Selecting Travel Toys for Kids

Traveling with children can be frustrating and sometimes a little frightening. The challenge of keeping children occupied for long periods of time in a confined space is not one most parents are eager to embrace. However, in today’s world, there will be times when it is necessary to travel with children. When this happens, it is best to keep a selection of toys particularly suited to travel. This can help keep your children occupied and entertained for the duration of your journey. But only if you pick the toys and games you will pack with care.

It’s going to be tempting just to grab favorite toys and games and throw them in the care. This may seem like a good idea, but in reality it’s the worst thing you can do. Familiar toys will be played with and discarded within the first few minutes of the trip. Instead, collect new toys that will only be played with during travel. Don’t give these toys to your children before the journey starts, and don’t give them all at once. Space them out, perhaps one new toy or game an hour, to give the children something to look forward to.

Another benefit of not taking favorite toys is that there is no risk of leaving something behind. There is nothing worse than getting home only to realize a special toy, game, or blanket has been left behind. Avoid the entire situation by leaving familiar toys and games at home.

What to Take on a Trip

The back seat of a car or even airplane seats are confined areas. Not all toys work well in such a situation. Choose items that are small and portable as well as entertaining. Consider allowing the children to color or doodle. Crayons and coloring books are cheap and easy to find. Older children might enjoy puzzle or activity books. Even blank paper can present the opportunity to be creative and quiet in the back seat. If you have a budding writer in the family, pack pads of paper and pencils.

For those children who love reading, books and magazines can be just the thing to make a long trip more bearable. Just make sure you pack age appropriate books. Infants and toddlers are best served by having plenty of picture books to look at. To save yourself a headache, choose cloth or board books that cannot be destroyed by simply tearing a page. Older children might enjoy short stories or even novels, depending on their age and interest. Have several new books waiting in the car for each trip. To reduce your costs, you might want to check a local used bookstore or even a thrift shop.

If you have children who love to play board games, purchase a few magnetic games. These are often advertised as “travel games” and feature magnetic pieces to prevent them from being scattered across the car. Read any age restrictions carefully, as the smaller pieces are not usually recommended for children under 3 years of age. Travel games have become quite popular in recent years and many different games are available. Look for favorite titles such as Snakes ‘n Ladders, Checkers, and even Monopoly. Some games even have multiple games in one package, so look for these as a way to save space and money.

Children love toys, so no journey would be complete without some toys for your children to play with. When games have been put away and the children grow tired of reading or drawing, they’ll appreciate the chance for free play with some new toys. Pack small groups of toys in plastic bags and dole them out when the children get restless. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get new toys. Check your local thrift shop or discount store for cheap toys that will entertain and amuse on your trip. Younger children appreciate anything new; they won’t care if these toys come from the thrift store.

When choosing these toys, think about your own sanity. Don’t purchase toys that make a lot of noise if you’re certain you’ll become irritated after five minutes. Remember that children make noise already, so loud toys will only increase the volume. Choose those toys that are quite but still have the ability to engage your children for at least fifteen minutes at a time.

Age appropriate toys and games can be the difference between an enjoyable trip and one that everyone remembers are torture. Keeping a selection of toys and games ready for your next trip can help ensure that everyone has a good time.