Flying or driving with toddlers leaves some in a cold sweat. Anyone who’s spent time with a toddler knows it ain’t fun trying to make them stay still in one spot for long. Engaging them & inviting them into the process is often the winning key to gaining a toddler’s cooperation. Let them help choose a few of their favorite things to bring. Pack a few suprises in there too.
Containers,Containers,Containers: Use as many different types of containers as possible. The opening and closing each new item becomes an activity in itself. The obvious choice is the Container Store, but discount stores work as well. Try and find ones that challenge your little one’s skill set: velcro sandwich bags, drawstring, click and lock, classic lids, screw tops, zippers, buttons… the more variation the better.
Clay, slime, play dough, wax:Anything that lets your little use their hands. You’ll lose a lot of it so travel with supplies that aren’t precious. You can add a few animal figurines into the mix as well for added fun.
Art Supplies: Rolled pencil or crayon carriers are great since the carrier itself can be a fun thing to interact with and explore. Plus, it all rolls up nice and neat. Any art supply would work as long as its easy to carry, no big deal if you lose it, and it doesn’t get anyone too dirty.
Books: I make ones for each trip with pictures of us being at the airport, pictures of our final destination, people and places we are visiting, and pictures of what we missing at home. I also add a few of the current favorites as well.
Stickers and Tapes: What’s not to love?! They can put them on themselves and on the seat. Window clings work great as well… though the gel ones can be tempting to young toddlers to put in their mouths.
Crayon Rocks: Love everything about these. Environmentally friendly, great company, wonderful writing tool, and they come in their own bag which is fun to open and close. On a recent flight, a young toddler happily opened and closed the bag putting the rocks in and out for over a half hour. It was amazing to watch!
Puppets: These do double duty as washclothes as well- a huge plus!
Stuffed Animal & lovies: Hazel Village makes about the sweetest lovies we have ever come across.
These are great. Easy, simple, and reusable. They can really take a beating and a lot of love before falling apart. I have one in the car and in my play bag for dining out etc.
Blocks:Tegu are wonderful but, man, I fear losing those buggers because they are so darn expensive. I purchase a few cheaper options so it doesn’t matter when they get lost. If you do bring the Tegu’s, bring at metal container or a metal dry erase board for an added bit of protection and fun.