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It’s hard enough to keep kids busy at the best of times, but how do you do it while you’re stuck in an airport or a station when you don’t have instant access to hoards of toys from home? A travel fun pack, that’s how!
So what should you put in travel packs for kids? We’ve made a list of various different things we use to keep little man entertained, so you can use this list for ideas for your own fun pack.
Pens and Paper
Top of the shop has to be writing pens, colouring pens, crayons and paper. Even if you just take these, it’s a great way of keeping the kids entertained.
Find some great ideas for pen and paper games on our Keeping Kids Busy Pinterest board. Find it by clicking here.
Stickers, stickers everywhere! His travel diaries are full of them. If we went to a zoo, he went through his stickers and stuck all the animals he’d seen in his diary. He also loves drawing and colouring scenes and then sticking animals (or any stickers he can stick!) on the mountains or seas that he’s drawn. Or, sometimes just loves sticking them on my face!
Oh my goodness. Mini figures. Little man loves them – any type. He has brought dinosaurs, animals, cars and people all over the world with him and they’ve kept him amused for hours on end. When I say mini figures,
I do mean really small toy figures – think Lego people sized.
We were going to be in Disneyland for his fourth birthday, and wanted to make sure we had some things for him to open. This was going to a month after we started travelling and I didn’t want to lug loads of toys around the world. So, I bought a few packs of mini figures, wrapped them all up individually and he had a great birthday morning opening them all! Afterwards, we just put them all in a little mesh bag ( and had to count them in and out – god forbid we ever lost any) and carried them everywhere with us.
Buying a few packs and wrapping them up before you go is also another way of giving treats along the road, is something for the kids to look forward to and a way of extending the travel activities. I have a friend who gives little treats out to her child every hour on long-haul flights to encourage good behaviour. This could be another version of that too.
Now he’s old enough to understand a bit more, we’ve bought little man a diary to fill in. He carries it in his travel backpack, and when we’ve got a quiet moment, I ask him what his favourite parts of the day have been and what’s made him happy. I then fill it in for him and add in ticket stubs and postcards etc from the places we’ve visited.
He can also use other items from his travel fun pack – he often sticks in some of his own stickers and does little drawings when he feels like it, which lets him have more of an input. In addition to making him feel included, it’ll be lovely for him to look back on all his adventures in years to come.
We originally didn’t buy anything fancy, just a simple notebook, but now he’s older, he likes having a proper travel journal like the ones below.
Balloons are a great one to add to your travel activity pack. Blow one up while you’re waiting around in airports or at stations. Balloons can keep kids entertained for ages and it’ll burn off some of that excited energy. Bat the balloon back and forth between you or let them play ‘football’ with it. It’s an easy way to get them to interact with other children too – all kids love balloons!
TIP: Add some string to stop the balloon blowing away if you’re outside, or don’t want to annoy people near you. Also, always find a safe space for the kids to play.
If you’ve got a toddler that doesn’t like letting go (as we have), when it’s getting close to boarding time, gently persuade your little ones to pass the balloon on to another family to play with and assure them you’ve got plenty of other balloons for next time. Let them get excited about picking the next colour and trying to guess where you’ll be next time they can play with a balloon.
We all love bubbles! Although you can’t carry liquids more than 100ml on flights, you can find yourself some small size wedding favour bubbles or party pack bubbles for your carry-on luggage. Bubbles can keep kids distracted for quite a while. Also, the small size means if they do spill, which the invariably do, it’s not too much of a mess.
The items above are all small items to have old-school fun with and are perfect for making up a travel fun pack for kids with, but if you’re looking for more modern ways to entertain, keep reading…
I’m adding these last, as they are the most expensive way to keep kids entertained while travelling. I don’t agree with popping kids in front of modern technology constantly, but they can be great learning tools, and let’s face it, sometimes a little sanity saving for us.
There is only one tablet we recommend for taking travelling for the kids, and that is the Kindle Fire 7″. For the price, it’s just amazing. We all have one. The link to our review of the Fire Tablet is below.
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If you were interested in this article, you might like to have a look at our… Keeping Kids Busy Board.
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