Activities to keep kids busy while traveling

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We travel often and are at a loss on how to keep our (nearly) 3 year old occupied. Be it at the airport or in the train or car, even 1 hour seems like 3 hours when we don’t have activities planned.. some tips that I have got from other parents.

  • Carry Snacks– Nothing does it like a bag of chips or if you have younger kids, puffed rice.. it takes a long time to eat and will keep them occupied for at least 1/2 hr. Forget dirty faces, clothes and floor. If you want a healthier alternative ( U can try, might work) .. give an apple to munch on with the skin.
  • Play dough – Buy a travel pack of play dough with the plastic moulds. You get it at Spar for 48 rs. This works best if you are traveling by train. [Not Suitable for kids under 3]

play dough

    • Carry CDs with Portable DVD player – The philips base model starts from 5500Rs. This has a battery life of 3 hrs and will keep a kid at one place. Make sure that u pack a CD that the kid has not seen in some time.

Portable DVD player

  • Magnetic toys – Really handy in a moving vehicle. From magnetic ludo, snakes n ladders (Lil P’s fav) , Chess (PC’s fav) to building blocks all are available at a toy store nearby.

magnetic travel toys

Speaking about magnetic toys a special mention is this catching game ( Fish game as lil P calls it). Its a big hit in our household. Available for Rs. 150 , The fishes open and close their mouths as they go round n round and one needs to catch the fish with a fishing magnet rod.
Fish game

  • Be artistic – Carry an empty notebook and some crayons. Draw and color characters from daily activities. Like when we traveled to Goa, on our way back we drew everything from hills, to a beach with sand castles, to ships named santa monica .. and characters from the rhymes that lil P was familiar with. a black sheep, bingo the dog, itsy bitsy spider, humpty dumpty.. and sang the rhymes too ..
  • Activity pads – carry something that is age appropriate. From coloring pages to join the dots etc work very well with slightly older kids.
  • Books & toys – Though these can be really heavy, carry some that are lying around the house but not used in some time. Video games are also popular with kids above 5 years..

Do you know of any other game / activity that can help me with lil P ?? Don’t forget to pass the info along.

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  1. Nice post. I have 2 suggestions. You can give Leapster Video Game which is educational. Your kid is only 3 year old..however if your kid is already video game savvy, you can give Nintendo DS with games. That will keep your kid playing the DS for hours together.

  2. @SG: Ya! I had forgotten abt that.. We haven’t bought any video games yet .. but i can buy it the next time we travel. 🙂 thanks.

  3. @ Swaram : Fish game is actually addictive! n a 3 year old might just win over a 33 year old!! both father n daughter have loads of fun! 🙂 its fun for elders to play it too.. actually this game was introduced to a friend of mine in her management class.

  4. yup, I’m noting them too…for the future 😉
    My sis never had to worry. Her son was always too happy to travel and would just need the window seat to keep himself occupied.

  5. @swaram: ya!! u try telling that to lil p.. i get to hear “mommy shut the laptop” .. mommy “throw the laptop” .. “bad laptop” quite often these days! 😉

  6. @AJ: Some prayers maybe 😉
    On a serious note, *Trying to remember how Lil P was at age 1 year* I had bought fisher price toys that lit up when lil p would press or poke. Yup the noice was annoying to other passengers.. but better this than a wailing baby.

  7. hey great ideas. hats off to you for remembering and posting up such useful things 🙂 Since we also travel a lot, shall surely use these tips.