We are about to turn 3 years of traveling with a baby, so in this post we will write to you just about traveling with a small child and what works for us lately. During our recent trips, we tested several toys that will make time on the road more pleasant for toddlers.
Yes, we know that time spent together, closeness, having fun together, etc. are important when traveling. We know all this and the theory is beautiful, but in practice it is different. A long trip by car or plane can make an adult bored, let alone a child who will not sit still for 5 minutes :) So we take with us books, coloring books, puzzles, which will work well during the trip. On top of that, it’s good to keep a few favorite toys for the hotel, something for the pool, sand, etc. And that’s how toys start taking up half a suitcase :)
Almost from the very beginning, from our first trips together, we always took some toys for Olive. And it’s contrast books, and it’s rattles, and it’s cuddly toys. Over time, interests changed so books, puzzles, crayons, coloring books, blocks, etc. fell into the suitcase or backpack. However, we always try to keep things in moderation, and we would even venture to say that the older Olive gets, the less stuff we take with us. We focus on quality, not quantity, and we assume that our trips are so intensive and so planned that either we always have interesting places for children in the area, or this time for boredom is relatively few and the minimum we took with us is enough.
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What toys for young children to take with them on the road?
So what toys will work well when traveling with a young child? Will what toys work best in the car? We have had the opportunity to test a variety of new toys and accessories during our recent trips, and in this post we will show you some of them that have worked quite well for us on the road. The main criteria, of course: it must be small, handy and preferably educational and developmental.
Books on the go have accompanied us since the first months of Olive’s life. As already mentioned, we started with small contrast books, then picture books, and now various short stories and fairy tales.
We love them and there is no option not to take some book on the go. Admittedly, most of it is reading together, spinning stories or talking (which is of tremendous value to a child), but we see that Olive herself is already eager to reach for books and check out what’s up with her favorite characters!
When traveling, it’s a good idea to take the smaller, lighter ones, although we happen to throw Puff or Cherries, which we love, into our suitcase.
I think we will write a separate post about the books, because we have a few favorites, and they deserve more than a few words :)
Puzzles and magnetic puzzles
We started with simple two-piece puzzles and jigsaw puzzles, and over time we began to put together more and more complicated pictures. Unfortunately, with more elements there is a greater risk of losing them ;)
So with help come puzzles and magnetic puzzles! We have a puzzle with land and water animals, by MUDPUPPY. There are two pictures to be arranged, each with 20 pieces. They work well both in the car, on the plane, on the train, in the hotel, in the restaurant, that is, more or less everywhere, even where we do not have a lot of space to stack :)
The most important thing is that thanks to the magnets there is much less risk of losing the pieces and you can put them away quietly on the free board in the booklet, which is also the packaging of the puzzle. The whole thing is designed in such a way that the puzzle can be placed either on the pad or on the picture, which is especially recommended for the younger ones starting their adventure with puzzles. According to the manufacturer, the recommended age is 4+, but even our 2.5 year old handles them very well, so you might be interested in this earlier.
The puzzles are resealable and, when folded, take up as much space as a small book.
Also interesting are such fold-out folders/books with a magnetic board on which you can put puzzles. They tend to be larger than the aforementioned booklet, but leave much more room for the child’s imagination. We have one by JANOD, a puzzle with animals, and it works well both at home and on the road.
We love to sit together, arrange animals and create stories. The only downside is that all the animals won’t fit on the board at once, as the puzzle is relatively large, but that way even the youngest can handle it.
Role-playing is great fun for children, and I guess every child wants to imitate adults. After several attempts to snatch the camera or the phone from our hands, we decided that we have to finally give Oliwka a camera :) For some time now we have been taking the JANOD wooden camera on trips, with which Oliwka takes pictures together with us. Also, when our family got bigger Olive wanted to immortalize the moments together necessarily with her camera :)
The camera is so much more attractive to the little ones that it makes sounds and flashes a light.
For purchase, for example, here.
We also often take with us a miniature set of crayons and some coloring books.
We got a small package of crayons during one of our flights and they have served us so far. They have durable, handy packaging and most importantly – they take up little space, and they have a “built-in” sharpener :-)
I guess everyone is familiar with memory games! Looking for cards with the same pictures is fun not only for children, but also for adults. So we decided to see if this is the time when we can add them to the list of family games and activities on the go.
To start, we chose a fairly simple set with cats from MUDPUPPY. The small, handy box holds 12 pairs depicting cats’ mouths, which need to be paired together.
How did it work for us? At first, just looking at the pictures was already an interesting activity. Right now, we’re mostly looking at pictures, describing what each cat looks like, and slowly assimilating the rules of the game. We use fewer pairs to make the game easier and increase the number of pieces over time.
Tip for travel: various puzzles and games for which we don’t need a package are worth putting into a bag or pouch to take up even less space.
The game can be purchased, for example, here.
At our place without a panda, not a move. We always, but always take one panda mascot, because these Olive loves! :-) Of course, it must be a mascot, which is the most important thing in the child’s life at the moment, so it is worthwhile for the child to choose which toy will go on the next trip. Fortunately, we always limit ourselves to just one ;)
A cool patent we’ve heard recently is to show the world each toy. This involves the child choosing just one toy to go now, and next time choosing some other toy to accompany it. This prevents you from taking a thousand mascots on a trip :)
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These are just a few suggestions of toys to take with you on your trip. Of course, we do not always take everything at once, because, however, the limitations of both luggage and carrying capacity of parents are severely limiting :)
It’s also known that something different will work for every child, but we hope we’ve at least given you a little hint of what to look for when preparing for your next trip.
We are very curious to know what works best for you? Let us know in the comments! :)
We also recommend you other interesting articles about traveling with a child:
- 7 TOO MANY gadgets for kids on the go and ONE thing you can’t miss!
- Airplane flight “for free”, that is, with a child under 2 years of age
- Pros and cons of traveling with a child in the off-season
- Traveling with a baby through the eyes of a dad
- First airplane flight with a child
This entry was created in cooperation with the distributor of JANOD and MUDPUPPY brands.