Hit the Road With Some of These Kid Favorites
- What: Packable Toys
- When: 5 years and up
- Why: Keep kids entertained
- Where: On the go
When my kids were younger, I used to pack them busy boxes for airplane and road trips. Now that they’ve gotten bigger, they pack their own entertainment bags. We drive two hours multiple times a month (after two years spent towing our travel trailer throughout the region), so they’ve gotten pretty good at selecting items to keep them entertained. Here’s a sampling of what you might find in their bags at any given point.
MP3 Player: This tiny mp3 player does it all, and the frequency with which my kids use it underscores that versatility. From audiobooks to songs to radio stations, my kids never have a problem finding something they enjoy. And because each one of them has their own player, we’ve eliminated the squabbles over what we listen to in the car.
LEGO: While these building bricks don’t top my list of favorite toys for traveling (I see and pick up enough of them at home!), my kids love having a supply with them. They can recreate whatever set they’ve chosen, play with it, or rebuild it into something entirely new.
Pokemon Cards: These cards go everywhere with my oldest child. He always has a deck on hand, even if not actively involved in some sort of game. Because they weigh next to nothing and take up minimal space, he can bring an entire deck and often does.
Water Bottle: Just in case they get thirsty, they have water on hand. We have a wide selection of cups and water bottles, and they all know how to fill them up. Though in fairness, I usually have a big bottle for all of us just in case.
Speks: These tiny magnetic toys work well for fidgeters and kids who love to keep their hands busy. You can create all different shapes and patterns with the transparent colored hexagons that stick to each other.
Books: My kids rarely go anywhere without a book in hand. From hunting Waldo to finding their next inspiration in LEGO Ideas, my kids enjoy flipping pages and soaking up words of all kinds. All three of them also love Diary of a Wimpy Kid, even though they’ve read each book in the series countless times.
Silly Putty: While I don’t love this sticky putty thanks to the blanket incident when my kids were toddlers, my kids do. That means it often makes the cut. Since I haven’t had to peel it off any car surfaces, it works out for all of us. If your kid likes clay and other moldable surfaces, this egg shaped container travels well.
Playmobil: These toy sets work great for traveling, too, if you don’t mind all the pieces. The many bits can be hard to keep track of, but now that my kids are in charge, they pack them regularly. Because the sets come in a wide variety of themes, they have something for everyone.
Flashlight: My kids love having a light wherever we go. From camping to new beds, a small flashlight goes a long way to keeping them comfortable. As an added bonus, it works great for drives in the dark so they can find all their toys and see the bag contents.
Tamagotchi: This tiny electronic pet toy works perfectly on the go. The small size makes it very packable, and kids can interact with it, feeding and cleaning up after their pet as they go. Some versions offer games and other entertainment as well.
Bottle Cap Launcher: This tool doubles as a toy, and since we tend to buy more bottled drinks on the road, it pairs perfectly with car entertainment. It can open a bottle and then launch the cap a considerable distance. Fair warning – inside the car is not an ideal place for launching, but having kids who can open their own drinks proves super helpful.
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