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One of our favourite travel hacks is DIY travel activity kits for toddlers and kids. Long-distance travel with toddlers can be downright challenging for them and for you. There’s no doubt you need to be well prepared when travelling with children of all ages, and travel activity kits for kids are the ultimate option for keeping the frustrating moments to a minimum while you travel.
And the best part – they are really inexpensive to make too!
We’ve put together our top tips for creating your own kid’s activity kits for travel so you can start your next family vacation on the right foot!
One year old’s lose attention quickly, as do all toddlers.
The best part, most of the items that went into our travel activity packs were items the kids already had at home or things I made myself.
This meant they were completely budget-friendly!
They are also one of the girls’ favourite things about travelling… YES, they love them that much!
Check out this video for a quick look at our activity packs and some other ideas for travel activities we love:
TIPS FOR CREATING TRAVEL ACTIVITY KITS FOR KIDS
When creating a plane travel activity kit for kids for your upcoming travels, there are several things that need to be considered before you put your kits together.
To help with your planning, we have put together a list of tips to consider when creating activity kits for toddlers and kids.
1 – Is It Age Appropriate?
The first thing you want to consider is whether your activity is appropriate for the age of your child.
For example, tiny parts and potential choking hazards are not ideal for toddlers and small children. And this may also need to be considered when travelling with multiple children of different age groups because small fingers are prone to wandering.
Make sure the activities are safe for your children, based on their ages.
2 – Is It Compact?
When travelling, you want activities that are small and compact, easy to travel with and preferably lightweight.
This is especially true if you are travelling by public transport such as on a plane or a bus, where there is limited space to do activities and also a limit on baggage allowance.
Find activities that take up little room or weight and that fit into an easy to carry travel case or pouch. For road trips with kids, you might have a little more room to work with!
3 – Is It Messy?
No one wants to be cleaning up glitter that has spilled all over the place or collecting the 300 buttons that your child accidentally dropped out of their activity kit, all over the floor of the train. Nope!
Avoid any activities that involve lots of tiny parts or messy pieces. It will only cause you more stress than it’s worth. Instead, stick to activities with fewer pieces or those that are unlikely to spill.
Magnets or velcro can be a great option for keeping pieces from easily spilling too.
4 – Will It Entertain For Long Periods?
While you want the activities you take travelling to be new and exciting, you also want to be sure they are something that will capture your child’s attention for a significant period of time. And preferably more than once during your trip.
Consider your child’s existing interests and the things they like to do for long periods. See how you can recreate a similar activity for travel so you know it won’t just be wasting space in your luggage.
5 – Is It Suitable For Your Transport?
If you will be travelling by plane or sitting close to other passengers, it is essential to consider if your activity kit for kids is suitable for this type of transport.
Obviously, most glue or paint products are not going for plane travel, or anything flammable, so you may need to rethink the model car building activity you had in mind.
Make sure the items in your activity kit are approved for your mode of transport… and even if they are allowed, ensure they won’t bother other passengers i.e. noisy, smelly, messy.
HOW TO CREATE TRAVEL ACTIVITY PACKS FOR TODDLERS
To create your own DIY travel activity pack for toddlers, start by finding a suitable bag or case for the activities you want to include.
Be mindful that the type you choose is both age-appropriate, and well suited to your type of trip & transport too.
You want something that is relatively easy to open, and also secure enough that you won’t have items spilling out all over the place either.
For ours, I wanted to ensure my 1 and 3-year-old’s at the time both had a variety of activities for quiet time and during the boring long travelling periods.
I got them each a personalised fold up toiletry bag with their name on the front, which are perfect!
They are small, compact & have lots of pockets and sections to fill up with fun activities. Kids love pockets!
You can find a similar option. It comes in lots of fun patterns and colours.
Our youngest daughter was a little young for many activities that are small enough to fit in our organisers that we have since most of her favourite toys are large, loud and musical.
This meant finding some more plane friendly items for her to travel with.
She had fun unpacking it all at least, so that was promising!
Inside her DIY travel activity kit, we added a toy car suitable for 6 months & up and a squeaky bath toy that can be used to squirt water in case we wanted a bit of a laugh on the hot summer days in Croatia and beyond.
We also added a mini magnetic etch-o-sketchthat we got when we were in Vietnam. Miss 1 loves drawing already so the no-mess version is perfect for her while we travel.
Other travel activity kit ideas for 1 – 2 year olds:
If you don’t want to make your own, travel subscription boxes are perfect for taking with you as well. Many of these subscription activity boxes come in compact sizes, with fun activities kids can do while on the move. Check out our KiwiCo review for our favourite!
What activities do you use to keep your kids entertained when out and about?
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