Now that I’ve put my foot down on the whole no-DVD-in-the-car thing (the same way Liz had mentioned earlier this week), I better have something to keep my three occupied on long road trips. So along with all the great kids’ music we play, I keep some attention-grabbing toys stashed in the van like RandomLine’s Squiggle On-The-Go pads.

Part game, part art project, Squiggle On-The-Go is basically a thick notepad with a “squiggle” printed on each tear-off sheet and a spinner on the back that tells the kids which way to hold the notepad before they turn their squiggle into whatever they want. My girls pass the board back and forth, taking turns (worth the price for this alone), and turning a scribble into a flower, a boat on the ocean or a silly alien with the longest backstory you’ve ever heard.

I agree with their age recommendations of five and up since my 4 1/2 year old son doesn’t quite understand the concept of turning the squiggle into something more than just a whole page of additional squiggles. And, I have come to expect dozens of squares of paper all over the place after a longer ride. But it’s a small price to pay to be able to listen to NPR without back seat interruptions. –Christina

You’ll find the best prices on RandomLine’s Squiggle On-The-Go, Squiggle Shapes On-The-Go for slightly younger kids, and the also-cool Alphabet Squiggle-On-The-Go, at Amazon.