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Kids' Travel Survival Kit

Stuff to amuse kids on long trips

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When traveling by car there will be a lot of down time to fill. Pack a large bag of things to do, and dole them out gradually to keep the kids busy. Here are some suggestions for items to include:

For infants

  • any object that's bright and new!
  • rattles of all sorts
  • music-makers
  • a few pieces of mega-blocks
  • magnetic stick-together blocks
  • toys of interesting shapes
  • pop-up toys
  • safe plastic mirror

For toddlers

  • bubbles (to use in the airport, during flight changes)
  • balls (for rest areas during car trips)
  • nested containers
  • sets of things to put into containers
  • things that fit into other things
  • Busy Boxes with levers, bells, moving parts
  • board books
  • simple speaking toys: baby pushes button, toy speaks (not too loud!)
  • small wind-up toys
  • blanket, stuffed animal

For preschoolers

  • picture books
  • stickers and activity books, crayons (preferably square so they don't roll!), felt pens
  • lap-sized wipe-off easels
  • small mirrors
  • finger puppets
  • costume jewelry
  • pop-up books
  • post-it notes, transparent tape
  • masking tape! kids have fun just sticking it, unsticking it, etc.
  • inexpensive sets of plastic figures (animals, dinosaurs, astronauts...)
  • magnetic letters & metal tin
  • miniature wind-up train and track

For Kindergarten to 2nd Grade

  • activity books
  • tattoos that press on with a wet cloth
  • stick-on play sets
  • travel-size Magna-Doodle, Etch-a-Sketch
  • threading sets (pictures with yarn)
  • felt boards
  • Travel Desk sets
  • small magnetic puzzles
  • small wind-up toys
  • Go-Fish cards
  • silly putty
  • colored beeswax (to model with-- won't stick to stuff)
  • Walkman, with story/song audiocassettes
  • trading cards and books
  • "micro-machines": really small cars, sometimes sold in portable sets
  • miniature worlds: little houses with figures, hand-sized playsets
  • yarn: finger knitting, or simple knitting

For Older Kids

  • books
  • comics
  • activity books
  • blank paper, for playing Hangman and Xs & Os
  • regular deck of cards
  • travel-size Monopoly, Sorry, Snakes 'n' Ladders, Battleships
  • Speak 'n' Spell
  • miniature chess
  • Mastermind: a great game for age seven and up-- travel-size available
  • card sets
  • small Lego sets (store the pieces in Ziploc bags)
  • hand-held toys with the sound turned off
  • small 3D puzzle sets
  • Walkman and portable cassette or CD players
  • Game Boy-type handheld electronic games
 
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