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]
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.