On Monday I shared some of our best ideas on keeping kids busy and generally happy while traveling. Today, I’m sharing some of our best toys to bring to use while at your destination.
Our vacations for the past several years have been to the grandparents’ houses. We live far away from our families and enjoy using our time off to go visit them, normally for a couple weeks at a time. While there is always a lot of fun to be had exploring and playing outside at both of the grammies’ houses, it’s also important for us to bring some inside toys along with us for rainy days or early mornings (because who doesn’t love to wake up at 6:00a on vacation everyday?!).
On location toys need to be a few things:
- high level of play: this toy needs to be able to used over and over and over in a variety of ways.
- doesn’t take up a whole lot of room: space is a precious commodity and it cannot be used up with large, bulky toys
- not loud and annoying: self-explanatory
Dolls can be taken anywhere and everywhere, and they never really get old. My girls have had their certain favorites at various times over the years– regular ‘ol baby dolls, 18-inch dolls, and mini-dolls
. The girls were all about their mini dolls last year because, well, they are small, and small=cute to preschoolers.
|This is her “grumpy face” because I was taking a picture of her- ha! Seconds later she started cracking up…
This year, we’re taking a baby that not only comes along with us outside and in bed and all of that, but it can also go into the bathtub and pool! The Corolle Bath Doll
can get wet and dries out quickly (just a little tab to hang the baby from to dry), and it’s a super sweet doll that smells like vanilla. The girls love it, especially Anaya, and they just can’t get over the fact that they can get this cushy baby wet.
We also got the chance to review a sweet baby backpack
, also by Corolle, to carry our doll in, as well as a slender stroller
to push the doll in when we go on our evening walks or just around the house and yard. The backpack is perfect for traveling because then Anaya has a place to put all of her baby’s “stuff”. Anaya has been wearing the baby backpack when we go out, stuffed with her baby’s bottle, diapers, wipes, and extra change of clothes, of course. 🙂 It’s a bit big on her small 2-year-old frame, but it won’t be long until it fits just right!
2. Building Toys
Last year we took a set of Minecraft Papercraft Boxes
on vacation. It was an activity in itself to put the boxes together, but once put together, they had a blast playing with them along with their minecraft figurines. So, while I still think this is a great toy to bring, the warning I give is think ahead. It’s a nice slender box on the way TO vacation, but what will you do when the boxes are all put together on the way HOME? 🙂
We recently got a set of Picasso Tiles
for the kids and this is again, a total hit (these are way cheaper than Magnatiles and are JUST AS AWESOME!). Bonus for this one: Grandma and Grandpa will be so intrigued by these newfangled blocks that they will want to play too!
We take a gallon ziplock bag full of favorite figurines to play with outside in the dirt, inside with the building materials, or in the bathtub. We include a variety: princesses, smurfs, minecraft guys, animals, whatever.
4. Simple Art Supplies
Playdoh is a favorite of ours, but I’m also sure to have a pack of art supplies that includes markers, a coloring pad, kid scissors, a glue stick, some pipe cleaners, a few pairs of googley eyes, and some stickers. This is the perfect toy for early morning fun. Sometimes I like to include a new coloring book, or a new set of Melissa and Doug stickers.
5. Interesting Activity Books
Activity Books that encourage kids to DO something are great for trips. They normally can be done anywhere, and books are so small. Easy to slip into a purse or backpack or underneath a seat.
Wreck This Journal Everywhere is one of our new favorites. Keri Smith has created quite a few versions of this DIY art journal. This one is an on-the-go edition, with each page giving some kind of instruction, and by the end of the book, the journal is going to be totally beat up and wrecked. Perfect for kids. We are bringing the Wreck This Journal Everywhere edition with us this summer, and it has activities like: “Write little notes to tear out and leave for others (in public)” and “Drop mud here. Repeat.” and my personal favorite, “Smush colorful things onto this page.” They have other versions too. Awe.some.
What do you bring for your “on location” toys?