Summers are for vacations, right? At least around here they are. We reserve our biggest adventures for when the kids are out of school and, at the very least, that means a couple of plane rides and at least one (very long) road trip. So how do we keep the kids entertained during all that travel time? Travel toys, of course. Here are 7 of our favorites for this summer:
Crayons by Art 2 the Extreme
Not unlike most preschoolers, my kids love to color. Coloring books, plain white paper, or the discarded paper menu from the restaurant we just ate lunch at, doesn't matter. As long as they have crayons they are happy, so when I started putting their travel bags together crayons were the first thing I added. But these aren't just any crayons, these are the Original Rainbow Crayon™ Crayon Stix from Art 2 the Extreme. Made from recycled crayons, these crayons are square in shape and a bit larger than your average crayon making them easier for little hands to hold and manipulate and harder to break (yay!). The rainbow color means that the colors change on the page as you color which my 5 year old is especially loving. Pictures of oceans are now more representative of the various shades of blues and greens you actually see in oceans, but even creative coloring can be a bit more silly as that pink pig might now have a shade or two of purple in there.
Little Letters by Little Lennons
It may be Summer, but we are also in full preschool prep mode. Hadley starts full-time preschool this year at the same Montessori school her brother attends and she loves "practicing for school." These Little Letters reusable letter formation cards by Little Lennons are perfect for just that. The dry-erase letter cards come on a ring that can then be used to clip the pack to just about anything. We put the pack on Hadley's travel bag and use the set to work on letter recognition, letter sounds (thanks to the adorable animal illustrations on each card), tracing and letter formation. Plus, once we are home again, this will make a great working time-out activity.
Travel Tic Tac Toe Game by Cynthia's Gift Boutique
Everyone loves a quick game of tic tac toe and that's especially true for on the go. This Tic Tac Toe game by Cynthia's Gift Boutique has the game board on the back of the bag so that everything is compact and easily accessible. We have especially loved playing with this while at restaurants as it gives the kids something quiet to do instead of focusing on the rumbling in their tummies.
"I Spy" Busy Bags by Christina's Baby Boutique
My kids love to play "I Spy." We have some of the books, we play it in the car and at restaurants and now they have these bags by Christina's Baby Boutique. Inside the bag there are 20 different little items hidden behind tiny pellets. A laminated card is attached which identifies all the objects hidden. Move the bag around until you find an item then use a dry erase or washable marker to tic the item off of the card until you find all 20. To make this even more interesting, we make a game of it: first to identify all the items wins. Not only is this perfect for travel but it also makes for a great quiet time activity.
Quiet book by Kiddy Kreations by Alexis
The clear favorite, as judged by the three year old, was this adorable Nursery Rhyme felt quiet book by Kiddy Kreations by Alexis. Featuring "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," Old MacDonald," "Hickory Dickory Dock," and "1, 2, Buckle My Shoe," this felt book is loaded with snaps, buttons, buckles, finger puppets and tons of other interactive features that keep kids engaged while also teaching them number recognition and letting them exercise fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Play Mats by Mouse Loves Pig
I am a huge believer in the importance of open-ended, pretend play and I want that type of play to possible wherever we are which is why I love these play mats from Mouse Loves Pig. Compact and portable, you can pair a number of different small toys with them to change up the play which means these mats are literally going to go everywhere with us this summer.
Crayon Tote Bags by Cynthia's Gift Boutique
After curating the most adorable, must-have travel toys you need something to carry them all around in, right? Enter these personalized Crayon Totes by Cynthia's Gift Boutique. They are the perfect size in that they can be loaded down with toys but are still small enough for kids to carry on their own. Plus they have a dedicated spot for crayons, markers, pens and pencils! How genius is that??
Traveling with kids doesn't have to be difficult or cumbersome. As long as you are prepared with snacks and few travel essentials, you are good to go. So now that you are prepared, where are you traveling to?
Photography by Paiges of Gray