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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Top Ten Travel Toys (and none of them electronic)


1. A pack of cards: Any type will do for ages 0 to 3 and be prepared for them to get lost, squashed, dribbled on and chewed. For ages 3 and up, Uno Junior can provide hours of entertainment and doesn’t require much space at all.


2. A miniature artist’s sketchpad and colour pencils or crayons: Get children to draw what they see. It’s worth investing in good quality paper as not only do children appreciate it but it is much less likely to tear or rip. Carry in a Ziploc bag for waterproof protection.


3. Play dough: Make yourself at home with the recipe below and store in an airtight container. It will last a couple of weeks:


2 cups flour
3 tbsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
4 tbsp oil
1/2 cup boiling water
Food coloring


Mix dry ingredients together. Mix oil, food coloring and boiling water in a separate container. Stir liquid mixture together with dry ingredients until cool enough to knead. Knead until smooth. If play dough is too dry, add more water, a little at a time. If play dough is too crumbly, knead in a small amount of oil.


4. Miniature cooking sets: Get every shape and size at your local toy shop. Children love to cook.


5. Disposable camera: Fun for children to have their own and useful to help children make scrapbook memories of their holidays when you return home.


6. Small books: The Beatrix Potter and Mr. Men and Little Miss range of books come in travel friendly sizes.


7. Their own bag: However small, they will love putting things in and taking things out of the bag.


8. A few small jars/pots with fitting lids: These provide entertainment in their own right but can also be used for bug collecting (a pocket magnifying glass and net can also assist with this) and water play.


9. Bubble mix: Guaranteed to bring smiles to even the most sullen passenger in a ticket queue at the airport.


10. Used ticket and travel receipts: Once you do not need them anymore, boarding cards and train tickets make great paper airplanes and cards.

© 2011 – 2012, J Claire K Niala. All rights reserved.

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J. Claire K. Niala is a mother, writer and creative who enjoys exploring the differences that thankfully still exist between various cultures around the world. She was born in Kenya and grew up in Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire and the UK. She has worked and lived on three continents and has visited at least one new country every year since she was 12 years old. Her favorite travel companions are her mother and daughter whose stories and interest in others bring her to engage with the world in ways she would have never imagined.

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1 Comment
  1. CommentsBlessedw5mom (Heather)   |  Friday, 23 September 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I love this list!!! We have 5 kids and we travel a bit each year. They have been to Hawaii, Jamaica, Argentina, east coast USA, west coast USA and planning a trip to Europe in summer of 2012. People often can’t believe we would take kids that far and make such comments as “don’t the get bored?” or “how do you keep them entertained?”. My children are so confused by those questions. :-) I remember thinking as a child how much I loved the smell of airports and train stations (odd, yes I know) … but on our family trip last year my 8 year old leaned over to tell me after a deep breath in “mom, I just love the smell of airports and airplanes and traveling” And I knew just what he meant. And on behalf of my three year old I must add post it notes and scotch tape to your list :-) We discovered with her early on that these sticky things would keep her entertained for quite a long time … so since she was 10 months old I keep a roll of tape and supply of post it notes in my bag and they have not only come in handy while traveling but also in lines at stores and in church and at her brothers sporting events. They really don’t need big elaborate fancy tpys or entertainment … a few simple things and they are entertained for hours.

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