Traveling with kids soon? Whether is a plane ride to a sunny destination or camping in the woods, check out these travel essentials and and mom hacks to make both the journey, AND destination a blissful experience for both you, and your children.
If you've ever traveled with kids, you know all too well the long car rides, interrupted nap schedules, unexpected setbacks, and simply the feelings that come with being away from home can cause a serious disruption to the daily routine to which our kids have become so accustomed.
Savvy parents know, that being prepared is the key when traveling with kids!
The challenge is finding clever ways to entertain kids in the car, on a plane, in restaurants or hotel rooms. Keeping kids occupied during these long trips not only prevents boredom, but also reduces stress for the entire family, plus, learning a new skills is a great way for kids and parents alike to pass the time!
Educational toys are a great way to utilize your time together, and help your child learn a new skill. When else do you get a chance to sit, uninterrupted and focus on helping your child without distractions?!?
Choosing the right educational toys can be tricky though, as not all toys make great travel companions for kids. So here are some important things to remember when packing travel toys to entertain kids on the go:
As parents, we recognize that long flights or train rides are no longer an opportunity to simply catch up on a few hours of sleep or reading. Instead, we need to be both physically and mentally prepared for the journey with our little ones, which can involve managing altered mealtimes, dealing with new environments, and even ensuring that we don't use up all the fun activities in the first twenty minutes.
Educational toys are a fantastic way to keep kids engaged and learning on the go.
Tiny Feats' durable felt Quiet Books and Educational Games are an excellent option for parents who are looking for educational and entertaining toys to take on both short and long trips, or even to just leave in the car for everyday errands.
The best travel toys provide kids with hours of entertainment as well as an interactive way to work on important skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking.
Paired with a few great snacks and drinks, the right toys can make the entire traveling experience run more smoothly and be way more enjoyably for the entire family.
As a mom, and kindergarten teacher I'd like to share some of my best tips and tricks for making the journey more fun for everyone.
Plan Ahead when Travelling with Kids
Before your trip even begins, create a packing list for both yourself and your children. You will, of course, need to include essential items like clothes and food, but you should be strategic when it comes to selecting and bringing toys or activities.
One tip that I like to offer to parents is to have a few new toys ready to go for the flight or card ride. Receiving a small present can be exciting in and of itself, but it also ignites curiosity and excitement about the toy, especially in a new environment like an airport or a hotel room.
If you don’t want to spend the money on something new, however, you could also just put some toys in storage for a few weeks prior to the trip so that your child feels like it is new again when you present it to them.
Or better yet, include a mix of both new and familiar old toys, and, you can even wrap them up to make it even more exciting!
TIPS for Choosing the Best Travel Toys:
- New toys are always more engaging for kids
- Choose toys that are long lasting, like educational toys
- Pack mix of independent play and play together activities
Another helpful hint is to split up the toys, giving some to the kids to carry independently, and keeping some of them in your own carry-on, so that you can choose an appropriate time to share the activities with your kids.
For example, if you have a game that is best played with an adult, like this Travel Tic Tac Toe Game you may want to wait until you are all seated on an airplane before taking it out.
However, if you have a more independent learning activity prepared, you can present it during a time when you may have to fill out forms or speak to an attendant.
Activities like our Tiny Feats Fishing Game are a fun and engaging play activity that can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere, while our quiet books can be excellent for encouraging independent play and learning. Both of these also clean up quickly and don't make a big mess!
Pick Calm & Quiet Activities for Children
Traveling with kids can be stressful, but if the parents are able to maintain a sense of calm and patience, it can improve everyone’s mood. We encourage parents to maintain a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and be prepared to adapt to unexpected situations. Remember that your children will take cues from you, so staying calm and relaxed can inadvertently help them feel more at ease.
One way to really encourage a sense of calmness throughout the long and arduous process of traveling is to engage in quiet activities.
We all know how tricky it can be to keep children speaking and playing at a reasonable volume, but on a long flight, boat, or car ride - it is certainly nice to have at least a few peaceful moments.
Tiny Feats’ felt toys are designed to do just that - quietly keep your little ones entertained and engaged in fruitful learning experiences. The very nature of felt toys is that they hardly make a sound, even when dropped or thrown. While this is certainly beneficial for your family, it’ll also undoubtedly be an added bonus for your fellow passengers. They’ll be silently thanking you, we’re sure.
Your kids can engage in sorting activities like with our Colour Matching or Recycling Quiet Book Page, practical life activities with the Ladybug Lacing or Buckle Page, and even early literacy activities with the Deconstructed Alphabet Parts or Lower Case Alphabet set.
Keeping children entertained during a lengthy voyage is definitely a priority when it comes to choosing toys and games, but knowing they are actually garnering valuable learning experiences is even better.
Moreover, once you’ve actually arrived at your destination and are on your trip, it will be handy to have a few great felt activities on hand to bring to the restaurants and for the hotel room where your kids won’t have access to most of their regular toys from home.
Plus, Tiny Feats has designed their toys so that they are easily portable and lightweight. The kids can carry them around in their backpacks or even in their hands, which is not only handy for moving toys from one place to another but a great lesson in responsibility.
Traveling with kids can sometimes seem like an intimidating process, but with the right preparation and planning, it can also be a very rewarding one filled with memories they can cherish for a lifetime.
Ensuring that you have the right tools and toys on hand can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable trip.
By being organized and anticipating the needs of your children, you can minimize stress and maximize fun, making memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're headed on a road trip, a plane ride, or a train journey, remember to pack the essentials, plan ahead, and enjoy the ride.
Want more helpful parent resources?
Check out these Play Anywhere, No-Prep Activities for Kids you can use to ward off a melt-down and keep the kiddos happy! Print off the Free Download before you leave for your vacation.