Best Travel Activities for the Creative Child

21 Travel Activities for the Creative Child

creative child

Do you have a creative child? An artist? Maybe a designer? There are a lot of great creative travel activities. Keep your child occupied and entertained, maybe even away from screen-time, on your next flight or road trip with some of these travel activities for the Creative Child. As I compile this list I’m thinking about the elementary school-aged child, but you will find that many of these activities are appropriate for all ages. When buying for ages 5 and under be aware of potential frustration levels and of choking hazards.

(Disclosure: For your shopping convenience this post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you make a purchase using these links I may receive a small commission, which goes towards the operation of this website. I appreciate your support! –Beth)

*Prices listed are current at the time of posting. Amazon prices can change often, so check the price in your cart.

Art Activities

1) How to Draw Planes, Trains, and Boats $4.99
creative child

2) Solid Tempera Paint $9.80
creative child

Dries in 90 seconds! I can’t wait to try these. I am not sure if there is any scent to them, though. Do you know? Comment below. If this paint has a smell then it may not be good for the aircraft. I’ll update this post once I try these paints!

3) Watercolor Pencil Kit $7.77

creative child

4) String Art $18.13 (orig. $19.99)
creative child

5) Finger Printing Art Set $10.25
creative child

6) Drawing Kit $5.79
creative child

Building Activities

7) Bunchems Travel Easel $11.25 (orig. $14.99)
creative child

Word to the wise: pull back long hair and remind kids to never get Bunchems near their hair. Bunchems have tiny hooks that will tangle with hair easily. I always pack safety scissors when I travel, because you just never know when you might need scissors. *My kids play with these often and have never had a hair disaster with them, so that’s why I feel good recommending them.

8) ZOOB Builderz Traveler $13.65 (orig. $22)
creative child

If your child is really into building and design, this kit may be worth packing even though it is a bit large (12 x 2.8 x 7 inches) and heavy (2.2 lbs.).  A creative builder may spend an hour playing with Zoob pieces.

9) Tegu Wooden Block Set $24.42 (orig. $31.99)
creative child

10) Lego Mini Kits $9.64 & up
creative child

I like this particular Lego kit because once you build it you have two characters and two cars with which to play.

Sensory Activities

These activities provide proprioceptive input (aka “heavy work”), which helps to calm and regulate the nervous system. Everyone can benefit from that, especially a creative child!

11) Travel Fashion Plates $4.46 (from $19.99)
creative child
12) Scratch & Sketch Note Pad $12.99 (from $15.99)
creative child
13) Play Foam $7.62
creative child

Squish and squeeze it, mold it into any design. We used to always carry Play-Doh on flights, but now we pack this foam instead. I put each color into individual sandwich bags and smash them flat to put into our busy bag.

14) Wikki Stix Travel Fun $12.00
creative child

TIP: I recommend bringing along a pair of safety scissors when you pack Wikki Stix. Sometimes you need just a small piece but they are not breakable!

15) Mosaic Stickers $8.95 & up
creative child

These little mosaic sticker kits are great! Just be careful not to drop the stickers on the floor. I like to put them straight into a Ziploc bag upon opening and just work with one color at a time.

creative child

16) Stained Glass Stickers $12.99
creative child

17) Zen Artist Board $14.95
creative child

Calming and relaxing: paint with water and then image disappears as it dries. (Warn your child ahead of time and take a picture of any very special art creation so it’s not lost forever.)

Logic Activities

18) Travel Logic Puzzles $7.99 (orig. $11.99)
creative child

We have this puzzle and really enjoy it. There are patterns from beginner to expert and the expert level is very challenging for me! I believe we got this when my daughter Ella was five, and she was able to do the beginner puzzles.

19) Travel Tangoes $9.99
creative child

Create designs using shapes!

20) IQ Twist $9.99
creative child

21) Coggy $13.95 (orig. $14.95)
creative child

Zig-zag and coil the connected cogs to match each challenge card image.

What do you think of this list? Do you have any travel activities for the creative child to add? I love to get comments from my readers. Comment below or on my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page.

 

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Window Seat Views

9 Photos That Will Inspire You to Book A Window Seat

Are you a window seat or aisle seat person when you fly? There are advantages of both, but I love sitting in the window seat because of the view. Here are 9 photos that inspire booking a window seat for you next flight. And keep that window shade open! As a flight attendant I see so many people missing a beautiful sunset, gorgeous snow-capped mountains, fascinating lightning storm, and more because they leave their window shade closed the entire flight. Even if it’s a bright sunny day, just lift the window shade up for a little peek every once in a while to see if there’s a spectacular scene waiting for you.  Many of these photos were taken with my iPhone5s, so the quality could be better, but hopefully you can look past that and be inspired by the beauty seen from 30,000 feet.

1. Pink Sunsets

Window Seat

2. Snowy Mountains

Window Seat

3. Dry Mountains

Window Seat

4. Airplane Wing

Window Seat

5. Wispy Clouds

Window Seat

6. Runway View

Window Seat

The St. Thomas Airport runway is in the top right corner.

7. Islands

Window Seat

Final Approach to Miami International Airport

8. Wing Tips and Mountain Tops

Window Seat

9. Landing

Window Seat

Flaps Down, Spoilers Up

Do you have some favorite photos from the window seat to share? Tag me when you post on social media! You can find me on Facebook (CloudSurfingKids), Instagram (@CloudSurfingKids), and Twitter (@CloudSurfingMom). I’d love to see your window seat views! #windowseatview

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What to Look For in a Family Friendly Hotel

family friendly

Top Items That Make a Hotel Family Friendly

Searching for a family friendly hotel? Today I was in a discussion with other family travel bloggers about what amenities or designs we look for in a hotel. The conversation inspired me to list items that are important to me when I travel with my family. When you’re comparing hotels, look for these things for a more family friendly stay.

Black Out Curtains

Especially when your children are very young and sensitive to light. When traveling the kids might be going to bed later than usual, so you don’t want them waking at the crack of dawn!

PACKING TIP:  I usually bring a few clothespins or plastic clips to keep any light from seeping through. Clothes hangers with clips also work.

(Disclaimer: This post contains links to travel products for your convenience. When you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, which will go toward the operation of this website. Thank you for your support! –Beth Henry, Flight Attendant Mom)

Bathtub

Some kids can handle showers at a young age, but for many it’s just much easier to bathe than shower a young child.

Large Bathroom

It sounds silly, but I get excited when there is a large bathroom in our hotel room. The reason? I often have to hide away there in order to read or work on the computer without disturbing the kids.  If there’s a hint of light or activity in the room then they’ll never go to sleep!

family friendly

Funny how excited I get when the hotel has a bathroom large enough to sit in! I don’t have to hide in a corner trying to not wake the kids. LOL

Sink Outside of Bathroom

When you have several people sharing a room it’s so useful to be able to use the sink even when someone is showering or using the toilet.

Space for Travel Crib

I hate having to move hotel furniture around to create sleeping space for the kids! If you’re traveling with a child under 2, then bringing a travel crib can really help to give your child a better night (and nap) sleep. We love the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib. It sets up in just about 20 seconds and the mattress rests on the floor, with a liner but no bars under it. This makes it so much more comfortable compared to a Pack ‘n’ Play. My son John just turned 4 and he still wants to sleep in the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib! We still used it for him until he was 3.5, because he didn’t try to climb out. He couldn’t stretch out in it, but he loved to scrunch up against the side like it was a hammock.

Refrigerator

When you have a refrigerator in your room you can stock a few snack items to keep your kids happy between meal opportunities. We usually stock milk, cheese sticks, and yogurt.

Microwave

The reason I personally like having a microwave is to make coffee! Although it’s a nice amenity to have a coffee pot in the room, I never really trust the cleanliness of it. I like to travel with Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee so that I always have a consistent brew. With a microwave I can heat up water, add my coffee packet, and I’m happy! If you know in advance that there is a microwave in your hotel room then you can bring along a few packets of microwave popcorn, reheat restaurant leftovers, or heat up a frozen burrito or something if the kids are going to bed early and you don’t want to pay for room service.

Free Breakfast

It’s nice any time something is free, but when traveling with family, free breakfast in the hotel is especially useful. Your kids may wake up at varying hours, making it difficult to plan a specific time for breakfast. If free breakfast is provided it will save you money going out to a restaurant every morning, plus there is usually enough variety to make even the pickiest eaters happy. At our favorite hotel in Newport, R.I., The Jailhouse Inn, I can leave the kids sleeping in the room (while listening on the baby monitor I bring along) and set up a tray with breakfast for us all. That way if they actually sleep in late, I don’t miss the breakfast hours.

family friendly

Most hotel breakfasts offer enough variety to make everyone happy.

For Bonus Points (Hotels, Take Note)

These aren’t things I would actually ask about when booking a hotel, but they might be the thing that wins me as a loyal customer on future visits.

Power Strip with USB Outlets

Power outlets are such an important commodity! I wouldn’t actually search for this when looking for a hotel, but when a hotel has lots of accessible power outlets it sure makes me happy! When you’re unsure of the setup in your hotel room, you might want to think about packing a small, lightweight power strip so that you’re always prepared.

Step Stool

Karilyn Owen, Family Travel Blogger from No Back Home, shared this great idea:

“Oh yes another for traveling with kids is a small stool in the bathroom so they can reach the sink to brush their teeth! I love when I see this in a room. Rather than turning the trash upside down as a stool!”

She also shared that, “The only hotel we have ever stayed at that my son gave thumbs up to for child thought out amenities was the Legoland hotel.”

Without a stool, what other creative things have you used to help your child reach the sink in a hotel room?

Shower Head with Hose

If there is a shower head nozzle it is just so much easier to rinse your child’s hair. Pouring water from a cup only works for a few years before their hair gets too thick for it to rinse well.

 

What family friendly things do you look for when booking a hotel? Are the same things that I listed important to you? I love to hear from my readers. Comment below or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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New York Botanical Garden Child Review

New York Botanical Garden

This past weekend we visited the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Holiday Train Show. We were lucky and won tickets through our local Macaroni Kid organization (a great resource to discover events and resources for families). The NYBG Holiday Train Show ran from  November 19, 2016-January 16, 2016, so it is over for this season. But my daughter, Ella, age 8, would like to share about her experience. You’ll see from her report that it is still worth visiting the New York Botanical Garden, even when the train show is not on exhibit.

I (Beth Henry, founder and editor of Cloud Surfing Kids) asked Ella to tell me about what she liked most at the NYBG Holiday Train Show. The trains were not the highlight of the day for her. Here are her impressions: (I gave her the camera and let her photograph without any direction. Half these photos are taken by her, as noted.)

New York Botanical Garden Review: by Ella, Age 8

new york botanical garden

Tip: Giving your kids the camera can help you see even more through their eyes!

new york botanical garden

“Manhattan Buildings” NYBG Train Show: photography by EllaJoyArt

Ella: They make all the houses out of things in nature. It’s really cool. I wonder how long it takes and how they keep it from molding or turning into dirt? I don’t know if I’d like to make one of those. It’s a lot of work, but maybe I would like to do it.  The train part of it was good. My favorite part was Coney Island, where the trains were made out of salt shakers and cooking things like that. And trees and acorns and things for decoration.

new york botanical garden

“Coney Island” NYBG Train Show: photography by EllaJoyArt

Ella: My very favorite part of the exhibit was the rain forest because it was hot and green and amazing. There was some water there. I wish they added fish, butterflies, and birds to it…maybe monkeys too. Or maybe even frogs. Well, I really liked the jungle section and I went there twice.

Beth: If you went back, would you go to the rain forest first?

Ella: Well, I’d have to wait in line, you know? (Editor’s note: the train exhibit ticket had an stamped entry time. We lined up for our 12pm time and waited about 20 minutes to enter the exhibit. Ella had a difficult time waiting in the noisy crowd.)

Beth: Would it be worth waiting in line?

Ella: Yes, especially if they added some cool animals to the biomes!

new york botanical garden

photography by EllaJoyArt

new york botanical gardenElla: They grow a lot of stuff there, even cocoa plants. I saw cocoa beans! (Forgot to take a picture.)

new york botanical garden

Ella: These vines are really cool. I was trying to get unstuck from the vines.

new york botanical garden

The desert room was really neat:

new york botanical garden

Ouch! Don’t worry, I wasn’t really touching the cactus!

Beth: Would you recommend everyone visit the New York Botanical Gardens?

Ella: No, because I would want everyone to have time for their schedule. (Editor’s note: Ella means she does not want to inconvenience anyone or interrupt their other plans.) 🙂

Beth (rephrasing): Would you want them to plan a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens when they can fit it into their schedule?

Ella: Yeah. Because it has lots of very amazing plants.

New York Botanical Garden

Thanks for reading! -Ella, age 8

Do you have any questions for Ella about her day the the New York Botanical Gardens? Post below in the comments or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages! You can also follow Ella’s artwork on Facebook at EllaJoyArt.  Comments will help her want to write and share more, so please take a moment to encourage her.

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Island Vacation Packing

Island Vacation

Extras to Pack for an Island Vacation

When you’re preparing for an island vacation, you might want to pack some things you don’t pack for every trip. Here are the extra things we pack for our annual island vacation to St. Thomas, USVI. Save yourself money and hassle by bringing these things with you.

Lantern


Many times when we have stayed in St. Thomas, we have experienced power outages which sometimes last for hours. Electricity availability is limited with challenges in supply. Although it has improved in the past couple of years, we always expect to lose power at least once in a week-long stay. I found these Electcity Lanterns, which are light weight (10oz.) and are very bright.  I also pack a headlamp flashlight no matter where I travel.

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links I may receive a small commission which goes toward the operation of this website. Thank you for your support!)

Food


Of course there is plenty of food available in most vacation spots, but it is so much more expensive. For the kids I usually pack a few basics if I have room in my checked baggage. I pack peanut butter and jelly, juice boxes, tortillas, macaroni and cheese boxes, dried fruit, a box of favorite cereal, and snack crackers. Depending on your location you might also be able to order some of these online ahead of time and have them delivered.

Sand Bucket


You would expect that a resort or condo at the beach would have sand toys, but some do not. Come prepared by packing a collapsible sand bucket and a few digging tools.

Snorkel Gear


If you want to enjoy snorkeling, it is essential that you have a good mask that doesn’t leak. The first time I went snorkeling I had a choice of a few snorkel masks to borrow, but none of them sealed properly. I had to pay about 30% more than retail to buy a snorkel mask that worked for me. I love the idea of this Aikeli mask with no-mouthpiece, which looks easier for kids to manage than a standard mask.

Blackout Curtains


You’re visiting the Islands for the sun, but that bright sun might not be so welcome when you’re trying to sleep, especially if you still have young children that need to nap. I pack a couple of lightweight blackout curtains and some clothespins for hanging them. Alternatively you could bring black garbage bags and painter’s tape.

Those are my “extra” items for an island vacation. Are there extra items you pack for an island vacation that you don’t pack on other trips? Share in the comments below! Every Tuesday I write a new blog post with travel tips. Be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! If you have any travel questions I’d love to help!

Island Vacation

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5 Step Packing: Flying With Kids

packing

Packing in 5 Simple Steps

As I was packing last week I finally recognized my method. Here, in 5 simple steps, is how I pack when I’m flying with kids. Check back every Tuesday for a new Travel Tips post. And I love to have new followers! Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

(Disclaimer: Some links in this website are affiliate links. When you make a purchase through them I may receive a small commission which goes toward the operation of this website. Thank you for your support!)

 5 Step Packing (2)1) Set Out Clothing

Select the clothing items you think you’ll need for each person and set them out on your bed.

2) Select Outfits for Travel Day and For Carry On

From the clothing you’ve selected, find a travel outfit for each person and an outfit for a spare. Put the spare outfit, complete with socks and underwear, into a gallon-size Ziploc bag: one for each person, two for babies.

3) Eliminate Unnecessary Extras

I almost always set out more than I need. Consider whether you will really wear each outfit. Take items that can be used to dress up or down. If you’ll be able to launder your clothing then you can pack less.

4) Pack Toiletries and Medicines.

I love this refillable bottle pack. I’ve never had them leak and the sizes are within the TSA acceptable guidelines. (Remember that when bringing liquids with your carry-on bags you must comply with TSA guidelines: 3.4 ounces (100mL) or smaller containers, all stored within a Quart-sized Ziploc bag. One bag is permitted per ticketed passenger. Medicines are exempt from this size restriction but must be separated and declared for separate screening.) Don’t pack necessities like medicines, glasses, mouth guard, or keys in your checked bags; always put them in your carry on.

5) Pack Food Bag & Toys

Some of the food items I always pack are food bars, dried fruit, sandwich crackers, and cheese sticks. You can find more travel food ideas here: Fun Travel Food and Tools, Food on the Plane: What Can I Bring?5 Homemade Travel-Friendly Foods.

If you need ideas for activities and toys to keep the kids occupied in flight, try a few of these: Busy Bag for Preschoolers and Elementary Age Kids to Share; Unique Travel Toys for ages 3-6 (and up); Best Travel Gifts for Toddlers.

Does this list help you? Would you add anything to it? Comment below! Your comment may help other travelers perfect their packing methods.

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Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings

Christmas in a Hotel

Do flight attendants ever get the chance to hang Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve?

Christmas Stockings

As a flight attendant I often have to fly on holidays. Although it varies by company and location, flight attendants usually have to work 30+ years before they can hold Christmas eve and Christmas Day off! Flight attendants learn to adapt, and often celebrate important holidays on a different date, bring their family with them on a trip, or pay hundreds of dollars to someone else to work the trip for them. (The past several years I’ve had to pay $300 to get Christmas Day off.)

Christmas Stockings

One year I was working a trip that flew Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I had short overnight layover in Orlando.  I decided last minute to hang a “stocking” on my hotel door. Since I didn’t think of Christmas stockings ahead of time, I hadn’t brought a stocking with me; all I had was a white sports sock. I stuck it on the doorknob along with a note, saying, “Santa, please bring me Christmas treats.” I put a Christmas tree pin on it too. Before going to bed, I couldn’t help but peek. The sock was gone! I was upset, wondering why someone would steal my sock, on Christmas Eve no less! I just hoped that someone had actually taken it to fill it instead.

The next morning I got out of bed and rushed to the door. I was more excited then I’ve been since I was a kid, because guess what? Santa came!!!!

Not only was my sock back in its place (well, on the floor, because it was heavy with all the treats inside), but there was also a small bag filled with treats! It was amazing! There were so many treats stuffed inside: Emergen-C packet, travel toothpaste and toothbrush, single packets of Motrin, Cookies, Candy,…so many fun things!

Will you be in a hotel on Christmas Eve? Try it!

Now, I can’t promise that Santa will know you are there and hanging Christmas stockings. Try hanging it early in the evening so Santa will see it there. A friend of mine tried this last year, but she didn’t get to the hotel until about 11pm, so Santa didn’t have enough time to catch on. If you’re doing this with kids, I highly recommend having a back up available, just in case Santa is otherwise occupied. Winking smile

Have you ever traveled on Christmas Eve or been in a hotel? What things did you do to make it festive?

I (Beth Henry, Flight Attendant Mom), publish a post every Tuesday with family travel tips. Be sure to sign up for email notifications (side bar) or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so you don’t miss a post! If you have any travel questions, let me know! I love to help!

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Best Travel Gifts for Toddlers

travel gifts for toddlers

23 Travel Gifts for Toddlers

20 Gift Ideas (2)

If you’re looking for travel gifts for toddlers, I’ve got you covered! Here I list 23 of our favorite toys, equipment, and food ideas for your traveling toddler. I go beyond the standard suggestions with lots of unique ideas. Which ones are your favorites? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Every Tuesday on this website I post new travel tips. Be sure to subscribe to email notifications (in sidebar) and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. What aspect of family would you like me to address?

TOYS

Stickers, Color Wonder Markers, Play-Doh…You already know these busy bag ideas for your toddler. Here are some less commonly suggested, compact and lightweight ideas for keeping your child entertained in flight:

1) Lauri Toddler Tote $10.93 (orig. $14.99)

This is a great little package with lightweight foam and plastic toys to keep your toddler busy! For your flight busy bag, remove the items from the box to save on space then pack them in a Ziploc bag.
travel gifts for toddlers

2) Nuts & Bolts $14.95

Have you ever noticed that the simplest toys (and non-toys) are often a toddler’s favorite to play with? This simple activity of nuts and bolts might occupy your toddler longer than anything else! Even if it occupies a busy toddler for ten minutes it will be worth it!
travel gifts for toddlers

3) Buckle Toy “Bolt” Airplane $24.99 (orig. $29.99)

How cute is this!? It has 5 different style clasp buckles on the underside and a zipper across the front. Note the size is 9″x 6″. If your carry on bag is already full you could just clip it to the outside using a Carabineer “D” Clip.
travel gifts for toddlers

4) Pocket Mirror $6.99

This was one of my son, John’s very favorite things to play with in flight! As I wrote in this post: 5 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler in Flight, between making faces at himself in the mirror and coloring on the mirror with dry-erase markers, this little item kept him occupied for long periods of time.

travel gifts for toddlers

5) Dry Erase Markers $5.40

You can use these to color on the mirror or on a window. I’ve even used them to write on glossy board books (remember to erase right away because if it’s left on for a long time it won’t erase). Crayola makes dry-erase crayons too, but I actually found them to be messier than markers.
travel gifts for toddlers

6) Poly-Gonzo Geo Twister $6.31

I love this little fidget! It’s super-lightweight and is really fun for all ages to twist around to create new shapes.
travel gifts for toddlers

7) Sesame Street Elmo with Airplane $9.57

I bought this on impulse when my son, John was two years old. He’s almost four now and still loves to play with it. It’s fun to have something airplane themed when you’re flying with your toddler, and small figures can offer endless opportunity for imaginative play.
travel gifts for toddlers

8) Soft Activity Books $12.89

My son John hardly sits still for anything! But one thing he has loved since he was an infant is reading books. Board books are heavy, so you probably don’t want to add those to your travel bag, but it’s easy to carry one or two cloth books to read in flight. Here’s a popular one:

travel gifts for toddlers

9)Backpack Busy Bag with Assorted Toys $39.95 (orig. $49.99)

Available in Frog, Cat, Bear, or Pig. It’s a great all-in-one gift!
travel gifts for toddlers

10) DIY Toys– FREE (Using Household Supplies)

There are several DIY toys you can do too! Among our favorites are a drop-toy, made of an empty spice jar and straws or toothpicks, or of an empty mini Pringles can and pipe cleaners, straws, buttons, or paper clips. Instructions can be found here and here. I also make this drop-toy, using airplane galley supplies, for restless toddler/preschool age passengers when I’m working as a flight attendant.

diy-toddler-activity

11) Alex Jr. Tots Sticker Pictures $9.55 (reg. $13.99)

Pack a just a few of these sticker scenes in your busy bag along with a few sheets of stickers.
travel gifts for toddlers

Equipment

12) C.A.R.E.S. Harness $69.95 (orig. $74.99)

If you’re not bringing the car seat on the plane, this C.A.R.E.S. Harness is the safest way to fly! This is the only FAA approved airplane harness, designed for children ages 1 and up, weighing 22-44 lbs. and up to 44 inches tall. You can check your car seat at the ticket counter (free of charge as an assistive device), or use the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate (my favorite travel tool) and check your car seat at the gate, then just walk on the plane and easily install this C.A.R.E.S. Harness. Easy to use, it keeps your child more safe and secure. For my kids it gave them more of a signal that they needed to stay seated. I was so grateful that I had my daughter, Ella, safely buckled in this when she was about 3 years old and after takeoff we encountered wake turbulence. Everyone rose an inch or two out of their seats as our plane dropped. The C.A.R.E.S. Harness keep her securely in her seat. Some passengers screamed, but Ella lightened the mood when she cheered, “Let’s do that again!” For her it was like a fun roller coaster ride.

travel gifts for toddlers

13) GoGo Babyz TravelMate $73.99

This is my all-time favorite piece of travel equipment. It quickly transforms your car seat into a stroller as you attach the plate to your car seat with a quick-release ratchet strap. The telescoping handle is adjustable for your comfort. Read my complete review of the GoGo Babyz Travelmate. They have updated this with a fold-down plate to accommodate the larger car seats that are common now.
travel gifts for toddlers

14) Firik Soft Fleece Adjustable Headphones $19.99 (orig. $39.99)

Toddlers often won’t tolerate regular headphones but on the airplane they need to use headphones or turn off the volume when playing video games or watching shows. These headphones are a cozy headband and reviews show that kids are far more likely to wear these than regular headphones. I like that they don’t take up as much room in your carry on bag as regular headphones would. Several styles available, including frog and penguin.
travel gifts for toddlers

15) Disposable Table Topper Stick On Placemat $12.09

I love these not only for the purpose of keeping germs away from your child, but also because they have activities on them! Another thing to help occupy your toddler!

travel gifts for toddlers

16) PRIMO Folding Potty with Handles $7.57

I like this folding travel potty because of the handles feature, which keeps your toddler from grabbing the toilet.
travel gifts for toddlers

TRAVEL TIP: When using public toilets, cover the automatic flush sensor with a sticky note or sticker before your child sits down. This will prevent it from flushing and terrifying your child. Read my tips on Managing Public Restrooms with Your Young Child.

17) Rolling Backpack $21.00-$38.99 (from $45.99)

Toddlers love the independence of having their own bag to carry their things, but we all know that after about 15 minutes you will be the one carrying the bag. This cute little rolling backpack is small enough for a toddler to comfortably wear it on their back when they get tired of rolling it. And it’s easy to toss over the handle of your roller board when your toddler isn’t up for carrying it.

TRAVEL TIP: I pack all the busy bag toys in a gallon size Ziploc bag and then put it in this rolling backpack. This small backpack easily fits under the airplane seat and can often share the space with my tote bag.
travel gifts for toddlers

18) Walking Safety Harness $14.99

Your toddler wants freedom! The new challenge arises of keeping your child safe in crowds. Read my post, How to Prevent Losing Your Kids in Crowds, for some ideas on keeping your child near you. One way is by using a safety harness, like this one. Worried that people will judge you? Don’t be! Read my post, Backpack Harnesses, Useful or Mean? to get more information on what most people really think.
travel gifts for toddlers

FOOD

19) Munchkin Snack Catcher $6.99 for two

I’ve tried a lot of different novelty travel snack cups but I always went back to this simple design. It was the most spill-proof and easy to use one for my kids.
travel gifts for toddlers

20) Banana Saver $7.32

Is there a more perfect toddler food than a banana? To keep the banana fresh and bruise-free, use this banana saver. I have even packed bananas in my checked luggage using this and they have not had one bruise!
travel gifts for toddlers

21) Plum Organics Jammy Sammy Sandwich Bars Variety Bundle $12.23

For a little bit of nutrition when your toddler won’t eat anything else. These bars travel well. I often pack an unopened box in my checked bag too. (By keeping it in the box the bars don’t get mashed up.)
travel gifts for toddlers

22) Little Duck Organic Tiny Fruits & Veggies 6-count $22.99

These little freeze-dried snacks are pure fruits and veggies–no added sugar! It can be tough to get your toddler to eat well on-the-go. These fun snacks can help add a few nutrients to your child’s diet.
travel gifts for toddlers

23) The First Years Take & Toss Sippy Cups $2.68 (from $4.19)

I always bring a spill-proof cup for my kids when flying. These cups are inexpensive enough to toss if you can’t wash them and durable enough to wash and reuse when you’re able. Even if your toddler is still nursing, they will probably like to have a drink of water when the beverage cart comes by and everyone else is getting drinks.
travel gifts for toddlers

What do you think of this list of travel gifts for toddlers? Do you have favorites that I missed? I love it when readers comment! Let me know what other things you would suggest.

travel gifts for toddlers

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Flying with Toddlers

flying with toddlers

flying with toddlers

The Best of: Flying With Toddlers

Flying with toddlers can be fun, but age 1-3 is probably the most challenging age to deal with then traveling. Since toddlers are less able to express themselves than older children, they can get easily frustrated and act out. Toddlers have an unbelievable amount of energy and hate sitting still, so keeping them occupied and happy in flight takes some effort. But don’t fear! You can do it! My children are really active. When  my husband and I describe the activity level of our kids, people respond with, “Yeah, yeah, kids are busy!” Then they meet our kids, and as the kids run around like Tasmanian Devils, our friends say, “Oh! Now we see what you mean!” And yet, I’ve taken over 75 flights with them during the toddler stage, and we survived! Most of the flights I was solo with them and  I enjoyed it (most of the time)! So in this post I’ve collected all I’ve written to date about flying with toddlers in hopes that my tips will help you when flying with toddlers. I’ll update and add to this post as I write more about flying with toddlers. Pin or bookmark this post now for reference!

Preparing Your Child for First Flight

flying with toddlers

Quick Tips for the First Time Flier

Getting Through Security

Pro Tips for Long-Haul Flights with Toddlers

Packing-Carry On

Packing for Onboard the Plane: Toddlers

Things to Pack for a Stuffy Nose/Cold

flying with toddlers

Click the image for 20 Travel Gift Ideas for Toddlers!

Busy Bag Ideas

5 Items to Entertain Your Toddler

Toy Using Galley Supplies

20 Travel Gift Ideas for Toddlers

Car Seat

flying with toddlers

How to Get Your Child to Buckle Up

Car Seat Safety

Car Seat Transport Tool

Passing Time

Waiting to Board Your Flight: What to Do

7 Tips for Flight Delays With Kids

Ways to Keep Your Child Safe

Backpack Harness: Useful or Mean?

How to Keep Your Child Who Runs Away Safe

Prevent Losing Your Kids in Crowds

Sleeping

Aerobed for Kids Review

Tips from Sleep Expert

Products that Help

Routines vs. Schedules

Food

Breastfeeding on a Plane

Milk Options

Food on the Plane: What Can I Bring?

Fun Travel Food Ideas

French Toast Muffins

Behavior

Addressing Toddler Tantrums on the Plane

Tips for Flying with a Sensory Sensitive Child

Reduce Anxiety for Your Sensitive Child

flying with toddlers

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Best Travel Gift Ideas for Infants

travel gift ideas for infants

Here are some of the best travel gift ideas for infants I can recommend. From clothes to toys to equipment, they’re all things that will make family travel more pleasant.

(Amazon Affiliate links are used in this post for your shopping convenience. When you make a purchase through these links I may receive a small commission which goes toward the operation of this website. I appreciate your support!)

20 Travel Gift Ideas for Infants

1) Sleep Hat $12.99

travel gift ideas for infants
If your infant tolerates hats, this is the best! Once the baby falls asleep just fold down the flap over their eyes! I had this for my son, John, who was colicky and wouldn’t sleep during the day, and he actually slept (while being held) at a birthday party! This will keep you from cursing the flight attendants when they turn the lights up before landing.

2) Go-Go Babyz TravelMate Deluxe Cruiser $189.99
travel gift ideas for infants

Turn your infant carrier into a stroller! This Deluxe Cruiser can also grow with your child: when you add the adapter kit it can be used with a convertible car seat! Read my review of this here.

3) Lamaze Clip & Go Flutterbug $9.41 (from $15.99)

travel gift ideas for infants

Infants don’t need too much for entertainment, but they can get bored. Bring a few small toys for them. Something to keep in mind: avoid noise makers. Consider the passengers around you and don’t bring electronic toys or squeaking toys.

4) Soft Cover Book $14.97
travel gift ideas for infants

Even infants enjoy a good book! But don’t add to the weight of your bag with board books, just pack one soft cover book for reading to your infant.

5) Soft Cover Photo Book $13.98
travel gift ideas for infants

6) Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym $23.97 (from $32.99)
travel gift ideas for infants

If you have an infant who needs lots of stimulation, you will want to pack something for your baby to play on when you’re at your destination. For some of you, packing something like this is a little extreme, but for my first born it was necessary. She needed overhead toys/stimulation and lots of variety. It was so worth it to pack her activity gym in my checked rolling duffel bag.

7) Manhattan Toy Mobile To-Go $9.44 (from $12.00)
travel gift ideas for infants

This was another life saver with my very active infant. A clip-on mobile provided lots of great stimulation and kept her more content when we were on-the-go.

8) Bright Starts Links Accessory Toy $3.88 (Amazon Exclusive)

travel gift ideas for infants

Attach toys to your stroller or car seat so they don’t drop on the floor. Or just use these rings as toys themselves! The varied textures and colors make for interesting toys for all babies.

9) KidCo Peapod Plus Infant Travel Bed Kiwi $89.99 (Black $99.95)
travel gift ideas for infants

Small enough to fit in a rolling duffel bag, this infant travel bed gets rave reviews. It’s a pretty simple bed. If you want something more sturdy, take a look at what we used: the Bjorn Travel Crib:

10) Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light Silver or Pink $209.99, Black $227.99 (from $299.95)

travel gift ideas for infants

I was so happy using this travel crib for my son. I used it for him from age 1-3.5. We even used it for him daily for six months while living with in-laws as we were waiting to buy our house. He was very comfortable in it! Set up is easy and only takes about a minute, which is so nice after a long travel day.

11) Yummy Mitt Teething Mitten $19.99

travel gift ideas for infants

Another clever invention! You don’t have to worry about this dropping on the airplane floor.

 

Click here for How to Pack Your Carry On for Infants

 

12) Elesa Miracle Baby Leg Warmers $17.99 (from $29.99)

travel gift ideas for infants

These leg warmers are great to have on hand for warmth. They can be used on arms or legs, and slide easily on and off, even if your baby is strapped in the car seat. We had these and my daughter used them up to age 6 on her arms!

13) Robeez Little Peanut Crib Shoe $19.46 (from 25.00)

travel gift ideas for infants

These little crib shoes stay on! If you’re tired of shoes or socks falling off, these are the solution. It’s all I used for my daughter until she was walking.

14) Trumpette Baby Sock Set $24.99 (assorted styles available from $17.55)

travel gift ideas for infants

So many infant socks slide right off, but these Trumpette socks stay put. They have lots of cute styles that mimic shoes. Cute and cozy!

15) aden + anais Muslin Dream Blanket $49.99

Save $10 on the “Liam The Brave” style only $39.95

travel gifts for infants

This is the most versatile baby blanket I have used. It can be used for swaddling, warmth, a nursing cover, and a car seat cover. I would even pack two for my flight.

16) Go-Go Babyz Sidekick Diaper Bag $59.77

travel gift ideas for infants

I loved this diaper bag when traveling with my infant son! The front flap unzips and turns the bag into a baby carrier! It’s so convenient when flying! You can read my review of the Sidekick Diaper Bag/Baby Carrier here.

*Note: this does not offer enough support for a newborn. Your child should be in the sitting stage to use this as a baby carrier.

17) Oxo On-the-Go Drying Rack $14.99

travel gift ideas for infants

If you’re traveling with bottles, this little brush and drying rack is perfect!

18) Boon Squirt Silicone Baby Food Dispensing Spoon $6.40 (from $9.99)

travel gift ideas for infants

You can put the baby food in this holder and squeeze on bite at a time into the spoon. I used it for both my kids and it was so convenient!

19) NurturMe NurturMeals, Dried Organic Food Pouches 5 count-from $5.94-$15.27 ($2.50 coupon on Amazon)

travel gift ideas for infants

I love these NurturMe Dried Organic Food Pouches! Packing these instead of purees allows you to not have to worry about TSA liquid restrictions. They are also lighter to pack. Right now on Amazon there is a $2.50 coupon for your first order of NurturMe. You can read my review of NurtureMe Food Pouches here.

20) Blowout Blocker

travel gift ideas for infants

This is a genius invention! Blowouts never happen at a convenient time, and it seems to me that the airplane cabin pressure might increase the chance of this occurring. I used this for my son when he was an infant and it worked just as intended.

travel gift ideas for infants

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