My husband and I love to travel when we can. We pride ourselves in how much our daughter is kept entertained during long and short haul flights. I spend a good amount of time preparing our daughters travel activity bag with plenty of fun to ensure as easy a flight as possible. The stress of flying with children eased with some thought into how their minds work and some simple planning.
If my daughter is entertained, she will likely be happy for the duration. This in turn, gives my husband and I the chance to focus on the toddler or enjoy a movie or two.
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My Top Tips for Putting Together a Kids Travel Activity Bag
It takes a bit of planning to put together a travel bag that is attractive to your child. Here are a few things to keep in mind to have a travel bag they will love!
- Current Interests This could be a particular character your little one loves. Anything with this character is automatically more appealing to them. Or it could be that they love to sit and draw or are currently obsessed with star stickers.
- Keep it Shiny and New I make sure that the majority of items included are new. I don’t include the colouring book that she has at home, even though it’s unused. She hasn’t used it thus far and likely won’t be interested any other time. I need items that I truly believe she will want to use if I am to have any chance at watching a movie!
- Pack Enough Activities. Don’t sell yourself short on this one. The attention span of a child can be very short. Especially when in a new environment coupled with the excitement of a holiday. Make sure to include plenty of activities so once they’ve had enough of one, there’s still plenty to look forward to.
- Variety is Key Yes, it’s hard to know what your child will want to actually sit and play with versus what you believe they will want to play with but variety is key! The more they have to discover the more chances you have at getting it right!
- Don’t forget about your final destination! Once you’ve mastered the packing of your child’s travel activity bag, remember the quieter times your child might need entertaining at your destination. Waiting in restaurants, travelling on days out or simply waiting for you to get ready in your hotel room. We take a couple of the smaller activities out with us so she has something during the quiet moments.
What’s in our Kids Travel Activity Bag?
OK, this is not inside the bag but its the bag! This is the beginning of the fun for our daughter. A colourful hand luggage case to keep all of her belongings. The Trunki has a lot of fun features which makes it all that more interesting. Firstly, it’s not just a suitcase, it’s also a ride along, so perfect for tired little legs in the airport. Trunki have a variety of fun designs and also provide a design your own option. The suitcase has a strap for parents to pull their child along, which can be changed into a carry handle. In our experience, the Trunki makes the airport with young children that little bit more bearable.
Depending on the length of your flight, a movie or two is a great way to use up some time. Some fun headphones, in a colour of their choice is a great little addition to their travel activity bag. The headphones that get handed out on flights are usually hard and uncomfortable and don’t reduce a lot of outside noise, so it’s useful to have your own. These headphones have volume limiting options to protect little ears and reduce outside noise leaving your little one comfortably enjoying their favourite movies and games.
There are so many cute neck pillows out there for kids. A character pillow or an animal they love and can be used as a cuddly toy when they want a snuggle. Sleeping on planes isn’t much fun. A neck pillow helps comfort levels and can be used as intended or as a pillow, where your child can lean on you or the arm rest.
I can’t deal with marker pens when travelling. The chance of drawing on herself or one of us or the seats…Crayons are our best friend when we travel! I really love these flat sided crayons from Melissa and Doug. They don’t roll, reducing the amount of times you collect a crayon that has fallen onto the floor. They come in a cute durable case unlike many that come in card boxes which don’t last very long. After our travels, we leave these in her Trunki to use the next time.
So many options. I love to get into the holiday spirit in the travel activity bag and look for a few travel themed activities. When the colouring books include places or items we might see on our holiday, this gives us something more to talk about or look forward to. There are so many themes, go with their interests on this one.
These books are amazing. All you need is water, no paints involved. These books in particular are durable made out of thick card, and come in a variety of themes. When water is applied with the special pen, the colours show up, once the water dries, the picture is clear ready to be painted again and again. Our daughter loves seeing what colours will show up and how her pictures will come to life. Another option to this is the travel sized Aquadoodle. It’s lightweight and again uses water which means you can use it pretty much anywhere.
This is my favourite activity in the travel bag! They are on the large side but you have a book full of background images and a bunch of stickers to create each scene. These stickers can be moved over and over and continue to stick. It’s a lot of fun recreating different scenes. These books come in a variety of themes. What child doesn’t love stickers, especially ones they can use again!
More sticker fun! Great for matching colours and hand eye coordination, mosaic stickers books require a little more concentration and keep my daughter engrossed for a decent amount of time. It’s also small enough to take on days out when she wants some additional entertainment.
This item is perfect old or new! Grab a couple of their favourite books. It’s guaranteed to give you a few minutes of calm. If you read bedtime stories at home, having this routine can provide additional comfort if your child doesn’t settle easily when away from home. This book is one of our all time favourites, the author has a lot of fun stories which are a lovely addition to any book case. My daughter recently received this book for Christmas and finds it hilarious, My husband and I have a lot of fun reading this it!
These games are the perfect addition to any travel activity bag. We have so many Orchard Toy games in our house. They are a big hit with our daughter, and provide educational value which is why I love them so much. In order to reduce space in your travel pack, grab some of these zipper bags for the game pieces and leave the box at home.
There are so many hours to a flight. I break down the hours and try to figure out how much time will be spent doing random things. How much time will she spend eating? While eating, she will most likely watch a movie. How much time is she likely to sleep? Toilet breaks, walking up and down the plane and getting ready for landing all take up time. How many movies can she happily sit and watch? Once I’ve done the maths, a 9-hour flight can easily turn into only 4 hours worth of entertainment needed. 4 hours is not exactly a short amount of time to entertain a child but it’s way better than 9!