I am just back from a weekend break in Scotland with my husband and two daughters aged 5 and 7. We had a lovely time. Before leaving, I supervised my children packing a small backpack each of activities that they could do while travelling and sitting in restaurants/coffee shops. Here’s what they packed:
- Colouring books. I allowed them to bring one each. After all, I wanted their bags to be light enough that they wouldn’t complain about carrying them and I find that too much choice can mean that they don’t know where to start and then don’t start! My eldest daughter loves intricate designs (similar to adult colouring books) while my younger daughter still enjoys colouring in simple cartoon style characters.
- Colours. They both brought their own pencil cases with markers in them. Although this meant doubling what was needed, it avoided fights while we were away. At first my eldest wanted to bring colouring pencils but I persuaded her to choose markers instead. Colouring pencils are great for home, but sharpening them in restaurants and on planes is messy.
- A book each. Both had been to the school library earlier in the week, so they had a new book each to bring. Out of the five activities they brought, these were the least used. I think if we’d had a longer flight, they might have been read more. While in restaurants, there was just too much going on that they choose activities that they could look up from and not struggle to find their spot again.
- Putty Peeps. These are small and light to travel with and encourage so much creativity. I think these were the most played with toys/activities while we travelled. For those of you who have never seen putty peeps before, it’s tough putty in a small tin and it comes with 2 eyes. The idea behind it is that you mould characters out of the putty. Both my daughters love this activity. They’ve had their putty peeps for several months now and it’s as good as it was when we first opened it. It doesn’t dry out or get grainy, like cheaper putty.
- I surprised them on the plane by giving them a packet of Djeco Mini Wordsearch Puzzles for them to have during the holiday. They both loved them, although my five year old needed a bit of help as she lost concentration easier than her seven year old sister. These packs of Djeco Minis have 30 cards in each and come with a pencil. They are small and easy to carry around. They also take about 20 minutes to complete, which means 20 minutes of adult time in a coffee shop or restaurant! The girls have used about 8 of their cards and I’ll pack away the remainder in my suitcase for our next holiday, so that they remain a treat activity and not something that they girls have grown bored of.
We were away with my sister’s family. Her kids are younger (1 and 3 year olds). She had also packed a few activities for her kids – cardboard books for her young daughter and some books, putty peep and a stretchy caterpillar toy for her 3 year old son.
If you’re going travelling with your children soon, I hope that this blog has helped you decide what toys and activities to bring for them. We went to Thailand last year and had to bring more, as our flights were much longer. If you’d like to read the blog about what we brought for this trip, you’ll find it here.
I’d love to learn from you too, so if there’s particular activities or travel games that you always bring on holidays with your kids, please comment below. Thanks,