Our Favorite Travel Toys

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Hi there!  I have a few post ideas in the works after our last trip to the UAE and Germany, but haven’t had much quiet time to work on them… ahem laundry…

Anyway, you may be gearing up for some holiday travel, and packing to travel with kids can be daunting.  It’s enough to consider clothing – what will the weather be like?  How dirty will their clothes be?  Can we re-wear any pieces?  Who knows!!!  Anyway, toys are a whole other consideration, so maybe our list can help you keep the packing light, efficient, and functional 🙂

So, without further ado:

1. Stacking Cups!  This is by far the MOST functional and multi-purposed toy to pack!  Thank you to one of my dearest friends that taught me this on our recent overnight escapade to Sea World.  BTW – we learned a LOT by taking this on just the 2 of us moms, and 4 kids under 4!   OK, so stacking cups – obviously the nest together, making packing a breeze.  Then they of course can be a tower to build and knock down, and can be nested and redone over and over.  PLUS they can be bath toys, rinse cups for shampooed hair, a tea party set, pretend eating/drinking vessels, houses for figurines, the list goes on and on.  The list is so long, that we BOUGHT our nesting cups in Germany (Thank you IKEA) because we hadn’t packed either of our 2 sets we already had at home!

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2. Figurines and cars: I keep several in the kids “toy backpack” for the plane and car rides, and a few spare in our suitcase.  These have been a consistent favorite since my oldest was 16 months old and all they did was give eachother hugs, say hi and bye-bye, and ride off in the cars 😉  We take the toy backpack with us on almost every outing while travelling so there will always be something fun to do in a restaurant or driving in the car.  I usually buy a few novel ones to add before a big trip – dollar tree always has some current figurines and die cast cars.  Our current collection has a variety from Frozen and My Little Pony to Mickey Mouse.  Bonus – some fit in easter eggs and can make a great busy item when a quick diversion is needed.

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3. Magna-doodle: Our first travel sized Magna-doodle was a random buy at dollar tree 3 years ago, and it is still going strong!  We now have 2, of course.  It really can’t be beat for a no mess, no crayons on the floor, fun for all abilities from scribbling to letter learning. I can verify that the Dollar Tree version fits inside our Skip Hop Harness Backpack.

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4. Melissa & Doug Water Wow:  Paint with WATER!  When it dries, you can do it again!  (…and again, and again…)  This is another one that has lasted 3 years… we added a new one before our last long haul road trip so the girls can each work on one.  Under 18 months, I’ve found that sucking the water out of the paint brush doubles as very valuable entertainment…

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5. Magna-tiles and Magformers:  So these are a bit pricey, and I always worry about losing them.  BUT – here we are 3 years later and the only ones “lost” are probably in our house somewhere.  I put some masking tape on the bag with the number of magnets we bring so I know when I need to search harder under the couch at the hotel.  Along with the magnatiles, I keep a cookie sheet in the car toy basket as a lap board and magnetic tray, and I have even been known to carry it on planes in a backpack!  It doubles as a tray for coloring 🙂  Of course you can bring other magnets, especially for younger travellers (ahem…farm animals have been named and made sounds for hours on planes in our past) to keep the creativity going on those long flights/road trips.

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OK – so we travel with some other toys, but the list changes a bit based on age and interests.  I didn’t include coloring mediums, such as Color Wonder and Crayola Twistables, but they are always in our pack along with paper and stickers.  I have also found some gems like a felt train track set (Target Dollar Spot) that packs easily.   Also, don’t forget that empty cups with coffee stirrers just might be the most entertaining “toy” on your next flight!  Or coasters at a restaurant!  This last trip had 3 long flights (15 hours, 7 hours, and 10.5 hours), and I’ve included links to some other fun activities I packed in case you need some more options. Feel free to share you travel toy tips!  I’m always looking for new ideas to keep things interesting!

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Keep exploring, y’all!

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