Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Movies in the Car

We do not have an in-car DVD player.  We bought both of our cars before kids.  I don't think a DVD player was even available for my car when I bought it, but even if it was, I wouldn't have gotten it.  I was NEVER going to show movies in the car.  Yeah right.  So she said when there weren't two exhausted, bored children in the backseat who are refusing to sleep on principal and have decided to torment their parents for hours with loud whining and even louder crying.  Sometimes, I think movies must be magic.  Anyways, let's just say, I've gotten a little more lenient than I thought I would be on the idea of showing a video or two in the car.  We try to have our children enjoy the view, read, color, sleep, etc. and most of the time it works, but sometimes...well, if you have children, I'm sure you know.

Anyways, to the project.  Last year, I bought a Kindle Fire.  I love that thing.  I am constantly reading on it and I love checking my email without leaving the couch (ah, one more step toward total laziness as the computer is about 10 feet away).  I also love putting children's books on it and, yes, videos for the girls. The problem is the only places I really have them watch videos on it are 1. plane rides and 2. long trips in the car.  The plane is ok because we can prop it up on the tray table and it stays put.  But the car is another story.  A while ago I made my 3 year old a lap tray/activity table to bring in the car so that her crayons and snacks would stay put and not end up all over the seat and floor (with my husband and I searching for them constantly, of course).  I tried propping the Kindle on top of the activity table on her lap, but one slight bump in the road (or if she moved her legs) and the thing would fall down. The last long trip that we took, I ended up holding the thing from the front seat so that she could watch uninterrupted.  Not fun.  That, plus the fact that my younger daughter is starting to want to watch too made me start throwing around ideas of how to fix the problem.  I knew that what I really needed was something to hold the Kindle between the seats - a sling of some sort.

So, after thinking about logistics and drawing out a rough idea of what I wanted, I grabbed some scraps and got to sewing.  The first picture is what I started with.  I cut a backing piece of fabric for the main "holder" part, two squares for corner pockets, some elastic to make the pockets more secure, and a long narrow strip (about 2 1/2" x 100") for the straps. Time to go to the machine!

Things went as planned until I tested a movie to make sure that the corners wouldn't cover the screen too much. I had originally planned to have the flap of my cover slide through a slot in the top of the sling to hold the Kindle in place and get that cover out of the way.  It was at this point I realized that movies will only show in one direction. The flap where the cover attaches would have to fold back on the bottom, not the top.  This gave the Kindle more bulk than I had originally expected and I ended up making my corner pockets deeper.  I think it worked out ok in the end, but I was really annoyed at the time.  Fortunately, the straps ended up being the perfect length.  I was pretty excited about my guess-timating abilities - and thankful that they weren't too short.  That wouldn't have been fun.

So are you ready to see it?  Here is what came out of my experimenting:

Are you as excited as I am???  Probably not, but that's ok.  I'm so happy with how this turned out! Now I can look forward to our next long trip in the car with a little less trepidation. 

Just to explain exactly how this works:

1. Place bottom of Kindle in the elasticized corners.
2.  Place top strap over top of Kindle and velcro to hold in place.
3. Loop "holder" straps over front car seats and position Kindle in between them.
4. Listen to the wonderful silence of happy children watching a movie on a long car trip!! Sigh...

This would be super easy to make for IPads or Nooks - just a change in size!  Anyone else want one?

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