Aqua Doodle Mini Mats: Squirm-free entertainment on the go

Tim, co-founder of the family travel site Parentography, passed along his favorite travel toy suggestion:

Here's a hack that has been a big hit for us lately: Our daughter is nearing her second birthday and it is becoming more difficult to get her to sit through an entire meal, drive, flight, etc. Recently, we've discovered Aqua Doodle Mini Mats and they've become a key part of our arsenal for keeping our child occupied and relatively squirm-free during those times when she can't be running around. They're small, easy to use, mess free and reusable. Seeing Ariel or Dora and Boots magically appear with the quick stroke of her water pen brings our daugher a sense of accomplishment and surprise.

We've been Aqua Doodle fans for a long time now — long enough that we came up with a few fun techniques for creating surprising effects.


  1. kristine says

    We just had a long day at the doctor’s office, and her Mini Mats kept my DD well entertained. Good hack!

  2. Michele says

    The link to the mats goes to Amazon, where they are no longer available.

    Try Toys R Us.

  3. Parent Hacks Editor says

    Thanks Michele — I updated the pointer to a different Amazon link, but I’m sure these are also available at all the various big box toy outlets.

  4. EmKay says

    My 3-and-2/3-year-old loved the Sesame Street MiniMat when we were travelling yesterday. My only problem was how quickly the small water marker ran out and trying to refill it from a wide-mouth water bottle on the plane.

  5. Jill says

    @EmKay- use a squirt top like sports bottles have. We enjoy ours in the car for roadtrips although I’ve found that the colors have faded since I first bought them.