We took a road trip to Atlanta last weekend to visit my husband's family. We had a great time hanging out with everyone. My daughter has a cousin one year older than her and they might have become best friends over the weekend, they just loved playing together.
My nephew is a miracle, I know all children are, but he was born 13 weeks early. Not only did he survive, but he is doing really well. I totally love this little guy, he's just a great kid who I wish lived next door so we could play every day.
Anyways what does all of this have to do with traveling and toddlers. Well this trip to Atlanta got me thinking that a great post would be to write about what I have learned about traveling... and all the tips I have gotten from my sister-in-law who lives in Atlanta and spends lots of time in traffic when she goes places, which has made her a pro at packing a bag full of "quiet toys".
Before I start let me say most of these ideas are airport/airplane-friendly, sitting-for-a-long-time-in-church-friendly, and fairly small which is nice for packing.
TOYS for travel:
Stickers--as soon as stickers are no longer a choking hazard for your child these are quite possibly the best option on the market. You do not need to spend a lot, many dollar stores sell good stickers. Also I recommend stickers that come on sheets, the one's with individual backing can make a huge mess of left over paper... I bought a packet of 200 Dora stickers with individual paper backing, while the stickers were worth it, the mess was not fun.
Aqua Doodle--there are nice ones out there but the one's Target carries are just fine
Books on CD--your local library may have many books on CD, but its also common that they have many more options on tape... sometimes it takes a while to get up to date.
Glow Sticks--night time dance parties, these do not need to be costly. I found 15 for $1.
Cookie Sheet and Magnets--you can even find toaster oven cookie sheet that are smaller. MAKE SURE THEY ARE METAL!!! A lot of new ones are made out of materials that do not attract magnets.
Books--My daughter likes books that have flaps, and other interactive parts to them.
Crayola Color Wonder--no mess
Crayola Color Explosion--similar to color wonder, no mess just another option
Magnadoodle--also comes in handy when you need to write down directions... just don't erase it!
A good book everyone can read together
Colorforms--nice and quiet
Mini no-spill bubbles--I have only seen the mini one at Target in the $1 section. This was one of the best toys we took on a flight. The bubbles are very small and the container would fit in your coat pocket and not leak.
Chalk Board--you can use a black Styrofoam meat tray and white chalk
One Special New Toy--this does not need to cost a lot, for example on this trip to Atlanta I restocked on stickers and then bought the glow sticks. I think the whole bill came to $3! This adds something exciting to the trip. I also always get a juice box, there is something really special to Marin about juice that comes in a box. I'm not sure what considering I get the Tot Motts apple juice which is probably about 90% water. But hey the goal is keeping her entertained.
I also bring a lot of snacks, things like cheese cubes, animal crackers, raisins, etc, and water in her Nalgene sippy cup.
I know most of these tips are already out there and most of them are for young children, but I know a lot of traveling is around the corner for many families so I hope they bring out just a few fresh ideas that help your travel time go a bit smoother.
Two cousins making their way around Atlanta!