Vacation season is officially open! Getting ready to pack your bags, traveling with your baby, toddler and/or preschooler? Wondering what the best toys are to bring along when traveling with children?
Welcome to the June edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Vacation and Travel.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing ideas, inspiration and information on travel and vacations! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
In the last year I travelled with a baby, toddler and preschooler in tow a lot. We did a few plane rides together, two long 8+hour train journeys… Just me and three kids! We also broke down on the Italian highway on our last vacation… To keep my sanity, err I mean the kids entertained I turned to some trusty toys and silly games. Just about all the toys were already in our house, so you probably already have most of these too.
Here is a list of 12 toys my children love while traveling:
A sock: Incredibidly versatile and loads of fun, a single sock can provide entertainement for quite a while. You can make a sock puppet, the sock puppet can tell stories, ask questions or do a silly dance. Use the sock to play wack-a-sock or to hide other objects inside to make a guessing game or use the sock to hide your eyes and play peek-a-boo…oh! the possibilities!
Stickers- stickers can keep small children really busy. For very young children just sticking them on their tshirt, or a colorful sheet of paper is loads of fun. Preschoolers may enjoy creating a story using stickers which they can then tell or even create games with stickers can be fun, like making a sequence “star, star, fish”, sticker tic tac toe and hide and seek by sticking one sticker somewhere and encouraging children to find it, this works well in the plane, in a hotel room, it’s even fun to play in the car to pass the time.
Masking tape - another great toy with endless possibilities! From random snipping and sticking to making jewelry, signs, decorations, art, just hand the tape and let the fun begin!
Crayons- it’s a classic! Children love to doodle, color and draw. Coloring games like “add a line” where each person adds onto the picture can be lots of fun and great to play on the airplane tray. So are connect the dots, color by number, favorite character coloring sheets and what about creating a family logo?
Pipe cleaners – colorful, soft, twisty and perfect for a pick me up during a long trip. Pipe cleaners can be really fun. How about twisting and bending until you have a little petting zoo with lizards, lions and lobsters or tiny furry mice! Tangle up some aliens, magic wands, flowers etc…
Stringing beads – a favorite here, for waiting in line and at restaurants stringing beads are great for making necklaces, bracelets, chains. They also work for making counting games, sorting games, color guessing and pattern making games. My daughter loves to place a beaded necklace on me and then count and name colors while we wait in line anywhere.
Playing Cards- any kind of deck works, we have a animal deck that we love to use for playing snap, memory, draw what you see, and other fun games. Babies and Toddlers will love to just hear you tell them what each card has on it. One thing we love to do is use the cards to create a story.
Plastic container – taking a long a small plastic container that has a lid creates a great toy when mixed with the rest from the list. Add some sorting beads, instant rattle. A hiding place for the stickers, a silly hat, magic container, the sock puppets bed or dinner plate. Plus you can arrange the sock and beads and stickers to create a make shift I-spy jar which is great as a calming activity.
Books- Paperback books travel well and children often appreciate the familiarity of having their favorite stories along for vacation and travel. Aside from reading, the books can spark creativity for creating pictures illustrated with those crayons and stickers or even a in-book scavenger hunt.
Matchbox cars- small and light, a few match box cars can be great for having a race, tracing the wheels with crayons, using in a story, driving up and down moms arms. Add in some masking tape, you can create a race track on the hotel’s floor or on the airplane tray.
Stress ball- Every child likes a squishy toy! Squeezing the ball can be really helpful during travel, also rolling the ball quietly from side to side, attempting to juggle, putting it inside that sock for some wack-a-sock game, passing the ball from person to person, counting game etc…
Stuffed animal If your child has a favorite stuffed animal friend, don’t forget him at home! The stuffed animal is a great toy to keep your child company and help him feel safe in scary situations like at the airport security check. Plus, stuffed friends are great for playing hide and seek, pretend feeding or encouraging your child to read a story or make a picture for his friend!
What toys do you bring along when you travel with your children?
Peace & Be Well,
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Traveling with a Sick Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her tips and tricks for traveling with a sick child based on firsthand experience.
- Educational Travel | Pennsylvania, New Mexico &; Louisiana — That Mama Gretchen relives three childhood trips while outlining a plan for future homeschooling adventures.
- Babymoon: A Cruise in Europe — Bianca from The Pierogie Mama writes about the babymoon that she and her husband took to Europe, via a week long cruise through the Western Mediterranean..
- Travelling with our little one — Stoneageparent describes what travelling means to her family, exploring the link between attachment parenting and travelling
- I Just Can’t Do It — aNonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes the nightmare it is trying to travel with her daughter, and how for the moment day-trips to local areas will have to suffice.
- Carnival: Travel and Vacation — Macgyvermama rounds out her “Travel Light with Babies and Kids” series with some juicy tips on how to travel light and stress free with your moving and grooving Toddler!
- Traveling: Adventure, Nature, Family — Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares her hopes and fears for her Great Summer Camping Road Trip with her three small children.
- Frustration Free Flying with Kids — Based on her extensive experience flying with her family, Laura at Authentic Parenting shares tips on how to make the trip fun for you and your children.
- 12 Awesome Toys To Bring Along When Traveling With Children - Ariadne over at Positive Parenting Connection is sharing about toys her children love and playful ways to use them that make travel with children more fun and less stressful for the whole family.