We traveled to the Gold Coast this long weekend. It's our first time flying since COVID hit last year. I flew alone with Otto (3yrs) and Otto also spent a lot of time watching his brothers' sporting events. So before leaving home I put together eight activities to take with us. These activities are generally open-ended activities that promote concentration and calm, that are also quiet and clean.
The activities I prepared include:
- Colour-blast - we also love Water Wow. Colour-blast uses a special marker that only works on the paper provided. Water Wow is also fantastic as the water is applied to the paper to reveal the picture and it is also reusable.
- Re-usable Stickers - These stickers can be moved and re-used over and over. This was the most used activity over the weekend.
- National Geographic Kids - we subscribe to this magazine and love it, there are also lots of pictures to look at and facts that interest everyone. This magazine is also much lighter than a book, so it's easy to take on board.
- Markers and Art Pad - later I also put a sheet of stickers in this set too. The stickers were used straight away but you want to be careful that your child keeps the stickers on the paper, not chairs and walls. We also used Pip-Squeaks Markers for the first time, you only want to take markers that are super easy to clean.
- Magnetic Tiles - these are Magformers. Magnetic tiles are fun to use while traveling. I only put in a handful but it was enough to keep Otto happy for short periods of time.
- Play Dough Pack - this isn't suitable for all environments, the idea is the child can play in the lid or the container or another surface that is easy to clean. I've includes some matchsticks, small craft sticks, googly eyes, and small pipe cleaners for building and creating. We mostly used this in our hotel room on the table provided.
- Magnetic Fish Maze Game - this is borrowed from our local Toy Library. The child uses the magnetic wand to move the balls in the game.
- Projector - we have a few of these flashlight projectors and they are all fun to use. This is a new projector but I've put it in a container to keep all the pieces together while we travel and I've also included part of the package so the child can identify the animals they've seen. This was also a huge hit, but I only recommend it if your child is able to follow basic rules like not shining it around the room or at people.
The Colour-blast, re-usable stickers, and projector were the most popular and very well used all weekend. I don't have a problem with a little screen time however all weekend, including two flights and a lot of waiting, we didn't need and Otto didn't ask for a screen/game/movie at all.
Movable stickers are my go-to for travel toys. We used them with Otto when he was a toddler too. Super easy to take on board and doesn't take up much space in your bag.
The flashlight projector was also used a lot. It works best on a white screen but the back of the seat or wall of the plane works ok too.
Also using the moveable stickers on the stands, while watching his brothers.
This is the Colour-blast Sea Life. It kept Otto busy concentrating for ages and it's super quiet and clean.
In our hotel room, the play dough pack was well played with.
Really late in the day, still at the sports stadium, Otto loved getting out the magnetic tiles.
Other relevant articles include:
- Screen Free Options for Toddlers - When Travelling or Eating Out - at 18 months.
- Travel Bags for Montessori Toddlers - Screen Free Options for travelling or eating out - at 2 years.
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