Travel toys that will keep kids occupied and parents sane.
Whether you are embarking on a road trip or a long-haul flight with the kids, set aside a little time for planning and preparation. Kids can be a lot to handle when cooped up in a little space such as an airplane seat or car seat for long periods of time. This can prove to be especially difficult if you’re a single parent without a second adult to pay attention to them while travelling. To save yourself and your kids from misery, consider investing into some interesting travel toys that will keep your young ones occupied while you’re going from point A to point B. Here are some of the best travel toys and accessories that will keep parents happy and kids occupied on long journeys:
Travel activity sets
Activity colouring sets are always a hit with kids whether your offspring is artsy or not. There are some great sets specifically made for travel. These often include a lap tray which makes it easy to draw and colour without a desk involved. They usually come with crayons, differently coloured and sized sheets of paper, or stencils, which will make drawing even more fun. If you do not like the idea of having to sharpen the kids’ pencils during the trip or having marker stains on seats and clothes, you may prefer magnetic drawing boards, magic books that work with water, or mess-free colouring books and pens from Crayola where the pens will only colour the special paper and nothing else. All of these are great because they leave absolutely no waste such as eraser residue nor will you have to deal with tiny pieces of paper lying around the car.
Must-have travel gadgets
Going on holiday with kids can be a challenge and nerve-wracking. One sure way to keep the kids occupied en route is to get them a tablet or DVD player. Children of any age will enjoy listening to music or watching a film or two while mum or dad are driving. However, listening to Baby Shark on repeat can get pretty tedious, and if you have kids of different ages, they will not want to watch the same movie. Similarly, those seated next to your family on a plane, might not appreciate it either. So, make sure to invest in decent headphones specifically made for kids. These are smaller than regular headphones to ensure they fit on tiny heads perfectly. Kid-friendly headphones also come with a volume-limiting option to protect young ears. If you want to ensure your little ones don’t rip the headphones off after a short while, make sure that you shop for ones with cushioned earpads. These cushions will make the headphones sit comfortably on their little heads and you do not end up having to solve quarrels on the backseat whilst driving.
If your kids like board games, there are lots of travel games that don’t take up much space on your journey and will also come in handy when you are at your holiday destination. ASDA currently sells mini versions of 4 Scores, Frustration and What’s Their Name. Card games, such as Uno, can also easily be played en route between siblings.
Sensory set are a great way to keep babies and toddlers entertained and stimulated, especially if it’s something new. You can include toys for the trip that sparkle or make a sound when shaken, toys that can be chewed, fidget toys, light-up toys such as a spinning light globe, or any small squishy or textured items. Sensory toys not only calm babies and young children, but they also help older kids to manage their anger and are proven to be beneficial for any kids that have sensory needs, brought on by ADHD, autism, or other diagnoses.
Building block puzzles
If you have young children, have a look for building blocks that are made specifically for use on the road. Coming in their own box, these are great toys for developing fine and gross motor skills, attention span and self-esteem. Obviously building towers and intricate buildings won’t work in the back of a car nor on a tiny aeroplane tray, so you need to buy building block puzzles, which can be played on the lap. All the better if they are magnetic. If you also have a baby on board you may want to get blocks that can be chewed, such as the ones that are made of a soft silicon material. In this way if you forget to pack a chewing toy for the baby, but you have some of these blocks on hand, you won’t need to stop and shop for baby products in Singapore or wherever your journey has taken you.
Tangram jig saws
Tangram is an entertaining puzzle originating from China consisting of seven geometrical shapes which can make a plethora of different figures ranging from a butterfly to a boat. If your child enjoys jigsaws, getting them a magnetic tangram puzzle for the road trip is a no brainer: The puzzles are compact and lightweight making them perfect travel toys. Most of them offer a wide array of possible combinations, which could entertain your little one for hours on end. Offering various levels of challenges, they are an ideal choice for both younger and older kids.
It is a good idea to prepare when you are embarking on a holiday on your own, especially on a road trip with kids or a solo flight, but there is no need to panic if you didn’t get around to buying brand new travel toys before you set off. Turn to travel classics, such as “I spy” or “I am going on a picnic, or make your own activity set: You could pack a little case for each child, and depending on your son or daughter’s age and interest, pack things, such as a piece of string long enough for cat’s cradle, a couple of books, a little Lego box complete with board (best glued to the case) and bricks, a set of activity sheets, including car bingo, dot to dot, colouring in, and much more. There are lots of printable sheets and other smart ideas for travel accessories on Pinterest. Even the smallest amount of preparation will take the stress out of travelling solo with kids!
About the author – Single Parents on Holiday:
We organise group holidays for single parent families and solo holidays for singles, solo travellers, and single parents who want to have a break and travel without the kids. Go to our homepage to find out more or sign up to our newsletter to get the latest travel updates and deals directly to your inbox.