Entertaining kids on the go doesn’t mean lugging around a wheelie bag full of activities. Here are five very portable activities that promise to entertain, without putting your back out.
These 9 pictorial dice are super portable, fun, and fire up young imaginations. While it might be difficult for a younger child to create a story using all the dice, the game can be adjusted to different age groups—use one picture and see what story your child creates around it. There’s also a new set out now called Voyages, which are perfect for little travellers.
Throw a few pipe cleaners into a ziplock bag and keep them in your handbag. My oldest son used to make figurines and then creates armor for them. Now the younger three are a part of the pipe cleaner club and there are shows and battles and Manga worlds created out of them. Completely portable and hours of fun!
When my kids were young I travelled everywhere with a pocket Etch-a-sketch. It came out of my bag when we were waiting in lines, for appointments, in the car, on the plane… My little Etch-a-Sketch was able to stop a tantrum in its tracks, and never failed to entertain. And while I know there are apps that can do the same now … it’s not a bad thing to limit the time a young child spends on a mobile device.
Around the World in 80 Ways
Okay, this is some shameless self-promotion, but this really is the book I wanted when I was travelling with my kids… so I wrote it myself. This not only entertains kids anywhere… but also educates them. The book is small, and filled with dozens of conversation starters and activities, loads of facts and figures, and countless hours of fun. Each activity encourages children to think about the world around them. Not a single crayon is needed–just add imagination. Available in both ebook and paperback formats.
Ye old wallet
This is a fantastic toy for younger kids. Fill an old wallet with photos, old credit/library/Boost Juice cards, add a few fake currency notes … and place it in your handbag. It comes in handy entertaining young kids (have you ever met one who didn’t like to tear a wallet apart). It is also useful if you’re ever being mugged and have to hand over your wallet.
Jane Tara is an author, travel writer, and director of the children’s travel publishing company, Itchee Feet. She has lived in Tokyo, Taipei,
Vienna, London and New York, but currently lives at Bondi Beach with her partner and their four sons.