Last Updated on April 1, 2014 by Jody Halsted
I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to turning on a DVD for my kids to watch during long drives. Or relying on the in-flight movies. Let's face it… It's easy. But it can also be quite mind numbing- as my kids have pointed out to me on a few occasions. Looking out the window is only fun for so long and I can only handle a short game of “I spy” (especially since my girls don't really understand the point of playing it is to actually spy something) before I begin to crack.
I've tried quite a few quiet toys for travel and these are the 5 that join us most frequently. Bonus: these are also popular at home, too!
1) Lacing Shapes It's almost like sewing but you never make a mistake. These lacing shapes have an extra-long string. To keep the string from getting dropped, tie one end to the shape. Another fun lacing toy is the Wooden Lacing Sneaker. It's great for learning to tie shoes (especially when you don't actually own tie-up shoes!)
2) Kumon Books. I adore the Kumon books. These fun and educational workbooks cover everything – colors, numbers, paper folding, mazes, alphabet, telling time, the value of money… I could go on and on. Learning levels begin at pre-k and go through grade 6. Amazon has a terrific selection of Kumon Books beginning at $4.03.
3) Dry Erase Magnet Boards. I love a toy that does double duty. The wonderful magnet boards from Tika Kids can also be used with dry erase markers. With the varied use my girls will go from telling stories to each other using magnetic characters to putting together magnetic puzzles to playing a game of tic-tac-toe. Tika Kids also makes a great activity bag for carrying the board, markers and other activities. For more about Tika Kids click here. Boards are $10, bags are $15. They are machine washable and come in both boy and girl friendly designs.
4) Figurines and Cars. Right now my girls can't get enough of the Disney Precious Princess figures (small; like Polly Pocket) and Polly Pocket dolls. According to my friends with boys the Lego Star Wars figures are popular and Hot Weeels cars never seem to go out of style. We have a small pouch for these toys and use them with the Snack and Play Travel Tray so the little pieces don't escape.
5) Books with magnet play sets. We received a couple of these for Christmas two years ago and they have traveled with us many times. While ours are Disney Princesses and Fairies the options I've found include letters,shapes and colors, Shrek, Scooby Doo, Cars, Toy Story, American Girls characters and more. Some books include a hard plastic carrying case; some don't. Amazon has a nice selection of these books with prices beginning around $6.50.
What is your favorite travel friendly item for quiet play?
Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate. The items I have listed I do use and recommend but clicking on one of the links and buying a product may cause me to earn a tiny (tiny) bit of money.