  59. What a great idea this tray is. Would love to win this for my son. THanks so much for this giveaway and please enter me.

  60. What a great idea! Dh just said the other day that we need to get something for my daughter to use in the car so that she can draw and color. This would be perfect.

  61. I just got back from an 8 hour long car trip and the entire way there I was like why can't I find a car tray for toddlers? This would make our future car trips much more enjoyable!

  62. This would be great....I have a 1 year old grandson and another one on the way...I could really use this!!!!

  63. All my mom friends think I'm insane but I'm actually the one nutcase out there who doesn't let my child eat in the car. I know, I know. But I'm way too anal with cleanliness to let it happen. Luckily he seems to be doing just fine being deprived of this luxury.

    However, I think this handy dandy tray would work quite nicely with some CLEAN books and maybe a few quiet toys. ;)

  64. This would be great for my nephew. He drops everything, but by accident because he doesn't have a tray to put his things on. It would also help him to keep busy and be able to color or play with his cars on something sturdy. I think he would really enjoy this!

  65. This is such a fabulous idea! I HATE cleaning up who knows how old food that gets stuck down in the crevices of the car seat...yuck! And this would be great for toys and books, too--they are constantly getting wedged down next to my son. Great product!

    tfisher83 AT myexcel DOT com

  66. I've thought about these a million times. I shouldn't think of how much money I would have made if I had made all of my dreams realities... These are great, especially at the younger ages when kids aren't so great at holding on to their car toys and such. "Mommy, I dropped my ________; can you get it for me?" would be a thing of the past. Thanks!

  67. Great idea! Where were these when my kids were little! I would love to win this for my great-grandson to use on his trips to see GG (great-grandmother).

  68. wow that is so cool.
    why didn't i think of that. i can't tell you how many times i have torn apart our carseats to wash the material.

  69. I definitely need this. Getting ready to move 7 hours away and will be making the trip several times with just me and 3 kids. This looks like a good way to keep my 2 year old from having everything fall off her lap so that she winds up screaming until I can get it for her.

  70. We have two grandchildren with one more on the way. I can see this would really help make the trips to our house easier. Right now my daughter uses bibs with a pocket to hold the foods like raisins, cheerios, cheese and bananas. But this would expand their horizons. If they have a busy day she will often plan for a simple meal to be eaten while they travel.

  71. This would be just what my grandson needs, He always fusses and whines when he losses his toys while we are driving down the road. I like it cause it has the two storage pockets on the side too.

  72. Just perfect, what we all need! Our first grandchild is due and our Daughters first baby. This is all around great, car, stroller great idea!

  73. We recently made a long car trip - and have another soon approaching. WOW what a great idea this is! It is one of those featured items that I would sure love to win, but if not, will be buying a couple for my own kids or as gift for friends. It is one of those "how did I manage without this" things! (except for while Dad drives mom keeps turing around to pick up and hand back everything they've dropped from their little hands! Thanks for sharing about this product! (and what a great price! Don't you love Mom inventors?!) Oh, and by the way -- I'll confess -- I never thought my kids would eat in the car either! :)

  74. Just what I need for travel with my granddaughter. We intend to take a car trip from TX to CA in Aug. and I could really use this.

  75. Oh my goodness - just yesterday my 3 year old "accidentally" dumped a bag of crackers upside down all over her clothes, car seat and floor. This sure would have been a lot easier to clean up!

  76. This looks wonderful. We are going on vacation in a couple of months and this would be the greatest thing to have.

  77. My wife and I were just talking about how nice it would be to have one of these. I hope I win.

  78. I'm definitely interested in this! It's so hard to corral the mess while driving especially during long car trips.

  79. Stephanie...I am laughing! I can so relate! When I bought my van, for the first few months I held to the rule...NO SNACKS or DRINKS!!!

    Then we went on vacation, a 6 hour drive away from home and all the rules were broken by MOM for the sake of sanity. Since then we have never went back on it. Now mind you I try to stick to the NO SODA POP in my van, because they forget their cups, it leaks out and ewwwww sticky!

    I love this tray. I will have to check into it and see if it works well for my three youngest. Right now they drop their toys when they are building Legos or whatever in their laps and have a fit when I am driving.

    Blessings to you!

  80. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love this. My son will be 2 in August, and this would be so perfect for him. I have always wondered why something like this didn't exist. I didn't even know that there was something like this out there! I'm also expecting my baby girl in August. Would love to have.... Thanks for the great giveaway.

    Maria-mmalavec@med.umich.edu

  81. This would be perfect for the long car rides. I have been looking around for something like for my 4 year old. I think my little one would do great with one too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  82. This is such a great idea! We were just talking about trying to make something like this for my grandaughter's cars seat. This would be perfect for long car trips.

  83. I'd love to win this, even though my son is too young I know it would come in handy. I am praying that he'll be into drawing, as I am an art teacher, and this tray would be great for crayons and paper. Thanks for sharing!

  84. What a great idea. I recently tried a coloring book and color wonder markers in the car, but my lo kept dropping everything and getting frustrated. It was more trouble than it was worth!

  85. Mom's rock. What a practical idea. My daughter will love to have all of play things neat and tidy, instead of wedging between her legs and teh carseat. Mad props to Ms. Probst

  86. My daughter has a crayon and marker obsession. She also thinks she needs to take 20 toys and snacks every time we leave the house. Thanks so much for the opportunity. This would be great.

  87. We're driving to San Diego next month, so I REALLY need this product! I was hoping for a certain distractable toy for my son's birthday a few weeks ago, but Grandma didn't come through for us, so I'm wondering how I'm going to entertain both kids for 6 hours. Oh, pick me, pick me! (I don't care if I sound desperate...any chance I could win TWO???)

  88. We could really use this! I give my daughter snacks and her sippy in the car and most of it ends up in her seat. This would hopefully put an end to that! Thanks!

  89. I need this for the 6 hour road trip we have planned with the inlaws at the end of the summer! If I don't win - I'm definitely buying one.

  90. This is a great product! And the price is also very affordable. I plan on a long trip to Maine, way down east, a 9+ hour drive, and this would be a saving grace for my daughter, and me!

  91. Another great Mom invention! We hope to go on a long road trip at the end of the summer, so this might come in handy. Ofcourse, it won't stop the "toss over the side" for the younger toddlers, but they grow out of that, right?!

  92. You have the coolest stuff on this site! I love this! It would make life so much easier when we we're on the road, especially now that our DVD player went ka-put!

  93. This would be great for my nephew...and make life so much easier for his parents and grandparents and, yes, his aunty!

    dbstout[at]juno[dot]com

  94. This looks so great. I wish I'd known about these earlier. We just took a long car ride last week, and it would have made things a lot easier. My son always takes toys along, but they end up falling on the floor, then we have to reach around to the backseat and try to pick them up. This would hold the toys and give him a surface to play on.

  95. I've been looking at these! My 10 month old will be ready for some entertainment in the car and a way to contain it before too much longer whenever we take a trip. With my family living 2500 miles away going to see them is a big trip - but this would be nice for even the short 4 and 5 hour trips we take sometimes!

  96. wow. great idea. our stroller doesn't have a tray or anything at all for his entertainment. i'd use this in our stroller...car seat...and i know it'd be a great way for calvin to pass the time without being bored to death when we do all of our major road trips.

  97. My son is finally reaching the age where this would be very helpful. I love the pockets on the side, would definitely keep the car more organized! I also like how it can be used on a stroller or a car seat.

  98. I need this! I was actually looking for something similar when we took a road trip this last spring. I couldn't find anything in the store and didn't have enough time to order online. But we travel a lot in our vehicles either traveling to see family or going camping. This would be great for my 4 year old!

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